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Communication reigns supreme, whether we talk about today’s context or go back to historic times. If we dig into history, paintings and manuscripts were the primary forms of communication. And in this fast-paced world, visual communication is the most effective approach to spreading the word.
Do you ever find yourself scrolling through social media posts and pausing at striking visuals? That’s the power of visual communication. Whether delivering a social message or advertising a brand, visual communication design makes you stop and perceive the message.
Let’s discover the journey of visual communication and unveil how art influences it.
Visual communication design is the art of delivering a message through enticing visuals. In this era of globalisation, it helps blur the language barriers. Visual design basics bridge this gap by creatively expressing ideas, culture, and emotions.
When we think of visual communication design, it’s impossible to imagine it without art. Think about it: Have you ever spent a day without coming across art? Even daily, we’re constantly surrounded by logos, images, memes, and ads—all derived from an artistic vision.
In simple terms, there is no effective and engaging communication without art.
Visual design has a rich history dating back to the times when cave paintings were the ultimate source of communication and storytelling. Let’s understand the historical evolution of visual communication through a brief timeline.
Form of Visual Communication
Cave paintings and ancient symbols
Hieroglyphics, manuscripts, pictograms, etc.
Religious art and symbolism
Realistic depictions and perspectives
Printed media, newspapers, posters
Photography and cinema
Graphic designing, internet, and digital media
While the Egyptians developed hieroglyphs, the Greeks worked on a set of symbols that further evolved into the modern alphabet. These were the foundational periods of visual communication design.
Later, with the development of print media and advertising, visual designs started taking on a modern shape. The 19th century embraced images, graphics, posters, and striking advertisements. As technology advanced, so did artistic communication.
The 20th century led to the evolution of broadcasting commercials with imagery and sound. Later, computer and graphic design took the lead in redefining visual communication. Today, visual design elements are inseparable from every sector, from commerce to IT.
Visual design elements are the main pillars of communicating the idea effectively. A well-balanced and creative blend of these elements helps narrate the message without speaking a word. Listed below are the critical visual design elements:
Along with making art look eye-pleasing, colours are also known to evoke emotions. Every colour has a psychological impact. And with a deep understanding of the subject, designers can make their messages louder and clear with the right mix of colours. Listed below are the colours with their psychological meanings:
Growth, health, nature
Trust, calmness, professionalism
Danger, love, passion
The art of typography can help induce emotions and shape a perspective. It goes beyond typing a message. An apt typography helps enhance readability, and a unique font establishes a brand’s visual language.
As visual design thinking works with a blend of tones, textures, fonts, and elements, striking the right balance is critical. Ensure a sense of harmony to make the design more visually accessible.
When working with visual design principles, it’s essential to be strategic while organising content. Arrange the information in a hierarchy based on its importance to guide the reader’s eyes.
Contrast helps lay out or divert the focus. Add contrasting shades, shapes, sizes, and fonts to the palette to craft an intriguing composition.
Proximity refers to establishing a visual connection within design elements. Ensure to curate a well-organised map for your audience to navigate through each part sequentially.
Graphic design is an artful fusion of technology with creativity aiming at communicating through different media. Modern advertising and marketing strategies depend on visual design branding through logos or brochures.
Brands deploy unique colours and captivating visuals for their logo designs to grab the audience’s attention. For example, signature brands like Puma, Nike, Apple showcase their narrative with logos. In fact, the colour palette and design serves as an identifier for these brands in the market.
A human brain remembers 65% of visuals and just 10% of what they hear. This is one of the primary reasons for the advancement of the graphic design industry for visual branding. Consider a simple example: upon hearing about burgers and fries, what is the first image that comes into your mind? Isn’t it the two inverted arches in bright yellow forming ‘M’ for McDonalds?
Design thinking goes beyond generating visuals. It’s also about effectively communicating and evoking emotions. The rich imagery and a creative approach through graphic design is all it takes for effective visual communication.
Imagine walking along a busy street with tall buildings. As you walk by, there’s a tiny wall art adorning a boundary wall. Does that make you stop and gaze?
That’s how influential art is!
Art in public spaces has the potential to make you stop, gaze, and take away the message. Designers deliver their message effectively by fostering community engagement through street art, murals, and installations. Strategically placed in public locations, the blend of visual design principles activates public consciousness and urges action.
From thought-provoking art installations to wall art featuring slogans, this visual communication speaks to the passerby, highlights social causes, and sparks interest. Art is a compelling voice when brought to public spaces. In the rapidly advancing times, where sustainability is restricted to words, visual storytelling stimulates awareness and compels viewers to think about it.
When discussing brands, does a product or its logo come to mind–the latter, right? Let’s consider the example of Nike. Do you picture a shoe or the inspiring tick-mark logo?
In this digital era, visual content takes the lead through images, infographics, videos, etc., for advertising. Publishers featuring visual content are known to grow traffic 12 times faster than those who don’t.
The Internet features endless visuals in different forms. What helps a brand stand out? Establishing a unique identity with a specific palette, fonts, visual design principles, etc. sets a narrative. For example, you’re scrolling through Instagram posts. Suddenly, enticing red imagery with a white font appears on the screen. When you see this combination, you know it’s Coca-Cola, right?
Artful use of imagery in print and digital ads helps drive successful advertising campaigns.
Social media is one of the most popular platforms to exhibit your creativity. Through memes, reels, videos, photos, etc., artists creatively narrate their stories and experiences. According to Zenith Media, on an average, a viewer spends about 100 minutes watching digital videos daily.
Social media posts with enticing content like photography, motivational videos, creative graphics tend to captivate the user's interest. Artists and designers leverage social media to present their thoughts and curate content that resonates with the audience. It helps gain more reach, and the message's horizon broadens.
We all prefer scrolling through Instagram feeds to know the latest news and trends over television news, don’t we? There are about 1.9 billion people who use Instagram daily. The reason? An effective way of communicating is through visuals. A rise in such platforms led to the crafting of more aesthetically pleasing, promotional, expressive, and narrative visual content.
Art and technology go hand in hand. And as artificial intelligence is driving most industries, it has given birth to an innovative approach to visual communication design. AI-powered tools help create immersive visuals that establish an emotional connection with the audience.
Designers are leveraging technology to push their creative boundaries. Innovative algorithms and design software encourage experimentation and the creation of unconventional expressions. An amalgamation of the human mind with advanced tools reinforces storytelling's creative process with more expressive and versatile art.
The influence of art in visual design goes beyond aesthetics. It is a medium to shape a narrative, connect with the audience, and evoke emotions, irrespective of the platform. A proper mix of visual design principles catalyse effective communication, from branding to delivering a social message.
Art fuels audience engagement, provokes actions and fosters creative communication. By harnessing the power of innovative solutions, designers can shape visual narratives that instigate change.
- Here’s another quick take on the meaning, advantages and career opportunities in visual communication for you to get a wider perspective.
- Did you find what you were looking for, or do you want more? If the answer is yes, then here’s more on the introduction, meaning and scope of communication design to expand your horizons.
- Do not miss to check out this comprehensive webinar on the career opportunities in communication design at IIAD for expert opinions.
An architect turned writer, Saili has worked as an architectural writer, marketer, & curator. For the past three years, she has collaborated with multimedia publication houses, firms, studios, organisations, luxury brands, & educational ...
institutions; both national and international to communicate and market the AEC industry as an architect in marketing. She is a commentator on the design industry’s upkeep through her social handles while also being an avid reader and traveller.
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