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Whenever you’re browsing through the digital world, what is it that catches most of your attention? Is it text or enticing visuals? The latter, right? With the advance of digital platforms, visual communication design stands out as a modern form of expression and interaction.
It lets people speak without having to put a lot of words in. Whether it’s about advertising your brand or conveying a social message, visual design elements allow you to deliver every hidden, even the most complex, message quickly. Graphic design is a spectrum of visual communication which emphasises more on sketches and mock-ups, but again the distinction between both is altogether a different discussion. Let’s understand all about visual communication and its diverse role.
From scrolling through Instagram to coming across LinkedIn posts, aren’t we constantly surrounded by visuals? Visual communication is the art of blending elements like GIFs, text, and images to illustrate information and ideas effectively.
In this new-age world, every minute task demands a visual design. Can you visualise messages without emojis or GIFs? Not anymore, right? That’s the power of simple and effective visual communication. It’s especially relevant today as visual design has been established as a language or medium to convey issues and trends.
For example, posts and memes on social media, particularly Instagram, are our latest news source and help us connect to what’s trending. The key reason for flourishing visual communication is time constraints. People prefer getting takeaways concisely rather than engaging in lengthy texts to understand the concerns.
What is the power and scope of visual communication in the future? Let’s discover.
Is visual communication a modern concept? No.
Since ancient times, visual communication has been used to convey messages. One of the finest examples of its existence are the historic cave paintings. These helped deliver several hidden messages with each stroke.
Today, visual communication design is more than conveying thoughts. It's one of the most effective marketing solutions. Here are some examples of presenting information through different means of visual communication:
A strategic use of visual design basics like graphics, logos, images, and signs helps grab audiences’ attention and establish a deeper connection.
Where the colours and imagery talk…
Visual design principles make the message more powerful, approachable, and efficient. The human brain is known to capture and remember pictures better than text. Our brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. This is why visual communication has evolved and stayed at the forefront.
It’s a fact that certain colours help in evoking specific emotions. For example, you feel calm around blue tones, whereas red induces excitement. Brands adopt a strategic colour scheme to impact the audience psychologically. Further, the use of expressions and striking visuals drives emotional reactions from consumers, leading to better engagement and connection.
When we come across an advertisement, the creative approach, colours, and imagery entice us more into buying than the features. A marketing strategy with visual design thinking can help you craft unique advertisements. The creative approach resonates with audiences' demands and brand ethos.
If it’s seen, consider it sold?
About 62% of consumers prefer buying a product with images over the one with textual descriptions.
Consider an example of Apple’s advertisements with silhouettes. It resonates with a particular lifestyle and, at the same time, sets a unique identity for the brand. Visual communication is a way to express emotions that aren’t possible through words. And this is what engages and influences the audience.
Visual design thinking is the key driving factor in making social media sites more interesting. Whether it’s LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or any other platform, visual information rules there.
Photos, videos, and infographics help spark conversations and catch users' attention. The visual design presents even the most complex message as digestible content. One of the most exciting aspects of visual communication on social media is that it sets a trend.
For example, in the case of Instagram, reels are currently trending to entertain and educate. On average, Instagram users watch about 17.6 million hours of reels daily. And when it comes to interacting through WhatsApp, emojis dominate the conversations and display the user's mood.
Journalism and visual design are two inseparable entities.
A news report without supporting visuals is just a boring block of text that confuses the readers. Visual design plays a lead role in news stories through interactive maps, images, videos, etc. It helps in enhancing the storytelling approach and, at the same time, delivers facts.
No more boring texts!
Remember those days when your teacher would drone on and on with slides filled with nothing but text? Didn't you wish they'd add some cool images or videos to make the lesson more interesting and easier to understand? Well, that's exactly why visuals are so important in presentations. They can help capture your audience's attention, make your points more memorable, and even make complex topics easier to grasp.
Visual communication is a critical part of education as it explains even the most complex concepts in a simple manner. An effective use of visual design principles helps in better engagement, understanding, and retention of information with students. Here’s how it is integrated into teaching methods:
Visual designs to represent culture? Yes, that’s right.
Cultural representation is best done through visual designs as it helps celebrate diversity through accurate representation. For example, through the use of specific attire, dance forms, or traditional practices in illustrations, one can clearly present the rich culture.
Where does it help?
It helps promote local practices of native art, bridging the gap between traditional roots and the modern world and promoting tourism through a reflection of cultural aesthetics in advertisements.
Visuals to inspire, evoke emotions, and spread the message
What helps you recognise a political party? It's a symbol and the typical colours associated with it, right?
Visuals in politics and activism are critical to conveying ideas and inspiring actions. These help overcome the language barriers by effectively conveying their action plans through simple visuals. It’s a catalyst, helping bring about a change in society by sparking movements and conversations.
With ever-advancing technology, visual design is stepping up as well. As the world relies on digital platforms, the visual communication industry will flourish and develop further with technological breakthroughs.
AI-powered tools, augmented reality, virtual reality, generative designs, mixed reality, etc., are some of the robust tools shaping its future. From the business world to the personal world, visual designs play an essential role in expressionism and establishing a deeper connection.
The impact of visual communication is far-reaching and influential. It shapes a fresh perspective and helps learners learn and perceive concepts better through interesting illustrations. Visual design is a creative approach to lifting linguistic barriers and helping our business and personal ideologies gain significance.
- If you’re looking for a great career in visual communication, but don’t know how to proceed—read this helpful guide.
- Expand your horizons of communication design by exploring this rich tapestry of introduction, meaning and scope.
- Dive into the world of communication design with IIAD's globally benchmarked programme, where creativity meets industry and innovation. 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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