What is Visual Communication? Explained.

What is Visual Communication

Visual communication you say? Aaah – you mean posters, pretty pictures and advertisements?

Well, kind of, but that is not entirely the full answer.

The all trusted source – Wikipedia – can give us some scientific definition. But to my mind this sciency approach is a bit hard to swallow. Don`t worry – you are covered. Let me take you to the better understanding, what does it mean.


Meaningful pictures vs. Pretty pictures

The term – visual communication – consists of two parts. First of all – Visual – a piece of something you can see. And then – Communication – a way or method to transfer information from a source to recipient. So visual communication is more about the information encoded in the visual content and less about the beauty of the visual itself.

By knowing and mastering visual communication you can make visual content in a more strategic way. It allows to indirectly encode your messages and values in, for example, an advertisement. When done right, the target audience by seeing this ad will subconciously read and react to it. This is the kind of knowledge that advertisers and highly skilled graphic designers know. Most of professionally made ads and visuals are actually engineered to give us certain feelings and persuade us to desired action.


Set of rules you can learn and apply.

There are good news. Visual communication can indeed be seen as science. So there are rules and formulas anyone can learn, understand and apply. By the way  РI share them one by one on my Instagram feed.

Everything has particular meaning attached to it. Every color has its meaning. So does different color combinations. Every shape, font, layout has a meaning. Every size has it as well.

Every well designed promotional visual should not be an accident. It should be a well crafted piece, that speaks out messages both written and unwritten.


How visual communication experts see the world?

To some extent the commercial world around for me seems a bit boring. That is because any advertisement, poster or visual I can easily decode and understand two things:

  • is it designed by professionals;
  • what the owner really wants me to do, see and feel?

Needless to say, majority of people around us cannot conciously do that.

Have a look.

Pin it... or Share it! Stand mockup from ClearChannel
Pin it… or Share it! Stand mockup from ClearChannel

There is a reason, why, for example the poster might be designed in yellow and black. Or why is this particular font used.


Why one poster looks nice, but the other doesn`t?

Visual communication has a set of basic rules – like Golden Ratio or Rule of thirds – that ensure the visual you make will end up looking nicely.

The fact is though that…

…beauty is actually a set of mathematical rules and not an emotional subject.

And that is also covered by the rules of visual communication.

As a result you can get an answer to another old question, you might ask yourself. Why one poster looks kinda nice, but the other not? By applying some formulas, you can get the answer immediately.



To influence your target audience through visual content – mastering these skills is a must. Visual communication will help you to make your visual content not only beautiful, but also impactful. So that next time you print the poster, you can achieve your goals.

What do you think? Is there a better way to define visual communication?

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  1. Pingback: Beginners Guide to Great Looking Visuals: Step by Step Checklist - Visual Expert Blog

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