Can I Get Your Attention, Please?
Successful visual communication is key if communication aims to drive the message home. Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. And 65% of people are visual learners. Visual communication typically combines data visualization and graphic design to produce content and deliver information in a precise and engaging manner. It employs several mediums to reach the audience and a range of visual elements to construct a narrative.
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By visually presenting ideas, visual communication helps the message make more sense. Both simple and complex information can be presented visually to make it more appealing and understandable.
Some other benefits include:
- Productive method for converting ideas into insightful content.
- Offer a chance to evoke feelings and increase the impact of the communication.
- Facilitates easy and quick interpretation of information.
Visual mediums include photos, illustrations, charts, graphs, diagrams, and videos. Visual communication can be used across your business, including conferences and trade shows, websites, advertisements, social media posts, and sales presentations for public-facing communications. Within the business, it is used in office presentations, meetings, brand guidelines, and employee pieces of training. As for personal use, we see visuals in art, interior design, social media, TV, video, and much more.
How Visual Communication Works
Visual communication helps people make efficient and quick decisions about an idea. Seeing something is better for understanding than hearing or reading about it. People’s attention spans are often only a few seconds; thus, visual information can be the quickest way to make a big impression. The mind interacts with visuals on several levels thanks to its “perceived information” and emotional cues they can gain from the visual.
Additionally, visuals engage the left and right portions of the human brain. The left side of our brain governs language, cognition, logic, and reasoning, whereas the right side governs emotions, intuition, and creativity. Visuals can stimulate the thinking and cognitive processes of both hemispheres of the human brain.
The 8 Elements Of Visual Communication
A few elements can be manipulated within each visual communication to fine-tune the messaging and feelings being invoked. By adjusting these 8 elements within the visual, one can change the whole meaning within:
- Shape and Form: Shapes and forms imply different meanings. Think of straight lines, shapes, and curves that can enclose, direct, or draw the eye. They can be used to lead narratives as the eye follows different shapes and forms through the visual.
- Color: Choosing color, saturations, and tones can invoke feelings, moods, and temperatures. For example, the color red can bring about warm feelings while blue is cooling.
- Typography: Typography can become part of the visual. Choosing the font, arrangement, and size can help communicate the tone of voice, personality, age, gender, and mood. For example, Times New Roman and Comic Sans convey different messages even if the text is the same. Having the text in bold and in the middle of the visual is different from having it in font 8 at the bottom of the visual.
- Facial Express: Images and videos, including people or characters, can show different emotions through how they hold their eyes, mouth, and the direction they are facing. A forward-facing model with a smile showcases different meanings than a down-looking sad face.
- Body Language: Body language, such as postures and gestures, provide meaning. Open arms welcome the viewer in contrast to a person sitting with crossed legs and arms.
- Manual Communication: A lot of meaning can come from hand-based gestures and signs such as waving and pointing. Hand placements can call attention to an item or illustrate an action or movement.
- Environment: Similar to color, the physical environment within the visual, like open nature or a dark room, can add a lot of additional meanings.
- Data Visualization: Charts, diagrams, and infographics are all visual representations of details and information in more accessible forms. For example, upward-trending graphics may show growth and strength, whereas a downward one shows a decline.
Fundamentals Of Good Visual Communication
To successfully use visual communication, there are a few key points to get right:
- Know Your Audience: Understand your viewer’s demographics like age, sex, education, and culture.
- Medium Choice: Different mediums like images, infographics, drawings, and video recordings can have more information or less packed inside.
- Visual Accuracy and Flow: The quality of the visual is also essential. When designing a visual, you should be precise in the amount of information being visualized and if the elements used are helping or taking away from the meaning.
- Content Value: An excellent visual is worth a thousand words. Think about the overall artistic appeal of what is being conveyed.
Visual Communication Success
Visual communication can help improve understanding across many aspects of a person’s life. Professionally, it can help businesses and customers communicate effectively. In addition, it helps us maintain our moods and express ourselves. By using visual communication effectively, you can better get your ideas across any time and every time.