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L.Srikumar Pai
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Visual Communication

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Visual communication as the name suggests is communication through visual aid and is described as the conveyance of ideas and information in forms that can be read or looked upon. Visual communication solely relies on vision, and is primarily presented or expressed with two dimensional images, it includes: signs, typography, drawing, graphic design, illustration, colour and electronic resources. It also explores the idea that a visual message accompanying text has a greater power to inform, educate, or persuade a person or audience.

Today the biggest contributor to the field of visual communication is Pranav Mistry,who has done magic with the gestures, a technology developed by him known as Sixth Sense. Some other such as, Aldous Huxley is highly regarded as one of the most prominent explorers of visual communication and sight-related theories.

In day to day life every human is directly or indirectly a user of graphic design. Visual communication has a role to play in everything we buy, read, etc. Visual communication utilizes a variety of media and technologies to target, engross, amuse and inspire viewers. A person who is involved in visual communication can appreciate the diverse audiences and various mediums only if he/she has an artistic feeling, good communication skills and shrewd business tactics.

The above mentioned skills play a vital role and are well-appreciated by advertising agencies, product designers and design firms. Every individual working in the field of visual communication should be adept with multimedia and the latest technologies. The person should be able to research, evaluate, devise a design and finally should be able to realize it.

Students studying visual communication are taught the basic physics of light, anatomy and physiology of the eye, cognitive and perception theories, color theories, Gestalt Psychology, aesthetics, natural reading patterns, design principles, semiotics, persuasion, camera/filming actions and image-types, and so forth.

People pursuing visual communications can be assured of jobs in advertising agencies, animation work, design studios, photography, web related work, print and publishing, media, multimedia, radio, copywriting, films, etc. You can also train specially to become design auditors and strategic design planners

What Is Visual Communications?

Visual Communications is one of the oldest disciplines in the humanities. Fundamentally, any image, whether sign, typography, drawing or photograph, that is used to communicate any idea can be included in the field of Visual Communications. In this way, we can see the evolution of Visual Communications from ancient cave paintings all the way to modern computer graphics.

History of Visual Communications

Visual Communications began with stick drawings on the walls of caves. As human societies flourished, it expanded to include ideograms and, eventually, the alphabet. In the modern day, Visual Communications is typically used to emphasize ideas, as illustrations in books, advertisements and corporate logos. As technology continues to improve, Visual Communications have become integral to understanding advanced scientific concepts and simulations.

Visual Communication is Everywhere

Today, examples of Visual Communications are everywhere. The typeface, photographs and drawings in newspapers and magazines augment written ideas, pushing the reader to certain conclusions or providing commentary on the written text. Television shows and movies use completely visual methods to portray a narrative, while television commercials combine Visual Communications with a myriad of other disciplines, such as psychology and anthropology, to strengthen a message or a product. Online, website design helps dictate a site's message and purpose and is a crucial factor in shaping a viewer's opinion of the website's ideas.

Application of Visual Communication in Today's Market

Visual Communication is most obvious in product advertising and corporate design. Most Visual Communications careers are high-tech, requiring knowledge of advanced graphics programs, computer programming and web design. The field is pertinent for many occupations, from executives of advertising companies to illustrators of children's books. Wherever we look Visual Communications is ever present, shaping our perceptions, interpretations and opinions

Visual Communications Bachelor's Degree

The blending of art and technology opens limitless possibilities for creativity. A Visual Communications Bachelor's Degree would offer the first steps to realizing such a marriage.

Degree Overview for a Visual Communications Bachelor's Degree

For anyone with artistic ability and an interest in technology, a Visual Communications bachelor's degree would be one to pursue. This degree covers different types of art, graphic designs, and multimedia technologies. Mass communication through the visual arts and technology would be the focus and a four-year degree would provide the background and necessary hands-on experience to enter a career where this training would be needed.

Career Possibilities for a Visual Communications Bachelor's Degree

Along with core college classes, a Visual Communications bachelor's degree offers the graduate a broad career path in both the arts and technology. In order to find employment in this highly specialized field, a four-year degree is almost a must. Not only are you prepared for the artistic design technology demands in the field, but you are versed in the business and marketing component through an apprenticeship. All of these elements constitute a solid background to bring to a career.

With a Visual Communications bachelor's degree, salary expectations can range from $50,000 to $90,000 depending on the area of complexity of the designing job and the level of expertise.

Few areas today are without graphics and/or visual components. The demand for visuals is everywhere from business to industry to education. The need for people in the field of graphic designing, website designing, and visual media communications is growing rapidly. Someone with a Visual Communications bachelor's degree would be prepared for a very fruitful and creative career where artistic talents combined with the latest technology can produce memorable and exciting visions for the future.

Specifics for a Visual Communications Bachelor's Degree

Since both art and technology are a part of this degree, the courses for a Visual Communications bachelor's degree reflect studies in both areas. Some of the courses may include Graphic Arts, Publishing, Programming, Animation, Web Designing,

Advertising, Digital Photography, and Typography.

Along with the advancement of natural artistic creativity, the technology skills to translate artistic images into high definition designs would be developed. Some of the skills attained with a Visual Communications bachelor's degree may include Web designing skills, Graphics and Text to Media Skills, Computer Graphics skills,

and advertising designing skills.

What Are the Core Courses for a Visual Communications Degree Program?

While Visual Communication degree programs vary between colleges, certain Core Courses are the same in all programs. These include courses in typography, graphic design, illustration and drawing.


A basic typography course introduces the student to the aesthetic importance of typeface in Visual Communications. Students study the functionality of different typographies, learning what styles to apply in different applications. An introductory course includes basic technology programs and applications that produce different typographies. A more advanced typography course examines integration of typography with other graphic elements and introduces three-dimensional design.

Graphic Design

An introductory graphic design course demonstrates the use of different types of images, whether photographs, computer designs, text or other images. Students learn to combine images to create a cohesive piece of art. A more advanced graphic design course includes page layouts, chromatics and interface design used in digital graphic design for Visual Communications.


An illustration course employs different mediums, such as photos, paintings and drawings to represent a specific idea. This may include a narrative, a newspaper article, a poem or an advertisement. Visual Communications uses illustrations to link the visual to a specific message, to display technical information, to add subtle ideas to a text or to add an emotional element to another form of communication.


The foundations of drawing teach students various methods of drawing, such as pencils, charcoals and pastels. Students explore different types of subjects, from still life to active scenes. A basic course examines how to create different expressions. More advanced courses focus on different types of expressions, such as a life drawing and the human figure.

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