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Visual Communication

Last updated date: 25th Feb 2024
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What is Visual Communication?

There are many ways to convey ideas or statistics of business. Different people respond to different forms of stimuli with varying degrees of success. In terms of a presentation, many people focus more on the states represented visually as opposed to the presenter’s actual words. Communication is a process in which we share information across people or from one point to another point. There are different ways through which we can communicate like verbal, non-verbal based on using words and written communication where we write the information and finally visual communication. Visual communication is a process in which we use images, sketches, drawings, paintings, videos, GIFs, flowcharts and diagrams etc, to communicate information. Visual communication is something most people are used to. With the right tools, it is possible to display a larger volume of information in a way that most people can reference and understand. Tools like pie charts, bar graphs and other diagrams are commonly used because of their simplicity and ability to convey complex data in a simplified form that is more palatable to most. So we’ll be talking about visual communication, meaning the method of communicating information using visual tools.


Importance of Visual Communication 

So, what is Viscom or Visual Communication? One can define visual communication as the practice of visually representing information in a way that can be effectively understood. Visual communication can be interactive with different types of motion and transitions incorporated to add to the aesthetic value and the overall “smoothness” of the presentation. While presentations are often referenced here, they are not the only form of visual communication available. One will find that any image, video or other representation that conveys some specific information can be viewed as a form of visual communication. 

There are many types of visual communication: A simple chart or graph can be generated using data provided on a spreadsheet and this is usually available on any competent presentation software. Trends or behaviour are often easily tracked when data is viewed in such a form. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of visual communication is also important as one proceeds to make full use of the same while also avoiding the disadvantages of visual communication. These many forms of visual communication, each have their optimal operating conditions based on the data on hand. Some Visual communications examples would be a line graph that helps track profits and a pie chart depicting the percentage of employees in each department.

In the history of visual communication, it has been used to convey carefully collated data with well-plotted graphs. The fact that it is used extensively even today is a testament to its efficiency. 


Advantages of Visual Communication 

  • Visual communication is a lot easier on the eyes and the mind as words tend to be tiring to process after a certain point of time. Visual communication not only gets the point across to a larger group but can also do so in much less time even when visual communication is only used to supplement a verbal portion of a presentation. 

  • Visual communication is a much easier way to track growth in numbers as it will be much easier to understand the scale of a graph rather than a string of numbers written down or narrated verbally.

  • Visual communication requires less mental resources to process, allowing for more mental energy to be diverted to a discussion of the information presented rather than wasting energy and time to absorb information from a string of words/letters/numbers. It is a lot easier to review the results of any project and how to proceed with said results. 

  • Visual communication increases the aesthetic value of any presentation. It becomes easy to see and even easier to understand. Adding additional effects like multiple colour codes will make it easier to differentiate different streams of data in a way that won’t overwhelm those who view it. Visual communication bypasses the standard absorption limits of the human brain to convey information.


Application of Visual Communication in Daily Life:

  • The writers and editors of the newspapers use photos shot at the incident or related to the concept which they publish that is a part of visual communication. This is done to give a better view of the concept to the reader.

  • We see cartoons in newspapers, websites and magazines. These are used to briefly explain an incident, especially political information.

  • Visual communication tools are used in presentations, business meetings to compare the trend across time. They are used to represent their profits, losses, turnovers, employee performance, budget estimates etc simply and also help in saving a lot of time. 

  • Whiteboard animation is one such tool where the explainer uses an animation video to aid his explanation through verbal communication. It helps people who do not want to show their face but want to engage the audience for a longer period. Many youtube videos these days are using this tool to attract the audience.

  • Online learning websites are using visual communication tools to explain the concepts to the students in a better and interactive way. 

FAQs on Visual Communication

1. Are there any drawbacks or limitations to visual communication?

While visual communication is an effective way to communicate larger quantities of information, it also has limits on exactly how much information can be displayed at once. Given that information is usually displayed along a scale, it may be possible for abnormally large or infinitesimally small values will not be properly accommodated within the larger picture. For example, a graph representing a handful of values from 0-10 will be difficult to make if some of the values were too high. Apart from this, it is also possible for the mind to be overloaded by visual communication.

2. Can visual communication be accompanied by other forms of communication?

In an ideal world, visual communication would be the best and only way to convey information. However, a verbal presentation with attractive visual communication aids is also a preferred method of conveying data. While visual communication is a great way to present something, it should also be noted that there are many cases where assisting audio will also allow for easier understanding or in some cases can provide a form of emphasis.

3. How does one choose different types of visual communication?

Many types of visual communication are all capable of collating and representing specific types of data. For example, a pie chart is a great way to represent parts of a whole (like % of the population) and can be used to compare the parts of a single system with one another. Other tools like multi-toned line graphs are used to compare different systems on a single scale (for example, the budgets spent by multiple departments can be measured this way). While the same data can be displayed with multiple types of visual communication, it all comes down to how it is best represented along with personal preference.

4. What is visual communication and how is it different from other forms of communication?

Communication is the transfer of information from a person to another person or from one point to another point. It is of different types like written, verbal, visual, verbal and non-verbal communication. Visual communication is a process of conveying information from a person to person or from point to point with the help of pictures, diagrams, graphs, paintings, graphs, sketches, videos etc. This form of communication is very effective in retaining the information that we gather. Generally, this form of communication is accompanied by other forms like verbal, written etc, for better understanding. In the case of written communication, a lot of effort is taken to write, edit and publish or print the information but in the case of visual communication, the entire info can be converted and re[resented through a simple graph or a chart. The scope to make other types of communication colourful and attractive is less whereas there is a broader scope for this in the case of visual communication. Verbal communication might turn monotonous and the listener might get bored. But in the case of visual communication, this error is reduced multiple times. Non-verbal communication might raise misunderstandings but there is no such doubt in the case of visual communications.

5. What are the applications of visual communications in real life?

Visual communication is a subtype of communication in which we use pictures, videos, sketches, images, flow charts, diagrams etc, to represent a concept or communicate anything to a person or send the information across different points. This type of communication has many advantages compared to other types of communication and hence, is preferred by many people.

Following are some of the applications of visual communication in our daily life:

  • The recent application of visual communication is GIF format. This seems like a moving image and a much closer and shorter version of a video. These can be used in between your content to break the monotony of written communication.

  • When the technical information is expressed in a visual communication format, it seems to be precise and also easy to understand. 

  • Whiteboard animation is also a type of visual communication in which the explainer’s audio is aided by some kind of animated video. This format helps people who do not want to show their video but also want to engage the audience for a longer period. 

  • Visual communication is also used in newspapers to add to the written text and give a better view of the situation. 

  • It is also used in the form of graphs, flow charts in the business meetings to explain their profit, loss, turnover etc, and compare them across the years.

  • Flowcharts are something that helps us understand a process in a simple way precisely. They can be easily customised according to one’s taste and require the least effort to make one.