Unit 4 - Visual Communication

What is Visual Communication?

Visual communication is achieved through the use of visual aids. It becomes ineffective with the absence of vision. You must be able to see the image in order to communicate and respond to them. It generally refers to 2D images such as typography, graphic design and advertising images. Visual art/communication has been created since the beginning of human history. It can be traced back to the Paleolithic ages (cave paintings) right through history to present day.

Visual communication is effect because images are processed in our brains a lot quicker than words because they are simultaneous and words are sequential. The use of visual aids enhances the power of a speech or presentation as they engage the viewer.

Colour plays a large part in visual communication. The use of colour to present a message can be very effective. Although different cultures have different interpretations of colour, the majority is clear.

The meaning behind an image can be changed and manipulated depending on the setting in which the image is viewed. Music, colour and setting can lighten or darken the mood and message surrounding the image.

Perspective can also alter an images message. Depending on what perspective you take on an image will depend on its individual message to you.

Types of Visual Communication

Although we associate visual communication with an image, probably photographic or drawn. This is not always the case, it does not have to be a drawing, painting or photograph, a visual communication can be presented in any 2D form including a map, chart or symbol.


Infographics present data and knowledge in a creative way intended to present information quickly and clearly. They utilizing graphics to enhance the human visual system.  They have evolved over the years and quickly become popular in social media as a way to share knowledge,

Symobols & Icons

A symbol is an object that represents an idea or belief.  For example, a red octagon may be a symbol for "STOP". On a map, a picture of a tent might represent a campsite. A red rose symbolizes love and compassion. These images are often universal and have one sole meaning for each symbol/icon.


Maps show elements of space such as objects and regions.

Visual Communication Artists

Patrick Welham

Patrick is an illustrator based in Penzance, Cornwall. His predominantly digital images are inspired by Celtic knotwork and Scandinavian folk-art. He has an ability to illustrate an abundance of scenes within one image. His images are intricate and detailed and are often used in advertising.

Noma Bar

Noma is an Israel-born graphic designer, illustrator and artist. Noma's use of block colours in his work can be traced back to constructivist propaganda and art-deco. He has also followed in his hero's footsteps, Paul Rand.

He has perfected his style and his images are often representative of illusion illustration. The simplicity of Noma's images is used effectively to narrate the message of the piece.

My Work

Colour Project

In my first term I was given a colour to research and to create a piece of artwork to represent the colour. My chosen colour was Processed Magenta.

For my piece related to my assigned colour, I decided to do a simple picture consisting of feminine figures in magenta on top of a black and white background.

The colour magenta is often associated with femininity and also anti-racism. This was my influence for my painting.

The black and white sections to represent the divide an segregation but equally coloured women in each section to represent equality and anti-racism.

WWF Poster - Alexander Rodchenko

These posters are advertisements for the WWF (World Wide Fund). They were created in order to raise money and help the panda population. These images are all made digitally and are very direct in the message in which they communicate.

Poster 1)  This image can clearly be identified as a constructivsm poster. I think it is direct, bold and the colours are very attention grabbing. I enjoyed making this poster and my photoshop skills have improved in the process of making it. The fonts are very typical of a Russian poster. The composition follows the rule of Z. Your eyes are drawn to the text and along to poster following the line down to the panda and then across the text towards the bottom. The burst in the middle of the poster appears as a cry for help from the panda.

Poster 2) My third poster was inspired by Paul Rand. His use of colour and simple lettering in his posters is very effective and eye catching. I have attempted to re-create his style using my Andy Warhol edited pandas. I chose to use colour pandas and combine them with the quote "Life Is Not Black and White" in an attempt to evoke emotion through the use of colour.

Poster 3) I also created a purely black and white poster inspired by Bauhaus design. The poster is a split page of black and white, with panda ears on each section. I have simply chose to put the words "Save Me" in the centre as I wanted to keep the text minimal on this one. This image is also reflective of the Chinese Ying Yang symbol.

Infographic Portrait

This image is a representation of me using text. Everything within this image is a personal thought, feeling or preference. I created this image to inform people of who I am inside.

I have chosen these specific colours for this portrait as they are conforming with the traditional design of infographics by using sectional pale/pastel colours there was however a hidden agenda to the placing of the colours. The flesh tone is obviously to represent the skin, the light pink and dark pink are representative of blusher and lipstick, the grey in my head/brain is illustrative of grey matter, the other colours were placed more randomly. 

I tried to make the infographic as easy as possible to read and understand. I think this type of self portrait is very direct and factual. The narrative behind this image is not open to any other interpretation from the information it is showing.

For more work relating to this unit please see:

Powerpoint for Unit 34  - For this unit I have created four book covers to the theme of thriller. All of these  images  were created to illustrate the thriller genre and various sub-genres. The development of each of these images is also recorded along with evaluations of each.