Visual messages surround us everyday. We watch real and fictional stories on television, we view advertisements in magazines and on billboards and we review charts, graphs and tables in books. We consider photographs that we want to display around our home, and we design visual aides to accompany our presentations at work.
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Throughout all of these activities, we engage with and use visual communication to send and receive messages. Even though verbal communication, the ability to communicate messages through language, is often viewed as a more important or a more central type of communication, visual communication has many benefits and advantages in both personal and professional situations.
One of the primary benefits of visual communication over verbal is immediacy. Whether you are seeking to communicate complex information, such as with statistical information, or seeking to emphasize the importance of an idea, visual communication can often accomplish these tasks much more quickly than verbal communication.
For example, if you are seeking to illustrate decreased sales for a specific product line, you can show that information through a graph or chart and communicate the necessary information to your audience almost instantaneously. The immediacy of visual communication also allows for easy visual comparison of two or more items and the illustration of a new product line or business development. Visual communication can bring a thing, location and even idea to life in dynamic ways.
Another advantage to visual communication is simplicity. For example, if you seek to give driving directions to a friend, you may find it easier and even quicker to draw a visual map. Often, visual communication can simplify the information or ideas that you are seeking to pass on to another person or group of people. If you work as an engineer, you will often use diagrams along with written instructions to illustrate how a product or item works with simplicity and clarity. Visual communication can also demonstrate the relationship between two entities or ideas in accessible ways. The internal structure of an organization, for example, may be the most clearly communicated and understood through an organizational chart.
Visual communication can also be more flexible in many ways than verbal communication. For example, if you are seeking to communicate a marketing or advertising message to hundreds or thousands of people across diverse geographic areas, visual messages will often allow you to do so with more flexibility than verbal ones. Visual communication not only can bridge geographic distance, it also can span cultural differences.
If you are seeking to appeal to a broad demographic audience, such as a television or cable audience, visual images may allow you to reach more people with your message. For example, if you want to promote a new vacation destination, appealing visual images will often be more persuasive than verbal sales pitches.
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Visual Communication could be described as processes that rely primarily on rich visual content as the means of conveying information through words, photos, colors, shapes, and many other components. However, visual communication explores the use of graphical components in achieving communication goals. Visual communication has both critical and practical parts. According to the current book we use in the class “Visual Communication, Images with Messages”, the critical part of visual communication is known as visual rhetoric, which explores the way that designers use visual elements to influence audiences.
Visual communication becomes increasingly important as computers, television, and film become the primary media of communication. Each of these is primarily a visual medium, in which messages are communicated through pictures. Words support the communication of those images.
My idea of visual communication is the process of providing pictorial and written information to an intended audience. Visual communication is a "process," that is problem-solving nature. The concept of Visual communication includes other types of communications beyond printed matter. Visual communication can be achieved through use of color, shapes and images.
In today’s society, there is a strong indication that the status of images is improving. We live in a mediated blitz world of images. They fill our newspapers, magazines, books, clothes, billboards, computer monitors and television screens as never before in the history of mass communication. We are becoming a visually mediated society. For many, understanding of the world is being accomplished, not through reading words, but by reading images. Ever since I became a Mass Communication major, I noticed that the television culture is replacing words as the important factor in social communication. Words will be reserved for only bureaucratic transactions through business forms and in books that will only be read by a few individuals. Reading is losing to watching because viewing requires little mental processing. Visual communication has the ability to convey messages, but this “language” means nothing to those who can only read words and not images.
Visual communication can be seen from a semiotic approach. The semiotic approach to visual communication stresses the idea that images are a collection of signs that are linked together in some way by the viewer. The study of semiotics divides itself into three areas: pragmatics, semantics and syntactic. Pragmatics is the study of the origin, common uses and communicative effects of signs. Semantics is an area of semiotics in which the researchers attempt to determine the significance of signs within and throughout various cultures.
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Mass Communication Important Factor Transactions Photos Shapes Printed Designers Clothes Components Messages
Syntactic is the study of the ways signs are combined with each other to form complex messages.
Individual symbols within a picture don’t have a precise alphabetic relationship, but when used in combination, meaning is found for an image through a traditional method.
Whether pictures are not a language because it is not easily definable, I think that images are a collection of signs and as such, become a language when read in the mind. When words and images have equal status within all media of communication, the cultural means that define a society will not only be more efficiently passed from one generation to the next, but within this generation, here and now, diverse cultures will be able to understand each other a little better. However, whether we want to admit it or not, visual communication will always be seen as images that are remembered by thinking about them in words.