Communication, does it have to be visual?

As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Visual communication conveys the same information as traditional forms of communication. But it does so in a way that resonates with most people.

You could state that visual communication is an overarching term for visual language and visual vocabulary.

I’ll speak about these two from a graphic recording perspective. Visual language is how we communicate using the combination of writing and drawings. Visual vocabulary uses drawings to communicate certain ideas.

When you combine visual language and vocabulary, you form a new means of communicating appealing to the eye. And just as with any other language, you can work on building up your vocabulary.

You might even discover a unique way of expressing yourself and connecting with others.

a picture is worth a thousand words

What is Visual Communication All About? 

To me, visual communication is how we can all use drawings and other simple graphic aids to get our ideas, thoughts, and other explanations out and onto paper. This can be a graphic recording, visual notes, presentations, sketch notes and digital drawings.

Think about it, at some point in your life, you must have caught yourself doodling away notes in class to make more sense of its content. This should come as no surprise! 

Research suggests colorful visuals increase our interest in content by 80%. Moreover, our brain processes these illustrations 60,000 times quicker than text!

On its own, text-heavy information cannot compare to the interactive experience pictures can. 

That should make you feel better about all the times you got into trouble for getting lost in a doodle. Communicating through imagery or videos can spark special moods, vibes, and feelings.


visual communication illustration

Communicate Easily

But there's more to visual communication than just putting points out there. It is a powerful tool for connecting with others and explaining complicated ideas. From personal experience, visually communicating can stir emotions, unlike words can.

So for anyone struggling to connect with information, it simplifies the process and helps them feel at ease.

Visual communication also allows us to engage with one another. This influences how we see others and feel about ourselves. The tool allows us to understand what other people are saying. It also encourages a simple way to display our feelings.

You can easily overcome problems like language barriers ensuring you can share a relatable message without confusion or miscommunication.

What Makes Visual Communication Such a Powerful Tool? 

The use of visuals ensures things are fresh, current, and exciting. Because human brains can process graphics easily, most people respond to visual communication instantly compared to text.

We can recognize images within only 13 milliseconds of seeing them. Thus, they play a vital role in our daily life. 

Visuals are superior to verbal communication because of their simplicity and viewable output. There are some concepts for which finding the right words can be tricky. In this case, visual communication paints a preplanned picture that helps better illustrate and break up information. 

Just consider cross-cultural communication. Visuals can eliminate the need for translation when you don't understand a foreign language. For example, do you notice how public signs include images when you travel abroad? This helps not just with sharing information but with our safety. 

For this reason, visual communication can bridge geographic and language barriers. People who could not interact can now do so with visual support.

visual communication and road signs

Connect Images with Meaning

You can also draw a connection between concepts and the words used to describe them through creative visualization. It relies on various elements to tell stories in different formats. This way, they reach a broad audience. 

Did you know that using visuals improves memory retention and connectivity? The part of our brain responsible for long-term memory stores visual information.

Putting aside the psychological implications of visual communication, they might be ineffective without a thorough, relevant, and strategic plan. Therefore, your graphics must be dynamic and appealing to be seen as impactful. 

happy lightbulb illustration

Examples of Visual Communication 

The term "visual communication" can be applied to any medium using visual assets to convey a message, explain, or activate feelings. 

  • Doodles 
  • Graphic recordings 
  • Sketches 
  • Sketch-notes 
  • Visual notes 
  • Presentations 
  • Slide decks 
  • Data visualization 
  • Infographics 
  • Films 
  • Graphs and much more

what do you call graphic recording

The Bottom Line 

You now have all the information you need on visual communication. I hope this highlights what makes it such an important tool. Making a material that reflects the value of your insight and value helps position you as an innovator.

A mountain of research supports the idea that visuals are essential to every successful strategy. This is because both the sender and the receiver benefit from visuals in their communication.

The best bit is, making these visuals doesn’t require formal training or exclusive resources. Taking a screenshot is a terrific example of a simple technique. So, you can jump right into visual communication without thinking twice.

Frequently, we all come in contact with visual communication, whether it is an emoji, sketchnote, or typography. Take your time as you explore the visual communication world, and find a medium that works for you in making things interesting!

Wanna chat with me about how visual communication strategics can make an impact at your next meeting or event. Reach out!

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