Visual Communication: What Does It Mean?


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“The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something. . . To see clearly is poetry, prophecy, and religion, all in one. ” ~ John Ruskin, Painter

Visual communication involves our eyes, heart, and mind. By the time we reach adulthood, we have millions of visual images stored in the dark recesses of our minds. Our memories serve us and ground us. Our minds reminiscence and recall visual messages during our waking and sleeping hours; which in turn, visual imagery form our thinking, attitudes, and personalities. Since visual messages are penetrating our hearts and souls, take a moment to learn what visual literacy and visual communication actually mean.

According to Google's online dictionary, *visual literacy* means:

"Visual literacy is the set of skills involved in the interpretation and criticism of images. It is a field of study in academia, drawing on art history and criticism, information design and graphic design, and computer interface usability. It is also a goal of education paralleling linguistic literacy. The basic skills of visual literacy include the vocabulary of concepts necessary for understanding and discussing images. "

Then again, according to Google's online dictionary, *visual communication* means:

"Visual communication is the communication of ideas through the visual display of information. Primarily associated with two dimensional images, it includes: alphanumerics, art, signs, and electronic resources. Recent research in the field has focused on web design and graphically oriented usability. "

Since the invention of television and the Internet, visual communication has bombarded the world. The average person is showing preference to learning and being entertained through visual media as opposed to printed material. No doubt about it, we are living in a visual world! (revised 2/15/2006)

Debbie Jensen, Graphic Designer and Photographer


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