Visual Communication Essay Example


Visual Communication


Visual communication can be defined as the process of using pictures and text to convey a message. According to Bergstrom (2008) visual communication is the transfer of information through imagery and symbols through pictures and texts. Thus, visual communication relies on the sense of sight to interpret and perceive a picture, chart or symbol. Visual communication assists an individual to communicate a message by expressing themselves to their target audience. The target audience is the intended group of people that a message is directed to. Audience characteristics determine what kind of visual elements are used in communicating. For instance, simple visual elements such as; pictures and symbols are used as a means to provoke the human mind to perceive the intended message. Hence designs adopt the use of visual concepts for the purpose of effective visual communication to the targeted audience (Bergstrom, 2008).

The design technique adopted for the power point presentation is a simple design. Different elements and content in the design are well balanced to create a connection that enables the audience to understand the design. According to Arntson (1998) the interaction of pictures and text on a screen should be adequate and intentional to elicit a clearly defined relationship between the content for the audience. The ideas incorporated in the slides are inspired by Gestalt qualities. Gestalt qualities propose that the meaning of a whole design cannot be defined by combining its isolated components (Mullet and Sano, 1995).

Gestalt theories elaborate that visual perception is stimulated by the combination of various sensations. Sensual stimuli incorporate the different features of pictures, charts and symbols such as color, depth, form and movement as a way to fully interpret the meaning of a design Lester (2013).Gestalt theory puts emphasis on concentrating on the various features of an image that appear first in order to internalize its meaning.The visual perception of an individual is determined by the interaction and arrangement of different features that are focused to form a whole object. The arrangement of texts and shapes on the slides are placed in such a way that allows them to interact with each other to give meaning. Thus, the meaning of visual communication is influenced by context (Bergstrom, 2008).

For the purpose of simplicity, each slide only contained essential elements allowing the audience to only pay attention to the information that is important. The main aim of using the element of simplicity is to communicate to the audience the intended message in the simplest visual form. For instance, during visual perception, the human brain is active and attempts to understand the stimulus; thus simplicity works as a design element that allows a person to make sense of a message even if its complex. Gestalt psychologists mention that, “Any stimulus pattern tends to be seen as a structure as simple as conditions permit” (Rudolf, 1974). Evidently, the human brain is curious to understand a concept of what is visualized hence it searches for the simplest way to denote its meaning.

According to Bergstrom (2008) the main purpose of a visual design is to cut across any communication barriers by embracing the use of few visual components. The design in each of the slides includes minimal texts and diagrams that communicate to the audience some form of information. For instance the first slide titled ‘About’ uses one personal picture and a few words to explain the subject (myself) and introduce the audience to what the presentation is about. Additionally, the second slide titled ‘Interested’ uses pictures as a way to provide a brief overview of my interests and hobbies. Each picture in this particular slide informs the audience about a part of my life. The concept of perceptual organization has been maximized in the presentation of the slides. The content in each slide has been arranged and grouped into meaningful content to assist the audience in understanding the different messages communicated visually.

The principle of closure has been effectively used as a technique that enhances simplicity in the presentation. Rudolf (1974) states that, closure is the ability of the human brain to disclose hidden information in a visual concept by accurately perceiving the missing part. Minimal information has been communicated through the visual concepts which assists in eliminating any unnecessary information and instead focus on the important ones. Closure is a vital tool in perceptual organization since it allows the designer to focus on the aim of his/her visual design by making it as simple as possible for the audience to understand Rudolf (1974). The visual design in the presentation use charts and shapes to describe the subject’s interests, talents and hobbies that make up the subject. Visual patterns act as visual elements that group content for effective visual communication Bergstrom (2008).

Additionally, aesthetics is used to effectively address the emotional and functional aspects of the design. Rudolf (1974) suggests that aesthetics emphasize on a visual design by evoking emotional and psychological feelings that a design presents. Illustrations using color, visual shapes and objects are subtle thus do not add any extra elements to the power point presentation design. Aesthetics focus on the content and function of the design hence is inseparable from the message communicated. Bergstrom (2008) argues that an effective visual communication design diffuses the tension between aesthetics and functionality. This is because a good design precisely works within the rules that define functionality in visual communication.


The use of different shapes and pictures, interact with each other to provide elaborate information about myself. The charts and personal pictures used create a connection that enables the audience in having detailed information about me by just looking and interpreting the images. The human brain strives to use texts and symbols to effectively interpret a message in the simplest way possible. Color, depth and form are well balanced out throughout the slides as the basic aspects of the presentation that assist the human brain to internalize the images. Lester (2013) mentions that, visual communication simplifies the ideas or information that a design tries to communicate to its audience. Therefore the technique implemented in this power point presentation is sufficient to assist the audience to visually understand the message communicated without necessarily incorporating verbal communication.


Arntson, E. (1998). Graphic Design Basics. Orlando, Florida: Harcourt Brace College Publishers.

Bergstrom, B. (2008). Essentials of Visual Communication. Laurence King Publisher

Lester, M.P. (2013). Visual Communication: Images with Messages. Wadsworth Publishing

Mullet, K. and Sano, D. (1995). Designing Visual Interfaces.Mountain View, California, SunSoft Press: Prentice Hall Title.

Rudolf A. (1974). Art and Visual Perception. Berkley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press.