Imagine the Internet without YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, or Facebook. Better yet, envision the world without any graphics, images, symbols, or even color. Think of a fast – food menu with only words and prices. It probably does not sound very stimulating. Humans rely on visual aids to better understand the world. Visuals enhance the human experience by a large margin. In fact, humans communicate using nonverbal, visual communication through body language. Studies have shown that 55 percent of communication stems from body language, 38 percent from tone of voice, and 7 percent from the actual words spoken. Therefore, it only makes sense to incorporate visual aids in every aspect of daily life, especially in business. Communication through use of visual aids excites the perception filters of the intended audience, making it an effective tool in marketing. Nothing else comes close in the business world, not even radio broadcasts with repeated advertisements. Visuals make it happen.
What is Visual Communication?
Visual communication is the conveyance of messages through visual aids. Visual communication relies on vision to receive and process images. Visual aids may come in the form of advertising, animation, illustration, graphic design, typography, drawing, or industrial design. Visual communication takes place through graphs, charts, pictures, signs, signals, and symbols. A combination of these may create an expression unparalleled by words alone.
Visual communication explores the idea that a visual message combined with text or audio has greater power to educate and influence a person or audience. In fact, many marketing endeavors incorporate both verbal and nonverbal communication to help sell a product. Without visual communication, the world would rely on strictly words to get a message across. Thankfully, the world has evolved beyond plain text to colorful images that can be used to enhance information-sharing and marketing strategies.
Using Visual Communication In Business
In the world of business, communication plays a vital role in keeping an operation running smoothly. Many applications exist for visual communication in a business environment. Business managers may incorporate the use of infographics during their presentation to keep the attention of their staff. Sales staff may attempt to sell a product or service based on the visual aid of photographs in testimonials. A corporation may use enticing photographs to help sell their product. But incorporating visual aids may have a potential downside in business communication if used improperly. For instance, presenting irrelevant signs or symbols during a presentation may prove counterproductive for the promotion of an idea. Visual communication should attempt to clarify any misconceptions about the written or spoken word. It should never confuse the intended audience. Think clearly before adding visual aids in a marketing scheme.
The Benefits of Visual Communication In Business
Investing in visual communication has become the norm among businesses, mainly because it provides more benefits to the operation than downsides. Visual communication does help businesses save time and money, but that only covers a fraction of its many advantages. Visual communication encourages teamwork, increases productivity, and improves learning. With video conferencing systems, many people can make presentations from home. Not only does this save time, but it protects the environment from carbon emissions made during excessive travel.
Visual communication connects everyone through use of technology and innovation. Businesses can use visual aids during meetings to promote a broader understanding among those who attend. Visual aids may include whiteboards, posterboards, handouts, video excerpts, projection equipment, and computer-assisted presentations. All of these media-based technology systems help businesses to incorporate visual communication in the workplace. Visual communication can reach more than those interested in the business itself: It can reach the targeted consumer. Businesses can turn their retail or head office into a space that stands out from the crowd with visual aids. This may engage customers through advertisements, resulting in bigger profit margins. The benefits of visual communication in business are practically boundless.
Here are some more resources on visual communication in business:
- Six Theories of Visual Communication (PDF)
- Design Principles for Visual Communication
- Effectively Communicating With Visual Aids
- Visual Communication in the Natural World
- The Benefits of Visuals
- Effective Communication Through Infographics (PDF)
- Infographic: The History Of Visual Communication
- Visual Voices in Participatory Communication
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Visual Communication
- The Benefits of Visual Communication in Business Analysis
- The Business Case for Visual Communication