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How to Use and Make the Most Out of Visual Communication

When you think of a popular brand, the first thing you’ll think of is likely a symbol or some other imagery, such as McDonald’s golden arches, Nike’s iconic “swoosh,” and Apple’s bitten apple. Visuals are an inherently powerful tool when you want your brand to make a lasting impression on your audience.

As such, visual communication, or the art of using images, videos, and other visual elements to broadcast a message, is extremely important to any business or organisation. Whether it’s for internal communications or a marketing campaign, any marketing department should understand how to best use visuals to connect with their audience. In this article, you will learn about the definition and types of visual communication, why exactly it’s important, visual communications examples in a marketing strategy, and tips for making good-looking visuals.

What Is Visual Communication?

To begin with, what exactly is visual communication? It refers to the practice of using various graphical elements in order to clearly convey a certain message. This message can have different intended effects, such as evoking emotion, sharing information, or inspiring someone to buy a product. Even something as innocuous as colours or fonts or shapes have an impact on the audience, and it’s up to you to utilise them in a way that best represents the information you’re trying to convey.

Effective visual communication is half communication and half graphic design — it needs to be both informative and visually appealing. When done right, you’ll be able to get your message across in a clear and concise manner, with less of the misunderstanding that text-only formats invite.

Types of Visual Communication

Visual communication is integral to how we interact online, so you’re probably familiar with using most of these graphical elements already, even if you’re not explicitly aware that you’re doing it. Here are the most common types of visual communication:


The most straightforward type — adding images to your content. Just imagine your textbooks as a child. Would you rather read the one that had entire pages of boring text, or the one that included various pictures? For an additional example, imagine helping your friend troubleshoot something on their device. It would be infinitely easier if they sent screenshots of what they were working with instead of relying purely on descriptions.


GIFs are images in motion, and you usually see them used on informal channels like social media, internet forums, and blogs. They’re mainly associated with memes but can also be utilised for other purposes, like education or marketing.


Illustrations are drawn by hand, either on a traditional or digital medium. They offer designers a wide range of creative freedom and exude a very personal charm. Some companies use them in order to humanise their brands and make them feel more down-to-earth.


Infographics are a blend of easy-to-understand graphics and short snippets of text. They’re useful for helping audiences understand complex concepts or graphics. For example, a beer brewery onboarding new employees could create an infographic of their process to help the new employees familiarise themselves with it faster.

Data Visualisations

Pie charts, bar charts, line graphs, scatter plots, and more — these all fall under data visualisations, which are representations of hard numbers. This makes the data easier to digest for the audience, which is why people include them in other formats like infographics, slide decks, motion graphics, etc.


Videos are inherently engaging so it’s no surprise that they’re consumers’ favourite form of content to see from a brand. With platforms like YouTube and TikTok holding the attention of millions of people around the world, videos have proven themselves as an effective way to share information on a diverse range of topics — anything and everything from how to cleanly gut a fish to how to install artificial turf on your yard.


Animations are a combination of the creativity of illustration and the entertainment value of video — they’re moving illustrations you can use to connect with audiences, whether young or old. You can use them to educate people about a topic, present new products, or just garner some attention.

Why Is Visual Communication Important?

In today’s fast-paced world, attention spans are getting shorter and shorter every year. This presents a problem to marketers all over the world — how exactly do you make the most of the limited attention a potential consumer is willing to give you? This is where visual communication comes in. Here are five reasons why visual communication should matter to you.

Allows You To Relay Messages Faster

The brain processes visuals up to 600 times faster than text — that’s extremely useful when you’re trying to reach consumers that can only spare a few seconds at most. If you’re paying for ads on social media, getting your point across in less time can help you save time and money. Even if you have long-form content like a blog post, readers that are just scanning can still get a good idea of what you’re saying if you add visuals throughout.

Helps Your Audience Clearly Understand Your Message

Even when you try to write as clearly as possible, there’s always a possibility that your message will be lost on the readers. Visuals help simplify your message without cutting out essential information while also being entertaining and engaging.

Helps Store Information Longer

When you’re marketing to new customers, you want them to remember your brand. The brain recalls visuals more easily than plain text, so you’ll be able to make a longer-lasting impression on your customers with a strong graphic and tagline rather than a tagline on its lonesome.

Stimulates Your Audience’s Emotions

While no one disputes the emotional effect of a well-written novel, visual cues are actually intrinsically linked to our emotional processing. This makes visual stimuli very effective at eliciting emotional responses in your audience and prompting them to take action — just imagine seeing an ad for a juicy burger when you’re idly scrolling through a newsfeed. You’ll likely be motivated to buy one for yourself sooner rather than later.

Provides a Consistent Experience of Your Brand

Remember the earlier examples? When you think of popular brands, you have a clear image of their branding — that’s the result of effective visual communication. Logos, fonts, colours, icons, imagery, and other graphics, alongside voice and tone, all contribute to making your brand recognisable. A consistent brand image is integral to building brand awareness.

How To Implement Visual Communication in a Marketing Strategy

Most marketers nowadays wouldn’t dream of launching a marketing strategy without visuals. Confining yourself to text is a surefire way to fall short of your goals. Marketing strategies will differ from one business to another, so there’s no objectively “best” way to implement visual communication in your marketing strategy. It depends heavily on your audience and your goals. That being said, here are three visual communications examples from different sectors.

Data Visualisation and Storytelling: Charity Organisations

Charities depend heavily on the goodwill of donors, which is why their marketing campaigns are designed to build awareness about what they do and garner support for their cause. To this end, the most effective tools in their arsenal are data visualisations, photos, and videos of their impact on communities. This helps them establish their credibility and gain the trust of their audience. They can send statistical infographics or impact reports to their supporters and share informational brochures, posters, or videos with the general public.

Music Videos: Musical Artists

When artists release a new album, music videos are a massive boost to their reach — they draw in audiences with both music and visuals. Utilising the video, along with other additional elements like pictures or illustrations, to tell the story of the audio helps listeners understand the message of the song. It’s evident that they create a lasting impression, with several of the most-viewed videos on YouTube being music videos.

Simple Infographics: Healthcare

The healthcare industry deals with a lot of technical information that can fly over the head of the layman. However, the layman must understand this information regardless, and visual communication is what helps bridge the gap. Using plain language in combination with simple iconography allows audiences to understand confusing yet critical information. You don’t have to look any further than the COVID-19 pandemic — many public health units released informative factsheets and instructional videos on recommended health protocols and guidelines.

Tips on How To Make Good-Looking Visuals

If your marketing department already has a robust talent pool for graphic design, this might not be a concern for you. However, trends are always changing — the types and formats you’re used to may one day be no longer as effective as they once were. In order to always keep on top of the game and create good-looking visuals, here are some tips you can follow.

Know Your Audience

No matter what, you always need to keep your audience at the forefront of your mind. You need to tailor your marketing efforts to their needs, preferences, and motivations — otherwise, you’ll be shouting into the wind. Knowing the types of visual communication your customers respond favourably to is the first step of creating good visuals. For example, TikTok is massively popular among Gen Z consumers because it offers them boundless entertainment — you’ll have to create content that focuses on authenticity and entertainment if you want to get in their good graces.

Don't Be Afraid To Reuse Assets

A consistent image is important for any brand trying to interact with its customers and the easiest way to do that is actually just reusing graphical assets and designs. This not only creates a consistent, cohesive image, it also saves you a lot of time. You can stick to one set of fonts and colours, use the same style of symbols and icons, and use the same header and footer when you’re creating infographics, reports, or newsletters. You can also repurpose old projects by tweaking them or adding content to create new visuals.

Simplify Technical Information

Always remember that you’re using visuals to simplify information, not to cram as much as you can into as small a space as possible. If you’re not a graphic designer, trying to determine how to best transform written or technical information into a visual can be confusing, but you can always err on the side of simplicity. Even if you feel like your visual is plain and “boring,” it will be more effective at imparting information compared to an overly cluttered one. Don’t overshadow the message you’re trying to express by being too fixated on out-of-the-box graphic elements. Here are some ways you can use visuals to simplify information:

  • Use data visualisation when you’re trying to express impact or effect
  • Use colours, fonts, or shapes to highlight important information
  • Use icons or symbols to make information easier to remember

Value Quality Over Quantity

When you recognize how important visuals and graphics are to your marketing strategy, it can be tempting to keep producing them en-masse. However, the old adage “quality over quantity” applies here too — you want to ensure that the content you produce always elevates your brand and leaves a good impression on your customers, fellow employees, and stakeholders alike. Quality is critical to the success of your visual communication efforts, even more so than creativity. At the very least, you should dedicate some time to looking up what software and techniques the top competitors in your industry use. If you already have a clear brand identity and buyer persona, outsourcing production to digital marketing agencies is also a great method for ensuring the professionalism of your content.

Key Takeaways

Centuries ago, the limitations to printing and distribution made text the most convenient medium for communicating with people. However, in the 21st century, we have instant access to millions of pictures, videos, and other visuals to supplement our communication. Make the most out of it by implementing the best practices of visual communication in both your day-to-day life and your marketing activities. You don’t even need formal graphic design training or expensive software — you just need to keep in mind that you’re trying to make “boring” information simple and engaging while maintaining a consistent image of your brand.

Book a demo with us at DALIM SOFTWARE today to learn more about how we can help you elevate your content marketing operations with our experience in graphic arts and collaborative software.

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