The Complete Graphic Designer
Visual communication combines speech, written lan-
guage, and imagery into messages that are aesthetically
pleasing, connect with the audience on intellectual
and emotional levels, and provide them with pertinent
information. When properly executed, graphic design
identifi es, informs, instructs, interprets, and even per-
suades viewers to do something. It is important that the
sender of a message and the receiver speak the same
visual language—in this manner, the designer acts as
the interpreter and translator of messages. Reducing the
amount of information that is visually portrayed creates
a more concise and clutter-free design—the goal for all
forms of communication.
Graphic Design Is
Visual Communication
For effective visual communication
to occur there must be a sender of
a message, typically a client, and a
receiver, such as the target audience.
The designer encodes visual messages
by translating the needs of the sender
into images and content that connect
with the receiver.
Sender Encoder Receiver
Business or
Business Goals
or Objectives
Although sometimes incorrectly
considered to be the fi rst known ex-
amples of art, cave and rock painting
were actually methods used by early
civilizations to communicate with
one another.
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Design for Communication
To design is to create order and to
function according to a plan.
—Sara Little Turnbull,
Stanford University Graduate School of Business
Design instructs viewers by making complicated
processes easy to understand. Illustrative diagrams
and detailed photography indicate the steps involved
in assembling items, while clear and concise content
reinforces the visual message.
Design: Satellite Design
Design aids in navigation. For its next-generation
global positioning satellite (GPS) products, Gar-
min’s technical engineers consulted with in-house
graphic designers to develop a new, easier to use
on-screen interface utilizing three-dimensional
views of streets and less cluttered screens.
Design: Garmin International
When executed poorly, design can create mass
confusion. The infamous “butterfl y ballot”
designed by the Florida Elections offi ce (instead
of a graphic designer) may have inadvertently
led people to vote for the wrong candidate. Not
only is the layout of the information confusing
at fi rst glance, the text is set in all caps and is
diffi cult to read.
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