Does your start-up use all of the communications tools available to support your brand and marketing strategy? Strategic use of visual communications is increasingly important in today’s fast-paced, digital-centric era. As humans, we are hard-wired to process visual information accurately and quickly, so it makes sense to rely on visual tools to get your message across. To understand the power of visual communications, let’s look at what it includes and how it can help you achieve your business growth goals.
What Is Visual Communications?
Visual communication is the ability to create visual content that delivers information in an easy-to-digest, accurate, compelling way. A designer experienced in visual communication uses a variety of elements to develop a narrative and seeks communication solutions that transcend mere words.
Designers become storytellers. Through graphic forms, formats, and mediums, visual communication is used to best convey the brand story to the intended audience. The goal is to design to inform, educate, persuade, and even entertain your target audience—designers design with purpose, not just to look pretty. Content plays an important role. As a visual communication designer, my goal is to decipher content down to the message’s core and create the best visual solution. Visual communications includes but is not limited to:
Graphic design is a visually driven medium in which various design elements are combined to create a tangible item, for example, marketing collateral, a brand identity, a responsive website, etc. A single piece of graphic design often aims to achieve a cohesive aesthetic by following industry best practices and creating a particular mood or tone while still respecting a company’s brand and marketing strategy.
Repurpose content by borrowing from sections, highlighting graphs, capturing call-outs and quotes and turn them into great social media material.
Data visualization is a visual representation of data and numbers. Charts or graphs are the most common executions, still, they are very limited in conveying a complex message or story without added context to describe what the graphic represents.
Motion graphics are an excellent example for explaining information or promoting products for they rely on a multi-sensory approach to capture an emotional response from the viewer.
Infographics tell a story using facts, data, and visuals. They work in digital and print formats and are an excellent tool for presenting a clear data- or fact-based message. In essence, data visualization helps make complex data relevant, accessible, and memorable.
When designing graphs or charts, think a bit differently. These two examples are an execution designed from a table of data. By adding a graphic that supports the data, the data is easier to visually digest and fun to view.
How Do Visual Communications Support Business Growth?
Visual communications executed in accordance with a clear marketing strategy are a powerful force for business growth. According to E-Learning and the Science of Instruction by Dr. Ruth Colvin Clark and Dr. Richard E. Mayer, text combined with graphic elements improves reading comprehension by as much as 89 percent compared to text alone. We are hard-wired to process visual information quickly and accurately. Visual communications significantly impact brand marketing strategies by empowering start-ups to communicate with their target audiences in a clear, compelling way that feels natural to those audiences.
Do you have a long form report or a blog post full of stats and data? An infographic is the best way to capture the highlights and show in a visual way.
A Few Helpful Tips
Effective visual communications express complex information with multiple layers of meaning. By distilling text into the most concentrated version of itself, visual communications deliver. Here are a few tips to follow when thinking about visual communications:
- Follow a visual-first approach. Visuals must deliver as much meaning as the copy — or more. People digest and comprehend visuals 89% faster and more effectively than reading copy alone.
- Deliver a defined tone to an audience. From stroke weight to visual style, visuals combine aesthetic choices, movement, and information to tell a unified story. Creating a library of custom iconography ensures that your brand is never confused with the competition.
- Reinforce a brand’s visual strategy. With thoughtful and strategic color, illustration, and typographic choices, visuals drive your company’s message and goals forward.
- Create Visual that the Audience will Retain. Retention of information is ultimately the goal for any brand. Major brands are known for the visuals they create to support their brand and is a significant part of their marketing strategy. As a start-up, your goal is to create visuals that your ideal audience can easily recall.
Are You Ready to Incorporate Visual Communications into Your Marketing Strategy?
When visual communications are applied appropriately, it can be transformative. That is why visual communications should be a crucial part of your marketing strategy. According to Venngage, when marketers were asked which types of visuals helped them achieve their marketing goals in 2020, 40.8% said that original, custom visual content such as illustrations and infographics outperformed video, presentations, charts, stock photography, and white papers or ebooks.
Visual communications drive your brand’s unique message. By working with a designer who is an expert in visual communications, you will find a visual solution to support any content your marketing plan requires. If you’re ready to incorporate visual communications into your marketing strategy, schedule a 30-minute consultation.
About the Author: Jillfrances Gray
I am a creative director and designer with 20+ years of experience helping clients innovate and execute their marketing initiatives. Services include brand strategy, brand identity, website design, graphic design, social media marketing, and email marketing. I am obsessively detailed oriented and have a passion for solid, stunning aesthetics. Plus, I’ve been told I am a lot of fun to work with.