The Basics of Visual Communication

Learn how to create effective graphic design assets, based on the basic principles of visual communication.

Brand Design
October 3, 2023

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Want to learn how to create effective visual content that your target audiences relate to? Here is how to develop visual assets, based on the basic rules of visual communication.

Good visual communication is essential to the success of any brand, since any marketing or branding asset or virtually any type of visual element that represents the company is more easily remembered than anything you might write or talk about.

If you have a visual communication strategy and a branding guideline, creating eye-catching graphics that collide with your brand voice and mission and enhance your marketing won’t be a problem. However, if you are starting from scratch and don’t have any visual communication designers to consult with, here are some basic tips to help you get started.

Know your target audiences

You can create the best type of content and catchy visuals for it, but if it doesn’t target the right people and isn’t designed to reverberate to them, you won’t achieve your design goals.

Do thorough research and understand the habits, interests and likes of your target audience. For example, if you are trying to reach a Generation Z audience, learn all about this demographic group.

What kind of aesthetic is popular among them? Which social media channels do they use? Which values are important to them? How much can they spend?

For visual content to communicate well with the audience, they need to be able to understand it. Furthermore, if you want them to remember it and care about what they saw and read; they should feel it is relatable to them. So, research your audience well and then start building a visual strategy.


Use consistent visual design

Based on your guidelines and visual strategy, you will create graphic design assets very regularly. For your audience to be able to immediately recognize your brand look, you need to use all elements consistently and in a proper ratio.

For example, brand colors, typography, logo and its usage, symbology and iconography help audiences easily memorize a company’s look. After a while, you understand the meaning of a visual symbol, without having to read or understand much about a new campaign.

A well-known example: when you see Nike’s swoosh, you know the message: “Just do it”. Granted, it’s not just the visuals, but the messaging too, but through consistent usage of the combination of logo and slogan, everyone knows what the brand stands for and what its symbols mean.

Communicate ideas and information visually

A picture is worth a thousand words, and this is not an overstatement. Data visualization is a very important and helpful tool in visual communication since it can help you relay huge portions of information in an easy-to-comprehend way.

For example, in data analyses, you can use infographics, pie charts, dynamic images and GIFs. Or, instead of talking and going through the same information over and over in a meeting, a slide deck can do the explaining for you.

At the same time, to be able to communicate clearly terms that are more abstract and hard to explain, you can turn to a more artistic usage of graphic design. Illustrations, photo manipulations, motion graphics, typographic art, etc.

Know the basic principles of graphic design

To be able to produce quality visuals, you or your designer should be able to base them on the basic principles of graphic design.

Colors, shapes, forms, lines, textures, and many other rules make up a whole system of quality assessment in graphic design, but also make it possible for the human eye to follow the central focus of each design piece intuitively.

Principles like leaving plenty of white space (or negative space), or applying visual hierarchy and balance, will help your visuals communicate directly and effectively with the viewer.

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Use effective visual content in marketing campaigns

In marketing, your visual elements shouldn’t just be branded, but also catchy. A creative and memorable ad can make all the difference. Through using the right colors, aesthetics and sometimes a quirky hidden message in ads, your visual content can have a bigger impact than usual.

Effectiveness doesn’t always mean that you made many people look at it because it’s unusual or bold. On the contrary, it is a fine-tuning between trends, brand guidelines and an extra dash of a creative streak.

Provide value with your visual elements

Visual elements don’t exist only to beautify your assets and content. Most of the time, they serve a purpose and provide value.

A logo is good-looking but also tells a lot about the brand and its story. Packaging serves the purpose of containing and preserving the product but also is an attractive element that sometimes makes us decide on buying that product. A graphic in a blog article isn’t there only to break up the text, it also helps you visualize an idea or information and ensure better storytelling.

When designing a visual asset, keep in mind that the audience should learn something through it and it should help them understand what they are seeing. From data visualizations to branding projects, keep the final user and viewer in mind in favor of your personal tastes and preferences.


For your brand to be able to communicate visually its vision, story and mission, you need consistent, valuable graphic assets that are based on research and the preferences of your target audience.

At the same time, no product should be designed completely out of the molds and conventions of graphic design: respecting design principles and trends will help you and your design team create within limits that will guide your branding efforts better.

Here at ManyPixels, we have a team of designers able to conceive and create a graphic based on visual communication principles in only a day! If you are interested in learning about our graphic design service, check out our scope of service and portfolio. Happy designing!

Journalist turned content writer. Based in North Macedonia, aiming to be a digital nomad. Always loved to write, and found my perfect job writing about graphic design, art and creativity. A self-proclaimed film connoisseur, cook and nerd in disguise.

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