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What is visual communication design? keynote

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An introduction to Visual Communications. What is visual communications and its role in global design.
Presentation to students at the Ecole Bleue School of Design in Paris.
(all images are copyright of their rightful owners, creators and companies. They are used in a purely pedagogic context in a teaching environment. No reproduction of this presentation without authorisation).

Published in: Design
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What is visual communication design? keynote

  1. 1. what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design ! Paul Vickers / Ecole Bleue 2014-15
  2. 2. what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design ! ! ! Visual communications is all visible and non verbal, non sonic, communication of ideas and information. ! It is how man first indicated his existence, his social identity, his belonging to a group. ! How he distinguished ownership, how he marked the objects he created and made. ! Visual communications is iconographic signs, symbols, pictograms, logotypes - images that represent ideas. !
  3. 3. what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design ! ! ! ! Visual communications existed as pictograms and symbols for centuries before writing and letterforms appeared. Man’s first form of communication. ! Cave paintings from 40 000 (Cantabria Spain) to 17 000 (Lascaux France) years ago show man’s mark on the world, attesting to his existence, communicating a message about his culture. ! Heraldic arms communicated personal identity in the chaos of the battlefield. ! Monograms, from the Greek ‘a single line’ were a form of signature before men could write their names in full. !
  4. 4. what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design ! ! ! ! Farmers have used marks on wood, cattle earmarks and branding for centuries. ! Stonemasons, carpenters, silversmiths, iron founders and printers all used marks to identify their work. ! The combination of images and writing created visual languages that can communicate anything. ! Todays brands and visual identities are the contemporary expression of the idea of marking, ownership and identity, of communication and expression. ! Visual communication is a universal language crossing boundaries and speaking to the world.
  5. 5. ! Cave paintings from 40 000 (Cantabria Spain) to 17 000 (Lascaux France) years ago, show man’s first mark on the world, his need to demonstrate his existence, to leave a trace. They are the first evidence of his identity and the precursor of our visual world, of graphics, of logos, of brands. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design The very first visual communications
  6. 6. ! Sumerian Cuneiform script, the first writing system, 4 000 BC - 2 000 AD, developed in Mesopotamia (today’s Irak) using a reed to inscribe clay tablets. Originally based on pictorial representation, it initially had 1 000 characters but was simplified by the late Bronze Age to around 400 characters. Read from left to right. Millions were produced only 100 000 have been read. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design The invention of writing systems
  7. 7. ! Egyptian hieroglyphics, 3 000 BC - 400 AD developed from Sumerian Cuneiform script. Images and symbols create a visual language, again the precursors of symbols and icons. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Hieroglyphics
  8. 8. ! The Rosetta Stone, 196 BC produced on behalf of King Ptolemy V. The decree appears in three scripts: the upper text is Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the middle portion Demotic script, and the lowest Ancient Greek. The three identical texts provide the key to understand the Egyptian hieroglyphs. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design
  9. 9. ! Phoenician alphabet 1 000 BC. Eventually replaced by the Greek alphabet. Pictorial icons are replaced by purely graphic letters constructed of lines, strokes and circles. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design The picture becomes a graphic letterform
  10. 10. ! The Romans developed the Latin alphabet, upper case only, that we use today. Originally with 23 characters, the J, U & W were missing. The Z was added as an afterthought at the end. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Roman uppercase or capitals
  11. 11. ! The arrival of the lowercase alphabet evolved from a cursive script in the 4th century and was combined with the use of ink on parchment manuscript instead of a sharp tool on clay or stone. The more cursive script led to the formation of the lowercase letters we use today. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Invention of lowercase
  12. 12. ! Roman amphora marks: images and type create the worlds first logotypes: amphora logos indicated the producers name, origin and product descriptions - the worlds first packaging design in the modern sense. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Images & type combined in the first logotypes
  13. 13. ! Monograms, from the Greek ‘a single line’ were a form of signature before men could write their names ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Royal monograms
  14. 14. ! Stonemasons, carpenters, pottery makers, silversmiths, iron founders and printers all used marks to identify their work, a guarantee of origin and authenticity. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design
  15. 15. ! Since the beginning of time and throughout the world man has had a need to leave a trace of his presence, to represent his or other life forms, to mark his name. To say ‘I was here’. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design
  16. 16. ! American Native Indian rock carved symbols are used to tell a message in a culture without a written language. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design
  17. 17. ! Heraldic arms communicated personal identity and national allegiance in the chaos of the medieval battlefield, indicating friend and foe and hopefully helping you to stay alive. Man has always used symbols and colours to indicate his identity. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Heraldic arms
  18. 18. ! As craftsmen formed into Guilds, they developed increasingly sophisticated symbols and signs to identify their activities, products and their place of work or shops. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design The first corporate symbols
  19. 19. ! Gutenberg and the invention of movable type and letterpress printing. The beginning of printed mass communications. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design The advent of movable type and printing
  20. 20. logotype ! Typography’s evolution from 100 AD to today via Gutenberg (printing), Garamond and Baskerville to the sans serif typefaces of Caslon from 1800 forwards. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design
  21. 21. ! Typography logotype ! Helvetica created in the 1950’s, Arial by Monotype in 1980’s. Today 1.5 million typefaces are available to the designer. Every typeface communicates a different emotion and feel, and is used for a specific purpose and message. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design
  22. 22. ! Type families: Serif & Sans-serif, type terminology and typeface anatomy, Upper case and lowercase, ascenders and descenders. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Type terms and families
  23. 23. ! Typography Insight, iPad & iPhone app with all the fundamentals of typography at your fingertips. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design
  24. 24. ! Type can be anything, anything can be type. All forms of communication are imaginable. Hamad, the largest typeface in the world - 1 000m high letters, 3km long word. iQ font, when driving becomes writing for Toyota. A typeface drawn with a Toyota car. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design
  25. 25. ! The C19th and C20th with the development of industry and commerce saw the creation of the first company logos, symbols and publicity to draw attention to the manufacturers and their products in an increasingly competitive market. Initially figurative and illustrative, they gradually evolved to become more symbolic and more visually powerful. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design C20th company logotypes
  26. 26. ! With developing manufacturing came the need to communicate the qualities of products and companies through print, typography, packaging, labelling and signs. The first advertising agencies were formed, William Taylor in 1786, James White in 1800, in London. They launched the visual communications business that we know today. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design
  27. 27. ! The Bauhaus. The invention of the design school as we know it today. Three dimensional design, graphic design and architecture taught under one roof with a central design philosophy. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design The first design school
  28. 28. ! The evolution of the logotype: from figurative and illustrative towards symbolic and abstract. Logotypes are in constant evolution, so as to always be at the forefront, contemporary and relevant to society. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Evolution of logotypes
  29. 29. ! The C20th has seen an explosion of visual communications and graphic design linked to new forms of communications and print production: letterpress & lithographic printing, silkscreen and offset. The advent of commercial photography, type design and the close relationship between developments in the arts & sciences have all impacted visual communications. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design C20th communication explosion
  30. 30. ! The power of visual communications, logotypes and symbols cannot be underestimated. They are used to communicate ideas, values, beliefs, political parties, protests, human rights campaigns… They unite millions of people around a common cause more effectively than a complex manifesto. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design The power of symbols
  31. 31. ! A monogram is a logotype created with the letters of a name interlinked together to create a unique design. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design The monogram
  32. 32. ! Today the design industry and visual communications are omnipresent in every part of the world and every industry, communicating messages and information for countries, governments, NGO’s, companies, businesses, services, cultural events and individuals in every conceivable domain and activity. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Visual communications today
  33. 33. ! Visual communications is primarily the communication of a message about a person, an organisation, a company, an activity or a product. Collectively these different forms of identity are called brands. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Visual communications today: brands
  34. 34. ! A brand can be a symbol or a logotype. A symbol is an image, a visual that expresses an idea plus a name. A logotype is the combination of a logo or picture and type, a word, into a single brand mark, the word is the image. logotypesymbol ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Symbol vs logotype
  35. 35. ! The pictogram and icon are a shorthand language for communicating activities, sports and providing directional information that crosses language barriers, as in airports and Olympic sports events. symbol ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Pictogram
  36. 36. ! The poster, one of the first expressions in print of an organisations activities. It remains an important communication tool in the on-line age, on city poster hoardings, bus shelters and underground stations. symbol logotype ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Poster
  37. 37. ! Business stationary: letterheads, business cards, labels, badges, pens, folders, tickets… iPads’s and associated collateral material. symbol logotype ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Letterheads and business cards
  38. 38. ! Brochures, leaflets, booklets and printed supports. symbol logotype ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Printed materials
  39. 39. ! Page layout, editorial design, text/headline/legend/pagination/contents/notes/captions. symbol logotype ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Layout and editorial design
  40. 40. ! Book covers design, thesis or ‘memoires’, internship reports… symbol ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Books
  41. 41. ! Information graphics is statistical information made visible and easy to understand, universally recognisable. symbol ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Information made visible
  42. 42. ! Packaging for derivative products, food & beverages is part of a global design project for a business, boutique, shop, restaurant, hotel etc. Packaging protects the product,communicates about it and facilitates transport. symbol ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Packaging design
  43. 43. ! A two dimensional logotype or brand, becomes three dimensional when it is used as a sign, on a shop front or in a three diminutional space, an exhibition or a stand. How the logotype works in 3D, its materials and construction are an expression of global design. How it functions day & night, illuminated and not, are important considerations. symbol logotype ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design The logotype in 3D
  44. 44. ! The projecting sign acts like a flag, it projects out from the building facade and enables one to identify the shop, restaurant or company from down the street. The projecting sign has to work with the facade sign, that is flat on the front elevation of a building. Together they enable a view of the activity from down and across the street. symbol logotype ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design The projecting sign
  45. 45. ! Directional and way finding signage is a visual language of symbols and words for orientation in the urban environment, roads, airports, metro systems and mass event venues, olympics sites etc. The objective is functionality, universality and efficient communication of directional information. symbol ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Way-finding
  46. 46. ! Building facades, shop fronts, exhibition spaces are all an expression of global design and the meeting point of visual communications, architecture and interior deign. A building can be thought of as a volume and simultaneously as a graphic statement. symbol logotype ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Architecture as visual communication
  47. 47. ! Interior design is also an expression of 3D space design, volume and visual communications. A space is imagined in terms of functionality and circulation as well as a graphic expression of an idea. Shapes, lines, volumes and lighting create repetition, pattern and a visual impression that makes a space unique. symbol logotype ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Interior design as visual communication
  48. 48. ! Environmental design combines visual communications with space and place. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Environmental design as visual communication
  49. 49. ! Product, furniture and three dimensional design as visual communications. Every product and 3D design has a form, a line, a name, a brand, and is as much a piece of visual communication as a product or an object. Products are also packaged, promoted with posters and catalogues, exhibited in expos, salons and retail environments. All these represent opportunities for global design, of thinking of the product in its context. logotype ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design 3D design as visual communication
  50. 50. ! Web design takes two dimensional communication from print to screen and from static to interactive and into the fourth dimension: as well as text and visuals, we can work with video, animation, sound & music. The brand ceases to be static and becomes dynamic. symbol logotype ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Web design
  51. 51. The dynamic interactive logotype. Nordkyn, a wild region in the north of Norway, has a dynamic brand identity that morphs and changes subject to the prevailing wind direction, speed, humidity and temperature. Climatic data is fed to a computer that transforms this information into graphic form. The logotype is in constant evolution - a perfect expression of this wild and rugged region. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Interactive logotype design
  52. 52. ! Icon design for mobile applications, when an idea must be communicated at 120 x 120 pixels. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Icon design
  53. 53. ! Design Guidelines: a document that demonstrates how the brand or logotype works, in 2D & 3D, in colour & B&W, its typefaces, colour palette and its use and application on different supports. The guidelines enable the correct deployment of the brand by different users in different domains. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Design guidelines
  54. 54. ! Global Design is a discipline and a philosophy where all forms and media: 2D & 3D are designed and inspired by a central, transversal concept and idea which impacts everything that the organisation does and creates. Apple expresses global design well in that everything that it makes and does has a clearly coherent design thinking behind its realisations, whether it be its products, its software, its stores, its communications. ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design Global design
  55. 55. what is visual communications design? its everything… ! what is visual communications design? the role of visual communications in global design ! Paul Vickers / Ecole Bleue 2014-15 ! ! © All images, logotypes and visuals are copyright of their creators, designers and companies. !

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