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Graphic of a hand smashing through glass as part of an article about visual communication.

In a digital world, visual communication is more important to brands than ever before. We explain why.

Recent studies have shown that we’ve all increased the amount of time we spend staring at screens. By a lot.

But you hardly need studies to tell you this – you’re on a screen right now.

All this screen staring has a significant impact on how people consume content today. We are more selective and have shrinking attention spans.

Our digital environment is super saturated. Businesses know it and are using a wide range of content in as many places as possible, making it hard for audiences to keep up.

There’s simply so much content out there, people are tuning out. There’s a sea of content competition and online clutter.


Close up of a person interacting with a smartphone.

Screen staring. It’s a universal pastime. Credit: Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash.

Shrinking Attention Spans

Attention spans are shrinking at an alarming rate, and that’s bad news if you’re a business or marketer.

In 2000, our average attention span for consuming content was about 12 seconds. By 2015, that figure had shrunk to just 8.25 seconds. That means we have a shorter attention span than a goldfish. Wow.

So, how can companies battle shrinking attention spans, screen fatigue, and all the noise?

One way to fight this battle and capture attention is by creating visually engaging, entertaining, and relevant content.

Think of it like this: it’s much easier to grab someone’s attention with visually appealing content than without.

Words are awesome, but people have to take notice before they read. They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to choosing where to devote your attention, it’s our default method.

Strong visual communication brings muscle to the front and is really the only way to dazzle audiences.

We buy things all the time based on their packaging alone. Take a walk through the local bottle shop and check out the wineries that rely on visual communication to persuade shoppers to read more. It works.

So, what exactly is strong visual communication? And can it power your brand? 


Wine bottles lined up on a shelf.

Visual communication is relied upon in so many ways. Credit: Scott Warman on Unsplash.

Effective Visual Communication Design

Visual communication design is a new term, but it is the evolution of graphic design.

As a discipline, it aims to represent information effectively in visual form – using graphics and visual icons.

When done well, it creates clear meaning in the absence of words.

How does great visual communication design work? It involves all the usual tricks of the trade, like understanding your audience and the purpose of the information you’re sharing. Add in a foundation built on context, distribution, and how to engage, and you have a winning formula.

Designers take these elements and transform them into visual meaning, creating a range of colours, shapes, and compelling graphics that convey key messages and which grabs attention.

Carefully crafted visual designs are a powerful tool. The best designs should elicit an emotional response and influence brand perceptions.

Because a brand is actually how your audiences perceive you – not just what you say – and that emotional connection builds long-term success.


Computer monitor displaying an unidentified website page.

Grab attention, then keep it. Credit: Lewis Keegan on Unsplash.

Brands Compete for Mental Availability

In tech, SaaS, and all service-based businesses, the game is on for taking up space in people’s brains. We call this mental real estate.

Brands must be easily found in people’s minds when they have a need to buy.

A brilliant way to do this is by pairing information with amazing visual graphics, to improve the ability to recall information from memory compared to using written content alone.

The more powerful, creative, and emotive your visuals are, the better you can prime your audience to be curious, engaged, and ready to take action.


Computer monitor displaying the Dropbox website.

Brands compete for prime real estate in consumers’ minds. Credit: Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

Triple Your Impact With the Right Pairing

In addition to being more impactful than using words only, effective visual communication design allows you to get your message across faster.

Don’t forget – most people only read 28% of text on a web page. So, pairing your copy with expertly-crafted graphics provides an extra layer of clarity and power to content.

It’s also easier to convey concepts with both words and imagery, so you can avoid mixed messages, too.

Want to see visual communication design in action? You’re likely more familiar than you think with the power of visual communication.

You’ve no doubt seen an infographic, diagram, icon, symbol, social media graphic, or graphic design. That is visual communication design in action.

The most effective designs help businesses stand out, make information easier to digest, and bring fun and accessibility to suit all audiences.


A red icon featuring a music symbol.

Visual communication comes in all forms. Credit: Alexander Shatov on Unsplash.

Top 4 Benefits of Great Visual Communication

Here are four compelling reasons to adopt excellent visual communication:

1. Visual Communication Is Universal

Bespoke and unique designs allow your information to cater to a wider audience rather than relying on just words alone. Effective visual communication design is more easily understood by a broader range of people.

2. Visual Communication Works Faster

People process visual information 60,000 times faster than text. So, when it comes to beating out the competition, speed matters. Data, unfortunately, isn’t always easy to read or understand, so portraying it with primary design elements can eliminate confusion.

3. Visual Communication Brings Clarity

Need to simplify complex products or processes? Try visual communication designs. Whether it’s a poster, a video, an interactive graphic, or a logo mark, it helps the audience grasp meaning quickly.

4. Visual Communication Elevates Your Brand… and Identity

Brand identity is about so much more than just a logo. A truly great brand identity reflects your company’s values, mission, and purpose. It’s not an afterthought, but a powerful weapon for progressive companies that want to compete and dominate the market.


Close up of the Ferrari logo on one of its vehicles.

Brand identity – more than just a logo. Credit: Jannis Lucas on Unsplash.

Creating Visual Communication that Converts  

At Hunt & Hawk, we live and breathe visual communication design.

We know how to elevate brands by creating amazing visual content.

If you’re ready to communicate more effectively and embrace the power of visual communication to stop your audience in its tracks, reach out.

How would you like to interact with us?

From visual communication to so much more… our blog is packed with marketing, branding, and tech news, tips, and expert insights. Or for more updates, follow Hunt & Hawk on LinkedIn