Visual communication uses artistic license to communicate thoughts and ideas through sight. People skilled in visual communications commonly work in advertising, Web design, journalism and publishing, and in many cases in own their studios to teach their craft. They use simple and advanced techniques to get their message across – everything from pencils to computers. Most people get a college degree or attend a specialized school to learn their craft.

Graphic Design

Graphic designers plan and create marketing materials that communicate visually. They work in a variety of settings, including publishing companies, advertising firms and corporations where they assist with advertising campaigns and business promotions. Graphic designers also develop brochures, press packets and fundraising programs. Some choose to work alone and freelance for clients. Many graphic designers earn college degrees and stay current on the latest software programs.


Artists work in many creative fields, such as advertising, public relations and set design. Others are employed as cartoonists, illustrators, art directors and interior decorators. While many artists work for someone else, many still create their own artwork and sell it to supplement their income. Many also teach in schools and give private lessons. Artists often specialize in sculpture, watercolor, oil, illustration, pastels, pencils, pens, clay or computer animation.

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Photographers tell stories with their pictures to capture and to record major events for future generations. Photographers spend years learning their craft. Photographers typically earn a college degree or complete specialized training at a photography school or art institute. Many are self-employed and earn a living photographing individuals and special family occasions, such as weddings. Others work as photojournalists or crime scene photographers affiliated with a police department.


Professionals skilled in multimedia have solid knowledge and understanding of all forms of visual communication in order to produce cutting-edge communication pieces for a client or business. For example, in order to put together an engaging company website to attract page hits and customers, a Web page must contain high quality photography, attractive graphic design, original artwork and, in some cases, an attention-grabbing video.

About the Author

Alex Barski began writing professionally in 2006. He is a former television news reporter now working in news management and has written for regional magazines and business journals in Pennsylvania. Barski has also served as a college professor, teaching courses in mass media and writing. He has a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications and English from King's College.