You might have heard about visual design and the next question that would come to mind would be; what is visual design? Especially if you’re new in the design world. 

Let’s get you started on everything you need to know about visual design.

What is Visual Design? All You Should Know 1
Photo by Kzenon from Unlimphotos

1. What is Visual Design?

You should know that there is a difference between visual design and graphic design. Visual design is the enhancement or improvement of a web-based product and a digital product. You can also say that visual design is the act of beautifying a product or service in a way that users find appealing and easy to use.

Visual design can also be referred to as the perfect blend of user interface design and graphic design. It has to do with the aesthetics of a website or digital products.

To be able to sell a product, you should ensure that your visual design is appealing to the end users. This is a very important factor to the producer of a product as well as to the users.

If a product looks good, there is a high chance that customers would purchase that product. Visual design plays a vital role in the end user’s purchasing decision. 

2. What is Visual Communication Design

Although visual design is sometimes mistaken for visual communication design, they have different meanings. Visual communication design is basically the act of conveying a message from a producer to a consumer via visuals.

Visuals in this sense can be images, typography, layouts, or texts. The main aim of visual communication design is to convey a message to the receiver in such a way that the message is easily understood.

This is one very important means of communication as it can help communicate messages in bulk. It can help convey messages from branding, web design, graphics design and even marketing. This is a very vital tool for businesses as it helps pass messages across to their audience with ease.

You should know that visual communication design should not be carried out anyhow. You will have to study and understand the principle of the design, the color, and perception to be able to create the perfect visual design.

3. Types of Visual Communication Design

What is Visual Design? All You Should Know 2
Photo by Kzenon from Unlimphotos

Visual communication design is broad that encompasses different kinds of applications. Visual communications design is commonly used in graphics design where the layouts of printed materials are created. There are different types of visual communications designs with each having different uses:

3.1. Web Design

You should know that web designers make use of JavaScript, HTML, and CSS to create websites. They also ensure that this website is easy to navigate and can be used on all devices.

3.2. User Experience Design

User experience designers are mainly concerned with how the end users interact with digital products like websites, applications, or games.

3.3. Interface Design

These designers are tasked with the responsibility of creating the feel and look of various software applications and websites. They ensure the consistency of the applications on all the platforms. 

3.4. Graphic Design

Graphic designing involves the use of typography, white space, and images to create visuals. They can also create logos, posters, and advertisements for brands.

4. Concepts of Visual Communication Design

A very good visual communication design will help convey the right message to your audience in a very clear and effective manner. You should know that when designing visuals, there are very important concepts you should bear in mind:

4.1. Color

Color is very important in visual communication design as it is used to call attention to important information, evoke emotions, and also create contrast. You should make sure that the colors used complement each other and that the message is passed across to your audience effectively.

Contrast helps to differentiate the difference between two objects or sets of objects. For instance, the color red is constantly used in UI designs to denote deletion. You should know that the bright colors used in UI design are used to differentiate red from the rest.

4.2. Layout

The layout is a very vital concept in visual communications design as it plays a role in how effectively your message is conveyed to your audience.

You should make sure to make use of concise graphics, spacing, and typography so that your visuals will be easily understandable and easy to read.

4.3. Typography

This is basically used to generate hierarchy in your visual designs. This would help lay emphasis on key points. 

5. Difference Between Visual Design and UI Design

What is Visual Design? All You Should Know 3
Photo by Wichayada from Unlimphotos

Visual design and UI design are similar but they have different purposes. One similarity between visual and UI design is that they are all about aesthetics. Creating a brand image that is appealing to the audience is what they are all about. 

Visual design involves a wide range of things. It involves the design of a product, an app, or a website. It can also involve designing a branded template for an email marketing campaign and even visuals for a social media campaign.

On the other hand, UI design is mainly concerned with the design of the interfaces of digital products. You should know that a product interface refers to the layer of the website where the end users interact. This interface includes the different buttons that are needed to help navigate the website or application. 

In simpler words, visual design encircles all of the aesthetics connected with a brand or digital product while the UI design focuses mainly on the interface of the product.

6. Principles of Visual Design

You should know that there are some principles that govern visual design. Some of these principles include the following:

6.1. Scale

This has to do with how big or small the elements used in the design appear in conjunction with each other. Scale can also be used to convey hierarchy or balance the depth of a design.

Hierarchy in scale refers to making the important elements bigger to be able to attract the end user. The cause of this principle is so that an element would be noticed when it is big or large. 

6.2. Dominance

Since visual designers are known to make their work stand out, to convey dominance, they ensure that they use a particular color and size of elements used.

6.3. Balance

This has to do with satisfying the arrangements of the elements of your design. You should balance your elements by equally distributing visual signals on every side of the imaginary axis.

Once your imaginary axis is established, you will be able to organize your layout. This will also help you understand the present state of balance on your visual. You should know that in visual design, balance can be symmetrical, asymmetrical, and radial. 

The kind of message you want to convey to your audience is dependent on the kind of balance you use in your design. Using an asymmetrical balance will keep your design dynamic and engaging. On the other hand, symmetry is static and quiet.

6.4. Hierarchy

Hierarchy in visual design is done to show the importance of a particular element. This can include the position of the element, color, and size. This also helps to supervise the delivery of the user experience.

This means that if you are finding it difficult to navigate the interface of a page, it is possible that the layout does not have a clear visual hierarchy.

You should know that if you want to create a clear and concise visual hierarchy, you will have to make use of about three typefaces size to convey a particular message to the end users.

Since scale helps to define the visual hierarchy of your design, you should make sure to incorporate scales into your various design elements.

6.5. Unity

Unity has to do with the combination of different elements on a particular page. This helps to tell the audience that the elements are a part of one family.

7. Responsibilities of a Visual Designer

Aside from the fact that visual designers invent designs for different channels and platforms, they are also tasked with different responsibilities. Some of these responsibilities include the following:

  • Creating prototypes and wireframes to help communicate designs at their different stages.
  • In charge of designing the overall look of digital products like an app, games, websites, or software.
  • Maintaining and organizing brands in a way that visual design consistency is achieved.
  • Decision-making about elements used for a particular design, the logos, typography, icons, and colors inclusive.
  • Conducting thorough research to get information and inspiration to create mood boards.
  • In charge of designing infographics that would be used during marketing campaigns.
  • Supervising and vetting all visual assets.
  • In charge of creating and designing templates for email marketing, product brochures, and brand presentations for social media.
  • Managing different kinds of projects
  • Imagery sourcing and video assets
  • Designing infographics, logos, and icons
  • Working together with the marketing, operation, development, and information technology team.

8. How to Become a Visual Designer

What is visual design?
Photo by Satura86 from Unlimphotos

Being a skilled and talented designer is not all that there is to visual designing. There are certain principles you need to follow to become a successful visual designer:

8.1. Develop Your Skills

It is very important that you are able to understand the use of colors, typography, white space, and lines when designing. You should have excellent communication and written skills because these skills are needed when working with other team members.

8.2. Get Familiar with Visual Design Tools

As a visual designer, there are some tools you should be familiar with. These design tools are essential as they help in your design journey. Some of these tools include Canva, Figma, and Adobe Photoshop. There are some free lessons online classes you can take if you want to gain mastery of these tools. 

8.3. Improve Your Resume

One way to become a better visual designer is to enhance your resume. It can be very tasking to switch into a new role. You need to gather a lot of experience that would help boost your portfolio when you are job hunting.

These portfolios help you expose your work experience to prospective employers. A very good way to build your portfolio is by personally working on different projects.

8.4. Choose a Niche

The visual design market is very broad so focusing on a particular niche is very important to help you excel. You can decide to specialize in UI design. You should consider taking courses on UI design to master your skills.

8.5. Follow the Trends

If you are current with the trends in the visual design industry, you’ll be able to come up with creative ideas for different brands. You can stay up to date with the current trends on various social media platforms.

YouTube channels and relevant blog posts are also very important. There are also different websites loaded with the information you may need. 

9. Tools Used by a Visual Designer

Here are some of the tools that visual designers use to enhance their work:

9.1. Weld

Weld is an online tool that helps users create engaging web content without coding. It is very easy to use as you can either drop, drag and draw in a way that pleases you. You can also add animations to make the website more interactive.

9.2. Venngage

This is one online tool used by visual designers to create personalized infographics with thousands of pictograms, icons, and illustrations. It gives you the opportunity to extract your data from the spreadsheet. Venngage is very easy to use and navigate. 

9.3. Template Monster

Template Monster consists of a wide range of features like WordPress themes, eCommerce themes, HTML templates, elements, and web graphics for designing apps like Shopify, Joomla, and WooCommerce.

There is also the premium package where you get to pay for the packages.

9.4. FreePik

This is a very popular online tool that is mostly used for professional work. You should know that Freepik gives out free icons, illustrations, and photos. With Freepik, you can either get the free or paid package. The premium package is available for those who pay the monthly subscription.

9.5. Camtasia

This online tool will assist you in creating video presentations and tutorials by making use of plug-ins in Microsoft Powerpoint. Camtasia is a video editor and a screen recorder. You can look up videos online to get started with the basics. 

9.6. Behance

This is a platform where creatives can showcase their works and also get inspiration from other designers. 

On Behance, you basically display your portfolio for prospective employers.

9.7. Thinglink

This online tool will help you create interactive content. These visual contents can be in the form of videos and photographs. You should know that the Thinglink online tool is free and very easy to use. It also allows users to transform an image into an interactive image. 

10. Principles of UI Design

Here are some of the principles of UI design:

10.1. Familiarity

Since UI design is all about usability and aesthetics, imploring the principle of familiarity is one way to help the end user interact with the interface of the product. It also considers the expectations of the users based on their experiences with other digital products.

10.2. Efficiency

Every user expects products to be swift and easy to use. The principle of efficiency states that the user interface of a particular product should be able to see the needs of a variety of users. This is done when there is the provision of shortcuts and accelerators to aid navigation.

10.3. Consistency

This involves designing visual uniformity throughout the product. This is by making sure that the same fonts, icon designs, and color schemes are used throughout. Maintaining consistency in design is very important. 

10.4. Feedback

This is planted into the product interface to help the end users perform their tasks effectively. For instance, if users want to shop online, after clicking on the items and adding them to the cart, there should be a confirmation message (feedback) that the item was successfully added to the cart.

11. Responsibilities of UI Designers

UI designers are tasked with the responsibility of a variety of things. For instance, they design the screen of an app or website. They also design the elements like buttons and icons you can find on the interface of the website or apps.

Here are some of the responsibilities of UI designers:

  • In charge of designing elements that enhance the appearance of the interface like icons, color pallets, logos, and typography.
  • Creating prototypes and mockups to revitalize how the product will look and feel after its development.
  • Managing and developing different kinds of UI style guides.
  • Making research to understand the goals of the end users. 
  • Designing the interface properties of the screen and UI elements. This can include the addition of animations, pop-up messages, and screen transitions
  • Taking designs to developers.

12. In the End

The fact that Visual design and graphic design seem to have some similarities doesn’t mean they are on the same level. Visual design is crucial to the appearance and functionality of a product while graphics design is concerned with the overall design of the product.

Now that you know what visual design is all about, kindly share this information and leave a comment below. Best regards!

Last Updated on by kalidaspandian



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