We are aware about the importance of communication and design from a young age. Babies interact with their parents and surroundings through perception—using basic senses such as hearing, feeling and seeing. As children grow, they first start learning about the colours, shapes and sizes of things and later graduate to understanding their finer differences. These learning patterns are nearly universal around the globe, making communication design essential for us to understand the world. Aldous Huxley once said, “The more you see, the more you know.” To see is to sense, select, perceive and is the foundation of communication.
Communication design is a method of efficiently sharing information via the use of strategic graphics. It comprises using any available methods to share information, tell tales, or express a specific message to people, such as graphic design, illustrations, photography, animation, airbrushing and so on. Colour theory, drawing, design software, data visualisation, branding, presentations, photography and other methods are used by communication designer to convey their message.
Design is a highly specialised field that involves the creation of visual elements. Today, design, especially graphic design, finds use in every facet of communication. The purpose of design is to create key visual features used within a broader communication design process.
Cave paintings from thousands of years ago show the oldest form of communication and design styles. Even if their function (apart from the representation of items surrounding individuals who painted them) is unclear, these paintings constitute a rudimentary form of communication. Communication design have long been used by humans to distinguish themselves from others and transcend linguistic barriers.
A map is an excellent example of a use case for communication design. When you go to a new city where you don’t speak the language, you can use a map to get around the city even if you do not understand the signs. Or, if you wanted to purchase a tree, you could draw the shape of a tree (also known as a pictogram) and the currency symbol to enquire if it is available and its price—without saying a single word. Pictograms first appeared around 8-9,000 years BC and soon developed into logographic writing systems, 4000 years later.
Copywriting, photography, animation, web design, advertisement art and graphic design are all part of communication design, which is a broad, interdisciplinary word. One of the most powerful tools at an individual’s or organization’s disposal for getting their message across is communication design. Interacting with the audience using any accessible design methods is the focus of communication design. To communicate effectively, communication design employs a number of sight-related technologies.
Design—essentially, graphic design involves creating and combining several elements to produce a piece of the communication pie. Effective graphic design is an integral and essential part of communication design. Graphic design is a key, highly specialised skill in great demand and its specialisation is critical towards making a visible impact on people.
Communication design is a field that requires professionals with comprehensive experience in the fields of design and communication. Job roles in the communication design team include: Communications Manager, Art or Design Director, Illustrator, Animator and Advertising Manager. Additionally, both communication design professionals and graphic designers can easily explore roles in fields like Corporate Communications, Environmental Design (the design of signs and sign systems), Information Design, Exhibition Design for trade shows and museums, Graphics for Film/TV; Interactive Design for Websites, Video Games, and Computer Displays; Package Design; Logo, Identity, and Brand Design; Retail Design; Magazine and Page Layout Design, Product Graphics and Type Design.
Graphic design teams rely on directions from design communicators to produce attractive and captivating design pieces. Additionally, communication design depends upon graphic design to create stunning visual elements that are a part of the communication strategy.
Communication design is a specialisation that find use in nearly every industry vertical today. From healthcare, education, marketing, sales, IT, transportation, manufacturing and defence, it is hard to find a field where communication design is not extensively used.