What is Communication Design?
Communication design is a system-based concept that creates an integral relationship between the visuals and the person viewing them. It refers to the approach taken by the communication designers to engage their viewer and communicate the information and knowledge in the message accurately and clearly via electronic media.
Communication design in simple terms is a process through which the designs are created that will have maximum impact upon the viewer. Communication designers often consider the design elements beforehand and use both communication design and graphic design interchangeably so that they can utilize the visuals for creating a compelling message.
In this digital age, the communication design industry is growing in leaps and bound because of technological advancements. It is used to communicate with people and reach their target in the best possible manner. Communication design is one of the best ways to inspire and motivate the viewer in responding to the messages favourably.
Graphic Design vs Communication Design vs Visual Communication
Let us compare graphic design, communication design and visual communication in similar terms
Graphic design is a process that takes the help of visuals and textual content to convey the desired message or a specific part of the design. It is a familiar term used in the context of composition and layout and creating graphics for marketing materials, advertisement campaigns and websites. Organizations often hire graphic designers to handle a specific part of design creation and not the entire picture. Their tasks include designing elements for digital and print platforms with help of tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, Affinity Photo and InDesign.
Communication design is a common approach used to express a clear message while discussing the strategy with the help of strategic visual design. It lays the foundation for the thought process and helps in problem-solving, thinking things through and understanding what they should do. It is the responsibility of a communication designer to look at the whole picture from the onset to the finish and use their work in creating stunning graphics that will have maximum impact on the viewer. People who are part of communication design also work in related fields like app design and branding. The major point of difference between a graphic designer and a communication designer is that the former will handle only one visual element whereas the latter will work on creating visuals and conveying the desired message to the target.
Visual communication is a term that is often used interchangeably with communication design as it is also about sending a message, telling a story and connecting with the viewer. The designers take help of graphics, keywords, illustration, photography, animation etc. for visual communication of a specific message. Their tasks include video-filming, editing and photography with help of tools for instance Photoshop, Sketch, Adobe XD and Illustrator.
Sub Disciplines or Types of Communication design
The different sub-disciplines or types of communication design are as follows-
It is a multi-billion business and provides a huge scope for the people who are interested in communication design. This marketing communication helps to sell and promote a service, product or idea through a perfect design.
This sub-discipline is a written content that aids in improving brand awareness by creating catalogues, lyrics, jingles or script for commercials.
3. Content strategy
4. Brand management
Brand management is a type of communication design that helps to plan how the brand will be perceived by its customers.
5. Art direction
Art direction creates content with visual elements to please its target.
6. Visual arts
This type of communication design refers to fine and applied arts and is a type of art form.
7. Technical writing
Technical writing is used in occupational and technical fields and refers to writing technical communication
Presentation refers to communicating a topic in the form of speech, lecture or demonstration to the viewer
9. Performing arts
This type of communication design includes various disciplines that are performed live in front of the viewers.
10. Marketing communications
11. Instructional design
This sub-discipline aids in developing, designing and delivering physical and digital instructional products as well as experiences
Infographics are used by a graphic designer for representing data and information through visual means
13. Information architecture
Information architecture includes a model of information and is applied to complex systems.
This sub-discipline is applied to products manufactured on a huge scale. The features of the design are created even before the manufacturing of the product.
This type of design refers to the visual explanation of a process that is used in published media like animations, films and video games.
16. Graphic design
This sub-discipline is an interdisciplinary design that aids in transmitting specific messages to specific groups through innovation and creativity.
Creative direction provides user experience in fields like entertainments, media, fashion, video, film etc. It is the director who is assigned with work related to interactive design and communication design.
Examples of Communication Design
People who study communication design are eligible to apply for various job profiles so that they can handle complex, simple, large or small projects depending upon individual interest. Some examples of the careers in communication design pursued by professionals are
Designers like to pursue jobs in advertising and creating campaigns that are a part of television commercials, static image campaigns, online video, billboards as well as marketing materials for instance business cards, stationery and brochures.
Advertising campaigns will need high-level creativity and it is the job of the designer to create an eye-catching campaign with a distinct message. Some take help of humour, some are inspirational whereas some want to raise awareness in society. The key is to connect with the viewers and create a meaningful impact.
Corporate Design and Branding
In these competitive times, every organization wants to be one-up against its rival brand. It tries its utmost to create a unique brand identity that will help to stand out in their area. The company that can reach out to its target and create a strong relationship is the one that ultimately tastes success.
It is the job of the communication designer to create a relationship between branding and design with help of design elements, typography, colours, font, layout and logos. It understands its target audience and hits the bull’s eye with a design that will convey the right emotion and message. For instance, the McDonald’s logo with the red background and yellow initial is easily recognizable and has helped the company in creating a distinctive identity of its own.
A degree in communication design is important if a person wants to pursue careers as a photojournalist. It will give him a better idea about technical elements and thus aid in making visually appealing stories that will connect with the viewers.
Packaging and Label Creation
A visually appealing package will always stand out and this is why people with communication design skills are hired for packaging and label creation. This field of graphic design provides innumerable opportunities and it is upon the designer to nail it at one go.
Book Cover Design
The age-old proverb that a book is judged by its cover is true. The first thing a reader will look at the book cover and this is why it is important to create a design that will communicate the genre and plot details and also appeal to the target audience.
It is the job of the communication designer to reflect the purpose of the book through the book cover design. Students can learn about this subject in the university and create handmade designs for albums and books as well as movie posters.
Mobile App Design
Mobile app designing is also a lucrative business linked to graphic design. Most people use smartphones and rely on it for work, shopping, news and other social connections. It is an evolving business and designers are being hired by companies to manage their app.
The mobile app designing is a difficult job that requires technical skills. Students must pay attention to their studies in the university so that they can learn the basics properly and later use in their fields.
This is the age where technology reigns supreme and the internet is an integral part of human lives. New websites are created on daily basis and it is the job of the communication designer to build an effective site that will have a good flow of audience and work on different devices.
It is easy to work independently in a company or as a freelancer or even as a part of an agency.
A career in Communication Design
Careers in communication design are considered lucrative as a designer can hone his ability to make messages entertaining, persuasive and informative to hit the audience admirably. Students will need a bachelor’s degree in this field that will later help in building websites and in product packaging and become
- Interactive designer
- Creative director
- Graphic designer
- Publication designer
- Advertising art director
Careers in communication design create problem solvers and conceptual thinkers who can develop original ideas and messages. The students learn about design theory and numerous technical skills. They become adept at handling all the nuances in this field to become better designers.