Visual Language for Designers: Principles for Creating Graphics that People Understand

by Connie Malamed



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Visual Language for Designers: Principles for Creating Graphics that People Understand by Connie Malamed

Within every picture is a hidden language that conveys a message, whether it is intended or not. This language is based on the ways people perceive and process visual information. By understanding visual language as the interface between a graphic and a viewer, designers and illustrators can learn to inform with accuracy and power.

In a time of unprecedented competition for audience attention and with an increasing demand for complex graphics, Visual Language for Designers explains how to achieve quick and effective communications. New in paperback, this book presents ways to design for the strengths of our innate mental capacities and to compensate for our cognitive limitations.

Visual Language for Designers includes:

—How to organize graphics for quick perception

—How to direct the eyes to essential information

—How to use visual shorthand for efficient communication

—How to make abstract ideas concrete

—How to best express visual complexity

—How to charge a graphic with energy and emotion

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781592537419
Publisher: Rockport Publishers
Publication date: 10/01/2011
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 8.90(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Connie Malamed has a background in art and cognitive psychology, with a B.S. in Art Education and an M.A. in Instructional Design and Technology. She is a consultant based in the Washington, D.C. area in the fields of e-learning, visual communication, media design, and information design.

Table of Contents



An explanation of how we process visual information


Organize for Perception

Features that Pop Out

Texture Segregation


Direct the Eyes




Eye Gaze

Visual Cues

Reduce Realism

Visual Noise


Iconic Forms

Line Art


Make the Abstract Concrete

Big-Picture Views

Data Displays

Visualization of Information

More than Geography

Snapshots of Time

Clarify Complexity

Segments and Sequences

Specialized Views

Inherent Structure

Charge It Up

Emotional Salience


Visual Metaphors

Novelty and Humor


Glossary of Terms

Sources Cited

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