Typography and Iconography: Influential Tools in Visual Communication


Graphic design is the most effective art form to quickly communicate a message to the viewer. People are influenced by skillful storytelling, which can provide both logic and an emotional investment [1]. A visual communication craftsperson can efficiently stir the emotions in his or her audience through various tools of storytelling such typography and iconography. Typography is an illustrative technique that has been wielded by designers for centuries [2]. Researchers suggest that creative typography and color is useful in technical communication [3] and is most influential in Web design [4]. It is all around us, in every medium. In my basic visualization courses and in my upper level motion tools courses, typography is a staple in digital design projects. Another design tool that has been used for centuries is iconography. A few of many examples of iconography in film, photographs, or paintings include religious icons used to ward off vampires, a hero cowboy dressed in white, or a rustic world of desperation [5]. Iconography symbols are used as a design element that give viewers an immediate understanding. For example, symbols are used to illustrate which restroom to use, the power button of a device, or which direction to take. We understand these icons and interpret their meaning at a moment's glance. This interactive presentation will provide ways to create effective typography and iconography. Participants will engage in a discussion and critique while viewing bold examples and everyday usages of these powerful forms of visual communication.

Author Information
James Livingston, East Tennessee State University, USA

Paper Information
Conference: EuroMedia2015
Stream: Visual Communication

This paper is part of the EuroMedia2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon