Visual Literacy in Business
Brian Kennedy’s lecture on visual literacy was very interesting. I’ve never really thought about visual literacy that way. You really don’t realize how you would perceive things in the world if you couldn’t see anything. He says that we learn everything visual first. Then the others things come after that. The more I think about it, the more I believe what he is saying.
In our book the definition of visual literacy is the competent creation and consumption of visual messages (Ryan, 2012). Which is a vague fairly vague definition compared to what Kennedy said. Kennedy really dives deep into the subject and drives home the importance of visual literacy. He has you close your eyes and then he asks you to name off some things that are in the room. I honestly couldn’t remember any of these things. It just goes to show you how important it is for us to see things. When we see things we generate assumptions about them, try to interpret them, and we add text to them. So visual literacy can go a long way for us.
Visual literacy is definitely a universal language. Kennedy talks about this a little bit in his lecture. There are all kinds of different things we do visually that translate in any culture. Kennedy’s example was a simple wink. When we see someone wink we interpret what it means. It could mean a lot of different things though as well. Hand signals and numbers don’t really change either. I was just in the Dominican Republic and a lot of the locals didn’t speak English. I had to resort to using hand signals to get things I wanted or communicate with them. Most of the time it worked to. It was easier for me to communicate with them visually and basically the only means of communication I had. So I agree when someone says visual literacy is a universal language.
I think visual literacy can impact communication and global understanding. I gave an example in...
References: Ryan, W. (2012). Visual literacy: learning to see. San Diego, CA:
Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
TedTalk: Brian Kennedy: Visual Literacy and Why We Need It (http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxDartmouth-Brian-Kennedy-Vis;search%3Abrian%20kennedy)
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