The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines visual communications as “any system of signaling in which the signals are received by the eye.” While this does not exactly explain what Emanuel Yeswal’s work involves, he believes in its very basic form. That is what visual communication is all about-telling a story with signs rather than words.
A more specific definition refers to the term as signaling with a purpose or objective created with the aim of reaching a predefined audience. It is here that we see advertisements, packaging, signs, logos come into play.
Emanuel Yeswal learned of visual communications in high school, albeit accidentally. He was in his final year and his teacher advised him to take up graphic design because of his talent in Art. Emanuel had always had a passion for art and actually discovered his talent in pencil drawing when he was in Form One. By drawing pictures of hairstyles for his local kinyozi, Emanuel was able to earn pocket money during school holidays and he has not looked back since.
Upon finishing his secondary school education, Emanuel took up graphic design just as advised; words of counsel he does not take for granted. His entry into a profession in the field of visual communications was also chosen for him. As a pencil artist, learning about graphic design came easily to him. The two skills were able to gel together perfectly.
As Emanuel has grown in the profession, he has realized that visual communications has a lot to offer the corporate and media industries and the field is only just getting started. A good case in point are the advertisements that we are seeing on television or print media. Some companies are realizing producing animated advertisements gets the message across more effectively rather than using actual actors. They also give more leeway for more experimentation of new concepts and ideas. Ad audiences are more receptive because they are not as intrusive as real actors are not being used. A great example of a company that has done this well is Jamii Telecom famous for the ‘Faiba’ advertisement.
The future for visual communications is wide and unexplored. Kenya has the potential to develop more interesting concepts of passing across messages. Animation seems to be really popular now in advertisement and there is still room for more experimentation. As a graphic designer and pencil artist, it would be interesting to see how Emanuel can merge the two to create even better or more effective ways of communicating whether on television adverts or billboards.
Eventually Emanuel see visual communications taking over how we communicate. According to the 2014 Internet Trends Report, 1.8b photos are uploaded daily, a clear indication that the world is just getting started when it comes to communicating visually.