How to Design Visual Materials

How to Design Visual MaterialsthumbnailUse color when designing visual materials.

The majority of people--about 65 percent--are visual learners and up to 90 percent of the information our brains process comes through our eyes. Appealing to the seeing part of the brain is important; according to the Visual Teaching Alliance, having visual materials in a classroom can mean up to a 400 percent improvement in student learning. Visual materials range from a refrigerator magnet to a bigger-than-life billboard with flashing lights and moving images. Approach designing visual materials from an artistic perspective and see what you can come up with.

Moderately Challenging


things you'll need:

  • magazines
  • colored markers
  • paper
  • paint
  • fabric
  • wood
  • plastic
  • metal
    • 1

      Start a collection of visual material ideas for the charts, bulletin boards, posters and information displays you want to design. Cut pictures out of magazines; download interesting images from the Internet; take photographs of creative displays.

    • 2

      Find a place to store your visual-materials ideas, so they are readily at hand when you start the design process. You can have an allocated space in a cupboard or opt for a lighted cabinet to help you sort through your visual materials. The important thing is to be able to find and use your collection of ideas.

    • 3

      Decide what sort of visual materials you want to design and the purpose of your creations. Visual materials for your home or office might be designed to fit in with the existing color scheme--or to contrast with it, as the case may be.

    • 4

      Use color and shape when designing your visual materials. Like a magnet to metal, our eyes are automatically drawn to color. Visual materials come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, with the only limit being your imagination.

    • 5

      Identify your target audience. If you are, for example, designing visual materials for small children you might want to make them big and bright so the children can touch and play with them, thus reinforcing the visual message.

    • 6

      Determine what sort of materials you want to use when you begin your designs. As well as standard paper and cardboard, you might want to incorporate fabric, wood, plastic or metal into your visual materials designs.

    • 7

      Be creative. Let your imagination run wild and see what sort of visual materials you can design. How about designing 3D visual materials? Or creating an interactive medium? Arrange or construct a visual design, then leave it alone for a day or two and come back to it to see if that is what you really want before you glue it in place.

    • 8

      Display your designs proudly. Putting your creative designs away in a drawer defeats the purpose of the exercise, so hang your creations where they will get a lot of attention.

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