In the Eye of the Beholder: Visual Communication on Digital Media

Tine Gutfelt Andreasen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The objective of this thesis is to analyze the significance of a corporation’s use of visual communication on digital media. The development of digital media has resulted in content shock, meaning that the amount of content an individual is exposed to is not proportional with the amount that can be perceived. This complicates the communication activity, as it become more difficult to catch the consumers’ attention.
The research question of this thesis is as follows: How and why does visual communication on digital media has significance for a corporation, when communicating with consumers in the connected age?
The theoretical statement used to obtain knowledge and understanding is the communication model of Shannon and Weaver, the visual communication model by Thorlacius, and the theory of social network. Additionally, the theoretical statement is used as the starting point of the study. Moreover, the method of qualitative literature analysis has been used in the analysis of visual communication in the context of the sender, the message and the receiver.
The sender needs to be visible on various digital media forms, as well as being consistent in its brand, constructed identity, and visual identity. Continuously exposure of a brand’s visual identity will result in consumers forming associations that produces the brand image. The message needs to communicate with a suitable communication approach, such as integrated marketing communication (IMC), as IMC focuses on the consumer and therefore is competitive. Moreover, when creating a message, one must use the design tools available, as this will result in the best representation of the communication purpose. It is vital for a corporation to understand its receiver, when competing for their attention. The practice of understanding how consumers perceive and comprehend messages are very valuable, as well as difficult. Various of unknown variables affect the consumer, why knowing the basic human psychology is important.
With this in mind, one could think that it would be easy to create valuable, effective, and successful visual communication. But no. There is no such thing as one-size fits all. The thesis touches upon some variables such as biased perception, purpose, and context, which are not taking into account in the communication models - in addition other unknown variables do also exist. Leaving criticism of the linear process found in the theory.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Organizational Communication, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages82
SupervisorsTore Kristensen