©Werner Hammerstingl , 2000

Visual communication is just a part of the overall category of multi-disciplinary human activities that we call "communication". In this subject we will limit ourselves to the communications and cultural systems which operate in the visual domain. All communication involves signs and codes. Signs are artefacts or acts that refer to something other than themselves;that is, they are signifying constructs. Codes are the systems into which signs are organised and which determine how signs may be related to each other.[Fiske,1990]

Social relationships are essentially constituted through the transmitting or receiving of signs or codes.

Communication is arguably central to our communal and cultural life for without communication there can be no culture or indeed civilization.

So when we study Visual communication as a subject, we really are studying a system of communication that uses visual signs and codes as a means of formal and informal social and cultural interaction