Visual Communication

Visual communication and research: practice-based investigations of a visual world

There is no place like home - Visualizing heritage, race and class through the personal story of international adoption. (Cecilia Hei Mee Flumé, PhD project 2020-2024)


Graphic designers and illustrators create visually mediated messages with the aim of effecting communication which touches and influences people. Whether the task is to design a digital user interface, visualise complex data, or create a picture book for children, visual communication shapes the viewer's understanding of the world. Illustration and graphic design are often described as conveying someone else's knowledge and information, however this mediation or visual interpretation constitute a production of knowledge in itself; which generates questions linked to power, societal norms, and the pressures of market forces.

Visual communication is a young field of research, but it has a long knowledge tradition shaped through proven experiences, technological development, and shifting societal and economic conditions. While practice-based research within the field borders on other academic fields that study the meaning-making of visual cultures, its questions are articulated from perspectives characterised by the practice of communication and an immediate proximity to technology and materials.

Examples of ongoing research in visual communication at Konstfack include Elizabet at All Times (Brita Lindvall Leitmann) and There is No Place Like Home — Visualizing Heritage, Race and Class through the Personal Story of International Adoption (Cecilia Hei Mee Flumé).