Robert Horn’s Visual Language: Global Communication for the 21st Century has just been republished, by Xplane, “the visual thinking company”! It’s been out of print for at least 4 years. The best way to get a feel for it is to look at some of the sample pages, and read about it on Horn’s site. It’s written in visual language (which Horn defines as “the tight integration of words and visual elements”) and arranged in two-page spreads.
I could write a description and review, but that’s really going against the spirit of visual communication! That idea is succinctly captured in this sample spread:
The reason I’m so excited about it is because I believe visual communication has enormous potential to solve problems through improving understanding between individuals, groups, even nations, because, compared to the serial nature of text or spoken words,
“Visual language opens wider the gates of communication. It lets more data through, with greater complexity, accuracy, and nuance.”
(p. 242) If more people start to consciously use visual language, more people will adopt it as their “native” language, and we will all have an easier time understanding each other. This book is many books in one. It is practical, with a lot of examples, plus a lot of reference information, history, and research citations. It must have been a huge amount of work, so I’m glad it has been republished so more people can benefit from that investment.
If you want to read more about it, check out the announcement on Dave Gray’s CommunicationNation blog. And for more background, see Horn’s websites here and here.
If you want to buy it, you can order it here.
For a terrific example of crisp, clear, concise visual communication with a touch of whimsy, check out Xplane’s website.