Higher Education

Visual Communication: Images with Messages, 6th Edition

  • Paul Martin Lester California State University, Fullerton
  • ISBN-10: 1133308643  |  ISBN-13: 9781133308645
  • 448 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2011, 2006, 2003
  • © 2014 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $179.75
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VISUAL COMMUNICATION: IMAGES WITH MESSAGES, 6th Edition, is the only text to offer substantial coverage of issues specific to all forms of visual communication. Helping students analyze visual messages using a technique similar to the one used to evaluate words, VISUAL COMMUNICATION offers physiological and theoretical background on visual perception, then moves to discussion of various media -- including typography, graphic design, informational graphics, photography, television, video, and interactive -- and the visible role they play in our lives. In addition, this edition is presented in full color from cover to cover. Available with InfoTracĀ® Student Collections http://gocengage.com/infotrac.

Features and Benefits

  • Typographic, graphic, informational, cartoon, still, moving, televised, computer, and web images are analyzed within a framework of personal, historical, technical, ethical, cultural, and critical perspectives.
  • The text incorporates specific chapters on different channels where visual communication plays a key role. It also covers ethics, physiology, and perspectives for analysis.
  • The informal writing style explains detailed information in a thorough, yet easily understandable way.
  • Section One discusses the different elements of a visual approach. It teaches design and meaning, illustrates how to grab viewer attention and convince others to buy a product, and warns of the visual stereotypes that can harm and offend. It also shows how any single image can be made more interesting and memorable if looked at closely.
  • Section Two contains the nine media chapters that concentrate on the ways we see visual messages. Lester uses historical examples of cave paintings, Aristotle and Citizen Cane, as well as modern pieces such as The Simpsons, Twitter and the Apple Computer Company.
  • The text emphasizes the point that creating designs that use both verbal and visual message is the best methodology for maximum communicative effectiveness.

Table of Contents

1. Visual Communication.
Section One.
2. Visual Cues.
3. Visual Theories.
4. Visual Persuasion.
5. Visual Stereotypes.
6. Visual Analysis.
Section Two.
7. Typography.
8. Graphic Design.
9. Informational Graphics.
10. Cartoons.
11. Photography.
12. Motion Pictures.
13. Television.
14. Computers.
15. The Web.
16. The More You Know, The More You See.

What's New

  • All of the images that were originally made with color materials are now printed in color.
  • There are 80 new photos, bringing the total image program to over 500 illustrations. These images give life to the text's historical references and contemporary trends. Many of the illustrations are described in such a way as to evoke visual messages in the mind of the reader. This edition features works of new artists, including R. Crumb, Shepard Fairey, Norman Rockwell and Andy Warhol.
  • Each chapter has been updated with the most relevant and current information and images obtained from an international pool of artists. A new quotation also has been added to each chapter opening.
  • Links to digital videos provide added, moving insights to the verbal descriptions in each chapter.
  • Updated and new weblinks have been incorporated into each chapter's discussion and also can be accessed on the book's website.
  • InfoTracĀ® Student Collections are specialized databases expertly drawn from the Gale Academic One library. Each InfoTracĀ® Student Collection enhances the student learning experience in the specific course area related to the product. These specialized databases allow access to hundreds of scholarly and popular publications - all reliable sources - including journals, encyclopedias, and academic reports. Learn more and access at: http://gocengage.com/infotrac.

Efficacy and Outcomes


"I wish this book had been available when I was a student."

— Dona Nichols, San Jose State University

"VISUAL COMMUNICATION is more accessible, thorough, and well-organized than other texts, and it covers a broader range of material, combines theory with engaging applied learning case studies and interpretive scenarios."

— Robert Bodle, College of Mt. St. Joseph


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Online Instructor's Manual  (ISBN-10: 1285080211 | ISBN-13: 9781285080215)

Written by VISUAL COMMUNICATION author Paul Lester, the Instructor's Manual contains resources designed to streamline and maximize the effectiveness of your course preparation. The manual includes sample syllabi, chapter objectives, suggested assignments, illustration ideas, lecture notes, and a Test Bank. Available on the text's instructor companion web site.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Paul Martin Lester

Paul Martin Lester is a tenured, full professor of communications at California State University, Fullerton. After receiving an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and working as a photojournalist for The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Lester received his Master's from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. from Indiana University in mass communications. He is the author or editor of VISUAL JOURNALISM: A GUIDE FOR NEW MEDIA PROFESSIONALS (with Christopher R. Harris); IMAGES THAT INJURE: PICTORIAL STEREOTYPES IN THE MEDIA, Second Edition (with Susan Ross); DESKTOP COMPUTING WORKBOOK, PHOTOJOURNALISM AN ETHICAL APPROACH; and THE ETHICS OF PHOTOJOURNALISM. In addition, Lester has published numerous articles in major communications journals. He has given keynote speeches, panel discussions, presentations and workshops throughout the United States and in Australia, Canada, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and the Netherlands. Lester's areas of expertise include e-learning, photojournalism practice, mass media and professional ethics, desktop and Internet publishing, visual communications, and new communications technologies.