In brief: A figurative adjective and a feminine noun. Personal opinion: Visual sounds elegant and communication sounds strange.
Visual communication is a multi-layered field of expertise. In practice, two definitions have proven useful in answering the initial question. The first describes the broad field of activity of design and the second describes the profession from its origins.
The field of activity
Whether in a smaller place, a city or in public spaces, a variety of evidence of the work of visual communication can usually be discovered.
Advertising boards, screens, signage, labelling and guiding systems, for example, belong to the public media. News media, apps, social media, books, packaging etc. are among the personal preferences we surround ourselves daily with. The smartphone is the best proof of visual communication as it shapes the digital media landscape. Without visual design, understanding these media would only be possible with great effort.
Visual communication has a significant influence on our everyday lives. The amount of information and the variety of media form the basis of the different fields of activity within visual communication. There is no one visual communication but a variety of disciplines.
As a result, visual communication is the generic term for various design disciplines such as: Branding, Corporate Design, Brand Identity, Motion Design, Editorial Design, Packaging Design, Information Design, Type Design, Interaction Design, UX/UI Design, Web Design, App or Game Design etc.
The term visual communication comes from graphic design*. The former professional titles were graphic artist, graphic designer or visual Artist.
Images, fonts, shapes, colours or grids are of course still being developed and visualised, but the variety of media has increased dramatically.
From commissioned art of the late 19th century to today's visual communication - the essence remains the same, to convey information through visual language.
The term 'Graphic Design' was established by William Addison Dwiggins in 1922.