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Visual Communication

Visual Communication

2017 Impact Factor: 0.773
2017 Ranking: 64/84 in Communication
Source: Journal Citation Reports®, 2018 release, a Clarivate Analytics product

Elisabetta Adami University of Leeds, UK
Morten Boeriis University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
Louise Ravelli University of New South Wales, Australia
Francisco Veloso University of Bologna, Italy
Janina Wildfeuer University of Bremen, Germany

eISSN: 17413214 | ISSN: 14703572 | Current volume: 18 | Current issue: 2 Frequency: Quarterly

Visual Communication
provides an international forum for the growing body of work in numerous interrelated disciplines.

The journal's definition of the visual is broad and includes:

  • still and moving images
  • graphic design and typography
  • visual phenomena such as fashion, professional vision, posture and interaction
  • the built and landscaped environment
  • the role of the visual in relation to language, music, sound and action

Visual Communication is interdisciplinary bringing together articles from a range of subjects, including:

  • anthropology 
  • communication studies
  • discourse studies and semiotics
  • media and cultural studies
  • sociology
  • disciplines dealing with history, theory and practice of visual design.

Members of the Visual Communication Studies division of the ICA can subscribe to the journal with a 50% discount. Members interested in this great offer need to contact SAGE Customer Services by emailing

The worthiness and necessity of these [essays] sharply remind us how rare it is for a mainstream academic journal to do its duty for the future by reaching beyond the complacencies and hysteria of the present." Times Higher Education Supplement

"Visual Communication offers a high-quality forum of publication for articles on the crucial visual dimension of language and communication. I am sure that for scholars and students in many disciplines of the humanities and social sciences, this new journal will be an indispensable resource for learning, teaching and research." Teun van Dijk

Electronic Access:

Visual Communication is available to browse online.

Visual Communication will publish four kinds of papers:

(1) Research papers which advance theory, method, and empirical analysis in one or more of the following areas (maximum 8000 words):

· The structures and histories of the semiotic resources and technologies of visual communication, and their relation to other modes of communication.

· The use of these resources and technologies in visual and multimodal genres, texts, communicative events, artefacts, and performances, including but not restricted to, education, media, health, science, organizations, and personal contexts.

(2)  Reflective papers by practitioners of visual communication which document current and emerging practices and trends in all areas of visual communication, whether from a critical perspective or with a view to exploring the expansion of the resources of visual communication and their uses (maximum 4000 words)

(3) Visual essays in any of the above areas which make their argument predominantly through visual communication (maximally 16 pages). 

(4) Presentations of critical reviews of freely-available tools for analyzing, creating, or manipulating data/examples of visual communication (maximum 4000 words).

All contributions should engage closely with examples of visual communication, and/or examples of the visual relation to other semiotic modes.

All contributions should be of interest to a broad multidisciplinary readership in the humanities, social sciences and design professions, and written in a style that is accessible to this readership.

Associate Editor
Katherine Cowan University College London, UK
Gunhild Kvåle University of Agder, Norway
Robert McMurtrie University Technology Sydney, Australia
Jana Pflaeging Salzburg University, Austria
Zach Simpson University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Review Editors
Francisco Veloso University of Bologna, Italy
Honorary Board
Jeff Bezemer University College London, UK
Jay David Bolter Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Victor Burgin Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
Carey Jewitt University College London, UK
Gunther Kress Institute of Education, University of London, UK
Bruno Latour Sciences Po, France
Nancy Munn University of Chicago, USA
Teal Triggs Royal College of Art, UK
Theo Van Leeuwen University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Jan van Toorn Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, USA and Ex-Director of Jan van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht, Netherlands
Advisory Editorial Board
Giorgia Aiello University of Leeds, UK
Paola Antonelli Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
John Bateman Universität Bremen, Germany
Philip Bell University of New South Wales, Australia
Anders Bj?rkvall Örebro University, Sweden
Andrew Blauvelt Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA
Mary Bucholtz University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
Carmen Rosa Caldas-Coulthard University of Birmingham , UK
Lilie Chouliaraki London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
Malcolm Collier San Francisco State University, USA
Anne Cranny-Francis Macquarie University, Australia
Sean Cubitt Goldsmiths University of London, England, UK
Clive Dilnot New School University, USA
Hanno Ehses Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, Nova Scotia, Canada
Elisabeth El Rafaie Cardiff University, UK
Charles Forceville University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
David Graddol The English Company Ltd, UK
Diane Gromala Georgia University of Technology, USA
Christian Heath King's College London, UK
Rick Iedema University of New South Wales, Australia
Peter Jackson University of Sheffield, UK
Adam Jaworski University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Jo Anne Kleifgen Columbia University, USA
Juliette Kristensen Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
Michelle Lazar National University of Singapore, Singapore
Per Ledin Södertörn University, Sweden
Jay Lemke University of California San Diego, USA
John Maeda Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Saki Mafundikwa Zimbabwe Institute of Digital Arts, Zimbabwe
Lynn Mario de Souza Universidad de Sao Paulo, Brazil
J.R. Martin University of Sydney, Australia
Radan Martinec Ikona Research and Consulting, USA
Katherine McCoy High Ground Tools and Methods for Design, Buena Vista Colorado, USA
Ulrike Meinhof University of Southampton, UK
Lorenza Mondada University of Basel, Switzerland
Marion Muller Jacobs University, Germany
Sigrid Norris Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
Luc Pauwels University of Antwerp, Belgium
Sarah Pink RMIT University, Australia
Zoe Sadokierski UTS, Australia
Ahn Sang-Soo Hongik University, South Korea
Kim Sawchuk Concordia University, Canada
Dona Schwartz University of Minnesota, USA
Harmut Stockl Universität Salzburg, Austria
Crispin Thurlow University of Bern, Switzerland
Eija Ventola Aalto University, Finland
Jill Walker Rettberg University of Bergen, Norway
Liz Wells University of Plymouth, UK
Tore West Stockholm University, Sweden
Judith Williamson University for the Creative Arts, UK
Michael Worthington California Institute of the Arts, USA
  • ARTbibliographies Modern
  • Abstracts in Anthropology Online
  • Anthropological Index Online
  • Anthropological Literature
  • Applied Social Sciences Index & Abstracts (ASSIA)
  • Art Index (H. W. Wilson's)
  • CD-ROM - International Bibliography of Book Reviews of Scholarly Literature in the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • CD-ROM - International Bibliography of Book Reviews of Scholarly Lterature on the Humanities and Social S
  • CD-ROM International Bibliography of Periodical Literature in the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • CD-ROM International Bibliography of Periodical Literature on the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • ComAbstracts
  • ComIndex
  • CommSearch CD-ROM
  • Communication & Mass Media Complete
  • Communication & Mass Media Index
  • Communication Abstracts
  • Communication Contents
  • Current Contents / Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Educational Research Abstracts Online - e-Psyche
  • Film Literature Index
  • Humanities Index
  • IBZ: International Bibliography of Periodical Literature
  • IBZ: International Bibliography of Periodical Literature in the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Index to Journals in Communication Studies
  • Inist-Cnrs
  • International Bibliography of Book Reviews of Scholarly Literature in the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • International Bibliography of Book Reviews of Scholarly Literature on the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • International Bibliography of the Social Sciences
  • International Political Science Abstracts
  • Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts
  • Online - International Bibliography of Book Reviews of Scholarly Literature in the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Online - International Bibliography of Book Reviews of Scholarly Literature on the Humanities and Social
  • Online - International Bibliography of Periodical Literature in the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Online - International Bibliography of Periodical Literature on the Humanities and Social Sciences
  • PsycINFO
  • Psychological Abstracts
  • Public Administration Abstracts
  • Social Services Abstracts
  • Sociofile
  • Sociological Abstracts
  • Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Manuscript Submission Guidelines: Visual Communication

    Visual Essay Guidelines
    Review Guidelines
    Special Issue Guidelines

    Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

    Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Visual Communication will be reviewed.

    There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this journal.

    As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you.

    1. What do we publish?
      1.1 Aims & Scope
      1.2 Article types
      1.3 Writing your paper
    2. Editorial policies
      2.1 Peer review policy
      2.2 Authorship
      2.3 Acknowledgements
      2.4 Funding
      2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
    3. Publishing policies
      3.1 Publication ethics
      3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
      3.3 Open access and author archiving
    4. Preparing your manuscript
      4.1 Formatting
      4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
      4.3 Supplementary material
      4.4 Reference style
      4.5 English language editing services
    5. Submitting your manuscript
      5.1 ORCID
      5.2 Information required for completing your submission
      5.3 Permissions
    6. On acceptance and publication
      6.1 SAGE Production
      6.2 Online First publication
      6.3 Access to your published article
      6.4 Promoting your article
    7. Further information


    1. What do we publish?

    1.1 Aims & Scope

    Before submitting your manuscript to Visual Communication, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope.

    1.2 Article Types

    Visual Communication publishes academic papers, visual essays, short reflective papers by practitioners on aspects of their work, reviews - including books, magazines, films, websites, exhibitions and artifacts - covering what's going on in the field of visual communication.

    If you are submitting a Visual Essay please read the Visual Communication Visual Essay guidelines here.

    If you are submitting a review of a conference, book, film or exhibition please follow the guidelines here.

    If you are interested in being a guest editor for a special issue, please follow the guidelines here.

    1.3 Writing your paper

    The SAGE Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources.

    1.3.1 Make your article discoverable

    When writing up your paper, think about how you can make it discoverable. The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article through search engines such as Google. For information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords, have a look at this page on the Gateway: How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.

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    2. Editorial policies

    2.1 Peer review policy

    Visual Communication operates a strictly blinded peer review process in which the reviewer's name is withheld from the author and, the author's name from the reviewer. The reviewer may at their own discretion opt to reveal their name to the author in their review but our standard policy practice is for both identities to remain concealed.

    As part of the submission process you will be asked to provide the names of X peers who could be called upon to review your manuscript. Recommended reviewers should be experts in their fields and should be able to provide an objective assessment of the manuscript. Please be aware of any conflicts of interest when recommending reviewers. Examples of conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to) the below:

    • The reviewer should have no prior knowledge of your submission
    • The reviewer should not have recently collaborated with any of the authors
    • Reviewer nominees from the same institution as any of the authors are not permitted

    Please note that the Editors are not obliged to invite any recommended/opposed reviewers to assess your manuscript.

    2.2 Authorship

    All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.

    2.3 Acknowledgements

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.

    Any acknowledgements should appear first at the end of your article prior to your Declaration of Conflicting Interests (if applicable), any notes and your References.

    2.3.1 Writing assistance

    Individuals who provided writing assistance, e.g. from a specialist communications company, do not qualify as authors and so should be included in the Acknowledgements section. Authors must disclose any writing assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input – and identify the entity that paid for this assistance. It is not necessary to disclose use of language polishing services.

    2.4 Funding

    Visual Communication requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading.  Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

    2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests

    Visual Communication encourages authors to include a declaration of any conflicting interests and recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

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    3. Publishing Policies

    3.1 Publication ethics

    SAGE is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the SAGE Author Gateway.

    3.1.1 Plagiarism

    Visual Communication and SAGE take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

    3.1.2 Prior publication

    If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a SAGE journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the SAGE Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.

    3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement

    Before publication, SAGE requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. SAGE’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants SAGE the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than SAGE. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the SAGE Author Gateway.

    3.3 Open access and author archiving

    Visual Communication offers optional open access publishing via the SAGE Choice programme. For more information please visit the SAGE Choice website. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit SAGE Publishing Policies on our Journal Author Gateway.

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    4. Preparing your manuscript for submission

    4.1 Formatting

    The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. LaTeX files are also accepted. Word and (La)Tex templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.

    4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics

    For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit SAGE’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines  

    Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from SAGE after receipt of your accepted article.

    4.3 Supplementary material

    This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplementary files.

    4.4 Reference style

    Visual Communication adheres to the SAGE Harvard reference style. View the SAGE Harvard guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

    If you use EndNote to manage references, you can download the SAGE Harvard EndNote output file.

    4.5 English language editing services

    Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using SAGE Language Services. Visit SAGE Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.

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    5. Submitting your manuscript

    Visual Communication is hosted on SAGE Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit to login and submit your article online.

    IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created.  For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.

    All papers (apart from visual essays and reviews) must be submitted via the online system.

    If you would like to discuss a proposal for a visual essay or submit an outline for a visual essay, please contact Louise Ravelli at the address below:

    A/Prof. Louise Ravelli
    School of the Arts and Media
    University of New South Wales 2052 Australia 

    Visual Communication includes a section in which books and other significant contributions to the field are reviewed. This includes both essay length and shorter contributions. Books for review and manuscripts of reviews should be sent to Francisco Veloso at the address below:

    Francisco Veloso
    Room AG429 Chung Sze Yuen Building
    The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
    Kowloon Hong Kong

    5.1 ORCID

    As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process SAGE is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities ensuring that their work is recognised.

    We encourage all authors to add their ORCIDs to their SAGE Track accounts and include their ORCIDs as part of the submission process. If you don’t already have one you can create one here.

    5.2 Information required for completing your submission

    You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).

    5.3 Permissions

    Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the SAGE Author Gateway.

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    6. On acceptance and publication

    6.1 SAGE Production

    Your SAGE Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be sent by PDF to the corresponding author and should be returned promptly.  Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate. Please note that if there are any changes to the author list at this stage all authors will be required to complete and sign a form authorising the change.

    6.2 Online First publication

    Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the SAGE Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.

    6.3 Access to your published article

    SAGE provides authors with online access to their final article.

    6.4 Promoting your article

    Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The SAGE Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice. In addition, SAGE is partnered with Kudos, a free service that allows authors to explain, enrich, share, and measure the impact of their article. Find out how to maximise your article’s impact with Kudos.

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    7. Further information

    Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the Visual Communication editorial office as follows:

    Individual Subscription, Print Only

    Institutional Subscription, E-access

    Institutional Subscription, Print Only

    Institutional Subscription, Combined (Print & E-access)

    Individual, Single Print Issue

    Institutional, Single Print Issue