Thinking like designers

Making meaning is the foundation of good visual design and communication. Visual semiotics—the study of meaning in signs—helps us tell stories that communicate better and have greater persuasive power. Semiotics is also very closely linked to design language. Understanding both and the way they are linked makes us all better visual communicators. With that in mind, I developed a presentation and embarked on a mission to improve the way we were using visuals in our deliverables at TNS. What started as a successful small-scale webinar became a successful workshop that I set out on a three-month "tour" across TNS offices in North America to present to our colleagues.

o be able to engage people around design and the way we use visuals to communicate—and get them thinking in new ways—was extremely rewarding and taught me a lot, too.