From the VCG Blog

How to Write an Amazing Cover Letter: Five Easy Steps to Get You an Interview

How to Write an Amazing Cover Letter: Five Easy Steps to Get You an Interview

Most employers these days request a cover letter from job applicants. If you're new to cover letters or if it's been awhile since you've written one, fear no more. I've assembled an easy five-step process that includes visual examples for creating an amazing cover letter. But first, a few quick questions[...]
How to Better Your eCommerce Site

How to Better Your eCommerce Site

The world of online shopping is always growing. As more and more customers choose to buy products or services online, the need for a strong eCommerce site is crucial for a business’s success. If a website isn’t easy to navigate and products are difficult to find, customers can easily move[...]
The OPTIC Strategy for Visual Analysis

The OPTIC Strategy for Visual Analysis

Have you ever taken AP Language and Composition? If so, you have likely heard of the OPTIC Strategy for visual analysis. If you haven't taken it, or would like a refresher, then we'll help you out. The OPTIC Strategy is a 5-step method used to analyze visuals. The strategy can be[...]
How to Be Happier at Work

How to Be Happier at Work

The workplace can be a jungle. Reports are due. Assignments need to get done. Company goals need to be met. Your job can sometimes get the best of you and put some strain on your life. As such, it shouldn’t come as a shock to learn that over half of[...]
The Religious Parent Paradox: Six Ways Kids and Church Make Me More Productive

The Religious Parent Paradox: Six Ways Kids and Church Make Me More Productive

If you’ve ever felt like kids, church, and a productive work life can’t live in harmony, I want to squash that idea right here and now. Life can actually be far more productive when you combine all three. At a family gathering a while back, I recall my wife and I[...]
How to Write a Creative Brief

How to Write a Creative Brief

What is a Creative Brief? Creative briefs--also known as creative strategies or design briefs--are documents used by creative teams and their clients to start a new project together. Often a designer or design team will write up a creative brief for their client in order to establish a clear set of[...]
Giving Effective Presentations: 50 Things to Consider (with evaluation rubric)

Giving Effective Presentations: 50 Things to Consider (with evaluation rubric)

Effective presentations require that you put a good deal of thought into how your audience will react to every component of your presentation. While an engaging personality or an intriguing subject matter will help, you can make any topic work well if you follow several key guidelines, divided into nine areas:[...]
The Periodic Table of Punctuation

The Periodic Table of Punctuation

Welcome to the world's first (as far as we can tell) Periodic Table of Punctuation! There are fourteen commonly used punctuation marks in the English language. Some would argue that other marks, like the forward slash and asterisk, may be considered part of the punctuation collection, but for most intents and[...]
5 Ways to Emphasize Text

5 Ways to Emphasize Text

Emphasizing text can be a useful tool in any form of business writing or design. Sometimes business communications are read quickly and often skimmed, so placing emphasis on important elements can help to get your message read and understood by your audience. Here we have discussed 5 common ways to emphasize text: 1.[...]
What's Your Christmas Elf Name?

What's Your Christmas Elf Name?

There's no better way to celebrate December than identifying with your birthright Christmas elf name. For a more complex way to identify with your elf name that requires more than just your birthday, go here. [...]
Know Your File Types: JPEG, GIF, and PNG

Know Your File Types: JPEG, GIF, and PNG

Digital images are a standard part of our everyday lives. You can’t scroll though Twitter without seeing a GIF, Instagram is made for sharing JPEGs, and your email is swamped with JPEGs, PNGs, and GIFs. These images and file types are a part of our daily lives. In our heavily visual[...]
How to Design a Flier

How to Design a Flier

What is a Flier? Fliers (frequently known as flyers*) are one of the cheapest, and often simplest forms of advertising. A flier is essentially like a poster, but is often printed smaller, either on an 8 ½’’ x 11” or 5” x 7” page. You will often find fliers being handed out[...]
Six Tips for Taking a Good Picture

Six Tips for Taking a Good Picture

Visual communication includes a lot of different kinds of communication, from writing on signs, designs and illustrations, and of course, photography. Photography is a visual medium that is frequently used in visual design and can have a good impact on the In today’s highly visual and tech-savvy world, there are so[...]
Which Turkey Will You Be This Thanksgiving? (and which will be your uncle?)

Which Turkey Will You Be This Thanksgiving? (and which will be your uncle?)

It's Thanksgiving time! Which turkey are you  gonna be on the big day? (And which turkeys will you avoid?)  [...]
The Basics of AP Style

The Basics of AP Style

What is AP style? AP style, or Associated Press style, is the writing style guide used by the Associated Press. It is a standardized way of writing created and maintained by the Associated Press, a long standing authority within the news world. Each year the Associated Press publishes an updated version of[...]
¿Cometí plagio? (Spanish Translation)

¿Cometí plagio? (Spanish Translation)

We have yet another wonderful translation of our Plagiarism infographic, this time in Spanish. We are excited to see our infographics being used in so many places around the world to help students, teachers, and business writers. Thank you to  Ignacio Oyarzún and Charlotte Pichuante Escaida from Bibliotecas UC for the translation.[...]
Four Tips for Color Use in Logo Design

Four Tips for Color Use in Logo Design

Color is a powerful form of visual communication. Perhaps one of the most powerful. Because of this, color use in logo design is something that needs to be well thought out in order to be effective within a highly competitive environment. Here are our 5 quick tips to using color in a[...]
Did I Plagiarize? (Chinese Version)

Did I Plagiarize? (Chinese Version)

Our popular infographic on plagiarism is being used in schools, libraries, writing centers, and businesses around the globe. In order to reach more students in more classrooms, we've been able to create the newest translation in Chinese. A special thanks to Keystone Academy in Beijing, China for this translation. [...]
How To Write A Memo

How To Write A Memo

Memoranda (commonly known a memos) have been a staple of internal business communication. While email and other such communications are generally taking the place of memos, memos still hold a place in many businesses. That is why it is important to know the basics of how to write a memo. Formatting[...]
6 Ideas to Boost Creativity This Halloween

6 Ideas to Boost Creativity This Halloween

October is coming to an end, and that can only mean one thing: Halloween. Yes, costumes, trick, and candy are in our sights. It can be quite an exciting time, unless you’re a creator feeling like your creative juice tank is running low.  There are many things you can do to[...]
5 Key Tips On Writing For the Web

5 Key Tips On Writing For the Web

It may be hard to fully accept for writers and readers alike, but it’s the truth. People read things in print differently than how they read things online. That’s why it’s important for you to know where your audience will be reading information. Online readers are more likely to scan a[...]
Apakah Saya Plagiat? (Did I Plagiarize? - Indonesian)

Apakah Saya Plagiat? (Did I Plagiarize? - Indonesian)

The infographic below was originally published in English. The "severity meter" at the bottom of this graphic doesn't translate smoothly into Indonesian, so the names were left in English. I hope this graphic is useful to our friends in Indonesia! Thanks to Yan Freski, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Gadjah Mada, for translating[...]
The Four Ways to Write a Sentence: Know the Structures, Write Like a Pro

The Four Ways to Write a Sentence: Know the Structures, Write Like a Pro

If you've never heard this before, embrace this simple truth about writing: there are only four ways to structure a sentence. That's right! Not twenty or seventy or infinity. Just four. Oftentimes, we hear people say, "I just want my writing to flow." Of course, the antithesis of that statement is,[...]
The Hand-Drawn Infographic Project: How to Enhance Your (and your students' or employees') Creativity

The Hand-Drawn Infographic Project: How to Enhance Your (and your students' or employees') Creativity

Recently, I overheard a scientist say that he (and most other scientists) don't think highly of infographics. While he wasn't explicit in explaining why he felt this way (and I didn't take the time to implore further), I've heard the complaints before: "inforgraphics dumb down information," they "mislead audiences," they're[...]
The Thirteen Types of Plagiarism in Order of Severity

The Thirteen Types of Plagiarism in Order of Severity

You're likely familiar with the term "plagiarism." We're taught, early in our education, that plagiarism is copying someone else's work and claiming it as our own. Sounds simple enough, right? The reality is, there are many ways of being dishonest about the work we produce and giving appropriate credit to[...]
Why Can't the USDA Get the Food Guide Right? A Lesson in Information Design

Why Can't the USDA Get the Food Guide Right? A Lesson in Information Design

I'm kinda bugged by this little problem. In over 70 years, with all the resources and funding that the federal government has access to, they can't seem to visualize a comprehensible guide to good nutrition. In seven decades, five ideas have been created, funded, and distributed across America and into[...]
How to Write a Syllabus Students May Actually Read: Six Quick Tips

How to Write a Syllabus Students May Actually Read: Six Quick Tips

On the World's List of Most Boring Documents Ever, the course syllabus may very well rank number one. It's at least up there in the same company as a lawyer's legal dictionary and the engineering specifications of a toaster. I've been creating college syllabi for eleven years now and you know what?[...]
Millions of Americans Think HTML is a Sexually Transmitted Disease (and other proof we don't know that much about technology)

Millions of Americans Think HTML is a Sexually Transmitted Disease (and other proof we don't know that much about technology)

A coupons website, Vouchercloud.net, recently surveyed  nearly 2,400 adults across this great county to learn how much Americans know about technology. The L.A. Times reported the humorous and rather baffling findings about how little we Americans actually know about the stuff we use every day. Among their findings? That 1[...]
A Photographer's Guide to Image Copyright

A Photographer's Guide to Image Copyright

I was recently introduced to the infographic below--created and published by WhoIsHostingThis.com--which covers some great things to think about when taking, printing, and selling photographs. There's a lot to consider when using others images. Consider reviewing the articles/infographics we have published on The Visual Communication Guy as well: Can I Use that Picture?[...]
How to Organize a Paper: Ten Ways to Write the Perfect Document

How to Organize a Paper: Ten Ways to Write the Perfect Document

Are you writing to give your employees bad news? Or are you writing to pitch a new idea? Or are you writing an essay with a persuasive argument? No matter your purpose, the way you organize your paper is critical to the way in which it will be received. To[...]

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