From the VCG Blog

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 theIn 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[...]
How to Use Apostrophes (Infographic)

How to Use Apostrophes (Infographic)

As I passed a billboard this week, telling me the "do's and dont's" of something or other--I can't even recall what the billboard was about because I was so distracted by the error--I was reminded how frequently we see apostrophe errors in all kinds of professional settings. (By the way,[...]
Design Trends in 2015: Keep Yourself Current!

Design Trends in 2015: Keep Yourself Current!

I found this infographic (published by Coastal Creative) insightful and wanted to share it with you. Design trends are constantly changing and it's important to be aware of what is considered contemporary and what is considered cliche.What do you think? Are you and your company's designs keeping with the trends?[...]
How to Create an Awesome About Me Page

How to Create an Awesome About Me Page

Article by Andrew Wise wisestartupblog.comWith the knowledge that 6.7MM people post blogs on blogging websites, it can be difficult for a new blogger to stand out. One sure way to do this, however, is to have a unique and updated About Me page.Potential readers want to know they can trust the[...]
What Does Your Font Choice Say about You (and your document)?

What Does Your Font Choice Say about You (and your document)?

Font choice matters. Beyond just transforming the entire feel of a document, the font you choose actually says a lot about you, too. Do you always stick with the defaults (like Calibri and Times New Roman)? Are you in love with a cliche or hated font, like Comic Sans or Papyrus?[...]
You Can Use a Picture If: Guidelines for Image Copyrights

You Can Use a Picture If: Guidelines for Image Copyrights

A couple years ago, I published a flowchart on image copyright best practices that followed the question, "Can I Use that Picture?" While that chart has been widely distributed and used in schools, libraries, and businesses across the country, I have since wondered if it might be clearer to simplify the[...]
Make Your Boring Documents Look Professional in 5 Easy Steps

Make Your Boring Documents Look Professional in 5 Easy Steps

When you're given the task to write a report or an essay, do you just stick to the defaults? (You know, like sticking with Calibri, 11-pt. font?) If you're like most regular folks (meaning, you don't have a background in design), the chances are you do.Of course, you do some formatting, right? You[...]
Why Spelling Is Hard: The Chaos Poem Says It All

Why Spelling Is Hard: The Chaos Poem Says It All

Read these five words out loud: "rough," "cough," "bough," "dough," and "through." Now ask yourself, does the pronunciation of those words and their spelling make any logical sense whatsoever? Has it ever occurred to you that we, English speakers, are the only ones in the world that actually have spelling bees? Why[...]

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