Persuasion Through Graphical Interface

Persuasion Through Graphical Interface

WHAT DO GRAPHICS HAVE TO DO WITH PERSUATION? Some of the non-verbal symbols such as visuals used in persuasion can convey powerful symbolic meanings and messages to its viewers. The elements of good pictorial design can convey functional meaning in a way that can effectively take the place of written and spoken words.


Graphics are the most powerful tool used in the advertising and selling of products or services worldwide. Take for example the three logos that I included above. Without even having to give a second thought to these graphics we can identify the name brands that are unmistakably associated with each. The companies BMW, Porsche, and Mercedes Benz, all of which are multi-million dollar international automobile manufacturers, gave very important attention to the graphical details of their logos.

For fun I included hyperlinks to each companies web site.



As consumers, we need to be educated about the elements of visual perception and what they mean to us. Almost every product or service of the 21st century has a logo that can be associated with its brand name. Joe Camel has recently been under heavy scrutiny for attracting young children to the purchase of tobacco products. Many other very visible logos such as the Budweiser Hourglass, the SIU Saluki, and the Microsoft "Window" are examples of effective use of persuasion through graphics.

Graphical interface is the intertwining of a logo or graphic and a message that someone wants you to associate with it. Moreover, graphical interface deals with visual stimulation that is intertwined with something beneath the face value of what is displayed. With WWW and Internet use, graphical interface is used in "clicking" of the mouse to bring about a more in-depth look at whatever the graphical icon represents.

In reference to physical products and graphic persuasion, when we go to the mall or supermarket and are faced with the question of which products to purchase, we are directly affected by the propaganda involved with graphics. The product that has the best graphics on it will catch our eye and communicate a persuasive message to us. This is not to say that the product with the best logo, graphic, or picture will sell well, it simply adds to the "judge a book by its cover" theory of consumer behavior. The more visually attractive we find something to be, the more likely we are to give it a chance. For example, since the Pepsi-Cola Company slightly changed their logo from having the word Pepsi written on it to simply the red, white, and blue "ball" logo, they began to crush their major competitor Coca-Cola in total sales. Tag lines such as "generation next" are also very important to the visual stimuli in the mind of a viewer. This helps them to associate what and whom the product is meant for.




Now that you know how consumers react toward graphical interface, you should understand why they are psychologically motivated by it. A consumer in the American market will have experience with the products and services of thousands of organizations by the time they are 15 years old. With this in mind, companies know the importance of creating an image that is plain, simple, and catchy. This means that it must be in some way associated with what the product or service is meant to perform. Colors, balance, mass, tone, and angles will all affect the way a consumer perceives and is persuaded by a graphic. Most importantly, the graphic must say something about you and your service or product!

These organizations carefully consider the emotional appeal that is brought to the market that they are attempting to persuade through the color and tone of their graphic or logo. Color communicates mood and mass or weight. The warm colors of the spectrum (yellow, orange, and red) communicate exciting feelings, while the cooler colors (blue, green, or turquoise) communicate tranquility or peace. Along the same lines, light tones result in a delicate, cheerful, happy, trivial, feeling, whereas dark tones result in a feeling that is heavy, somber, serious, and forceful. Darker colors appear heavier and carry more mass.




This site on graphical user interfacing is a good definition of what (GUI) is used for and how it can be an effective tool for a web site.


The graphics on the web site could be used to persuade people to believe in different emotions such as peace or religion. Many other very interesting icons can be viewed on this web site as well.

A great site on the definition of persuasion and how it can be used to effect decision making in within the human mind, visit a very comprehensive site constructed by an associate professor of communications at the University of Missouri by the name of Pam Benoit. Located at:

For a great site on the different aspects of persuasion through graphics on the Internet and WWW, visit

This site explains the various aspects involved persuading a target audience on the web.

Social influence and the science of persuasion are very important aspects of the persuasive process. In the article written by Kelton Rhoades, the propaganda involved with persuasion is discussed in detail at

Graphics and persuasion can even be useful in a courtroom as can be seen at The experts at this company can create virtual replay of a 3-demensional accident scene through graphical interface.

Another company that produces high-resolution 3d graphics is Pro-Motion Graphics. Pro-Motion Graphics is a graphical interface group that can enhance photos, drawing, or graphics to reveal a 3-d element. Basically PMI can help make web sites more attractive to browsers by adding motion to their logos.


The Journal of Marketing communications is devoted to the research and development of up to the minute promotional management. The content includes the areas of advertising, sales promotion, publicity and personal selling, public relations, and direct marketing & management. Location:

SCALA Corporation markets and sells multi-media products that are created from text based communication and turned into dynamic television displays on a PC. The slogan for SCALA is simply "The one who communicates best wins".



My name is Robin Michael Jacobi and I am a senior at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. I have studied the field of persuasion and speech communication for the past three years and have come to realize the importance of sound skills in these areas. Cutting edge companies and organizations that are at the forefront of the business world take advantage of every mean and opportunity to express their capabilities and services that they can offer. Graphics are a very important aspect of the emotional appeal that is associated with an organization and their services. As a soon to be graduate, I understand the advantage that an individual has with proficient skills in the areas of communication, technology, and the persuasive element that connects the two. The reason for my interest in graphical interface is due to the fact that effective communication in the 21st century means much more than just putting something on paper, it entails drawing others minds toward your goal through attractive visual displays.