When communicating with your audience, it is imperative to know your audience. Know what they care about and what they want to hear about. Visual communication contains image aspects that are subject to interpretation. To understand the depth of meaning, or multiple meanings communicated in an image, requires awareness of different audience perspectives. There are six major perspectives that need to be taken into account when trying to appeal to your audience, which have been delineated from Paul Martin Lester.
- Personal perspective
When a viewer has an opinion about an image based on their personal thoughts. Personal response depends on the viewer’s thoughts and values individually. This might be sometimes in conflict with cultural values. Also when a viewer has viewed an image with a personal perspective, it is hard to change the view of the image on the viewer, and the image can even be seen in other ways.
- Historical perspective
An image’s view can arise from the history of the media’s use. Through times images have been changed, because of the use of different (new) media. For example: The result of using the computer to edit images (e.g. Photoshop) is quite different when comparing images that are made and edited by craft.
- Technical perspective
When the view of an image is influenced by the use of lights, position and the presentation of the image. The right use of light, position and presentation of the image can improve the view of the image. It makes it look better than the reality.
- Ethical perspective
From this perspective, the maker of the image, the viewer and the image itself must be responsible morally and ethically. This perspective is also organized in six categories: categorical imperative, utilitarianism, hedonism, golden mean, golden rule and veil of ignorance.
- Cultural perspective
Symbolization is an important definition for this perspective. Cultural perspective involves identity of symbols. The uses of words that are related with the image, the use of heroes in the image, etc. are the symbolization of the image. The cultural perspective can also be seen as the semiotic perspective.
- Critical perspective
The view of images in the critical perspective is when the viewers criticize the images, but the criticisms have been made in interests of the society, although an individual makes the critics. This way this perspective differs from the personal perspective.