Visual narrative

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A visual narrative (also visual storytelling)[1] is a story told primarily through the use of visual media. This can be images in the mind, digital, and traditional media.[2] The story may be told using still photography, illustration, or video, and can be enhanced with graphics, music, voice and other audio.


The term "visual narrative" has been used to describe several genres of visual storytelling, from news and information (photojournalism, the photo essay, the documentary film) to entertainment (art, movies, television, comic books, the graphic novel). In short, any kind of a story, told visually, is a visual narrative.

It can also be used as a form of visual communication as people naturally use stories to understand the world and express their stories. In some circumstances, visual narrative can be misleading, misinformative, or disinformative.[2]

The visual narrative has also been of interest to the academic community as scholars, thinkers and educators have sought to understand the impact and power of image and narrative in individuals and societies. The corresponding discipline is called visual narratology[[Narratology|]].[3]

Visual narrative might include:

  • stories from a point of view
  • images, still or moving
  • glimpses on a specific subject
  • an appeal for transformation in attitudes and behaviors


Dana Clancy curated her MFA program at CFA to visual narrative where they will be exploring narrative art in both visual and written forms. She allowed her students to explore different types of media and genres.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tony C. Caputo, Visual Storytelling: The Art and Technique, Watson-Guptill Publications, 2003.
  2. ^ a b "The Healing Power of Narrative – Learning from Listening and Telling our Stories", Critical Narrative as Pedagogy, Bloomsbury Academic, retrieved 2023-05-03
  3. ^ Image [&] Narrative – "a peer-reviewed e-journal on visual narratology in the broadest sense of the term".
  4. ^ "Two Ways of Exploring Visual Narrative". Boston University. Retrieved 2023-05-03.