Visual literacy, in my opinion, is the reason that we see art as art. The formal definition is that Visual Literacy “is the ability to interpret, negotiate, and make meaning from information presented in the form of an image, extending the meaning of literacy, which commonly signifies interpretation of a written or printed text.” according to Wikipedia. What means in a simpler form is to look at something and derive meaning. Which is why I think that Visual Literacy is so important to a person’s day to day function.
Visual Literacy is used so often that you, a random and possibly imagined person, are using it right now. Your eyes are seeing the spacing of the words in this post in relation to the font, which will discern how important or lazy you think my writing is. If the font is squished together and skinny, then the whole post reads claustrophobic, tense, or creepy. If wide and spaced out, everything is suddenly more dramatic, loud, or (in my opinion) tacky. We are taught visual literacy very early. Think about the books you were read as a child. Most dealt with shapes. Good news: that was visual literacy 101. Bad news: Naptime rarely happens anymore.
Long story short, Visual Literacy is being able to derive meaning with out eyes. Its necessary as ever, and defines the principles of art as much as the principles of art defines Visual Literacy.
If you wanna hear a great Irish Accent explain it, click here.