Communication as a linear form

Updated: Sep 24, 2019

Communication as a linear process may be hard to imagine however, Shannon and Weaver (1964) “Developed a Mathematical theory of communication” This is 4 processes that is linear starting with an information source that transmits to a receiver so the destination can access it.

In the case of a designer we take the source, in this case a client and their message and turn it into a product to solve a problem. That product is then used as the medium to transmit the message to the media outlet (the receiver) so the designated audience can be given the product.

(Open University, 2015)

There is however a variable that needs to be controlled, noise, the influence on the message not being transmitted properly. Noise as a designer can include language barriers, misinterpretation, and an unclear brief; right up to the physical destruction of the product or just the cost of getting out in the world.

To overcome these issues of noise, we can assume a feedback loops that can either be introduced at the end of production or before final production. Here we can test the integrity of the message and see if it has been sent or portrayed correctly.


Open University, (2015). The linear communication model The linear communication model. [image] Available at: [Accessed 21 Sep. 2015].

Shannon, C. and Weaver, W. (1964). The mathematical theory of communication. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.



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