About Barrier Island Visuals

Research is showing us that people tend to learn better in a variety of ways; switching communication from auditory to visual to kinesthetic can keep individuals more engaged. Different people can benefit from a variety of learning styles. Imagine getting a weather report without a map or seeing the map without an explanation. Using a variety of styles helps you learn moreimprove comprehensionthink creatively and make better decisions.

If you ever thought, “Hmmm…I know I took notes on that discussion. I think I even wrote his comment at the bottom of the page…on the right hand side,” it’s likely that you like learning visually. But, even if you don’t learn that way, it’s likely that some of your team, co-workers or friends do. By using strategic illustrations, you generously provide a way to help them understand what you want ,and you give them an easy way to collaborate and improve your outcomes.

You’ve probably used graphic recording or facilitation already. If you’ve ever sketched out an idea, created a mind map, or grabbed a white board with dry erase markers, then you understand that using visuals can improve strategy and tactics.

Barrier Island Visuals provides the organization and visuals that help you make better decisions. When collaboration, cooperation, learning and efficiency are top priorities, bringing in strategic illustration allows the group to focus on the task at hand, make new connections, and develop stronger solutions. Adding large-scale graphics to a discussion can change, clarify, and validate perspectives, leaving you with a tangible reference for future activity.

What’s the story behind the name Barrier Island?

One of my favorite places in the world is the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The barrier islands there have some of the most beautiful and family-friendly beaches in the world. And like all barrier islands, the beaches and the landscape are constantly changing and evolving. Our business and personal worlds are in constant change as well; sometimes it’s subtle like a tide change, and sometimes it’s more drastic like a storm.


The barrier islands are a metaphor for change and perspective. Barrier Island Visuals uses this inspiration by offering a unique approach– a visual approach, to help organizations see new perspectives and make new connections to help people learn moreimprove comprehensionthink creatively and make better decisions. Even with constant change, Barrier Island can help you map out ways that help you reach your goals.

About Susan Epperson

Owner + Principal Designer

Susan earned her BBA from James Madison University, then started her career in Marketing & Advertising as a trade show & media manager for the United States Pharmacopeia. She traveled the country working with pharmacists, physicians and chemists using print media and creating events that focused on improving patient care and communication.

After logging thousands of miles across the U.S. and on the Capital Beltway, Susan moved back to Richmond, Virginia and focused 18+ years at a local credit union. Her initial responsibilities included marketing, but ultimately her work and leadership led her to retail, training, compliance and operational areas. She spent tremendous effort studying communication styles to find the best ways to clearly explain personal finance to thousands of consumers and her staff of 42. Some of her most successful projects were the result of the unique visuals she created to explain complex topics.

She unwittingly became a visual practitioner: engaging both sides of her brain, asking critical questions, using divergent thinking, then developing the maps to efficiently troubleshoot and map progress. She uses strategic illustration to uncover the root of a problem or an opportunity and highlight the overall tone of the meeting.

Susan’s honest, straightforward approach is tempered with a strong sense of humor and fun. Her core genius is the way she combines her business acumen, love of laughter and artistic talents. She is the mother of two amazing boys, and the wife of an incredibly intelligent man who teaches Values Based Leadership around the United States.

Want to find out how illustrations can help you?