Strategic communication is the “purposeful use of communication by an organization to fulll its mission” (Hallahan, Holtzhausen, van Ruler, Vercˇicˇ, & Sriramesh , 2007, p. 4). It provides particular information, inuences desired attitudes, and encourages specic behaviors. This chapter focuses on how one can identify strategic approaches in an organization’s visual communication and decode it from a critical perspective. Visual theory oers ways to recognize and understand how strategic intent may inuence construction of a visual image’s form and content, embedding it with a dominant ideology and guiding receivers toward a preferred reading. This essay will review theories that help explain the various ways a visual image might be designed and experienced. It will then apply one theory, semiotics, to analyze a specic artifact located in public common areas of Abu Dhabi city, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Here government-inuenced signage reinforcing Emirati identity is integrated into people’s everyday patterns of living. Particular contexts of the UAE as a 40-year-old fast-developing nation bounded by Islam, authoritarian rule, tribal cultural norms, and a majority expatriate population are considered. Applying semiotics to visual communication as a sense-making tool oers a way to look at how an image structures thought, and how it moves the viewer to nd some unity and meaning.