The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of instruction enriched with either simple or complex graphics on perception, interpretation of visuals in terms of the visual language used, and on the orientation of attention on visuals during perception and interpretation of visuals. The study was designed based on the randomised pre-test-posttest control group experimental research method to explore the learnable structure of visual literacy skills. The research focussed on visual language knowledge, one of the basic visual reading skills. According to the results of the research conducted at the level of higher education, the use of simple or complex graphics in teaching did not make a difference in terms of perception of visual language knowledge, but simple graphics had a significant effect on the interpretation. It appears that the use of simple graphics is more effective in the development of visual language knowledge. These findings will make an important contribution to research and practice regarding the improvable structure of visual literacy. In future studies, visual literacy skills can be examined by adding visual writing as a dimension to examine the relationship between instruction types.