• Halina Biernscki

How To Rock Your Visual Storytelling

Updated: Jun 19


Story spinning creates mental images, which help people remember your products/services.



When a speaker uses words (written & verbal) to convey a message, the brain immediately starts the process of recalling associated things to understand the words. To comprehend words the brain uses recall to associate the new message with something it already knows.


If there's no match = that's how misunderstanding happens >>> when the brain recall does not match the speaker's words.


If the audience has never had an experience that is remotely associated with the words the speaker is using, this will probably explain the reason for shrugged shoulders. Thus... the audience lacks information to translate the speaker's words into an image. The audience reaction might be... "I got nothing from this presentation."


Whereas, visuals process imagery/pictures in warp drive and arrive at a meaningful understanding (even if your brain has no recall it will figure it out much faster).


Visual Messages v. Words




  • Visual information gets to the brain 60,000 times faster than written text.

  • Information transmitted to the brain is 80-90% visual.

  • The use of visual content has a profound effect on our brains’ ability to learn and process new information (rather than words alone).

  • A combination of words and pictures has proven time and again to be a more effective teaching tool alone, which also applies to commercial marketing, branding, logo, and web design.

  • Visual storytelling makes complex ideas understandable and engaging.

  • Visual communication usually uses a combination of data visualization and graphic design to create content whose aim is to deliver information in an accurate, compelling way.


* WHY Is Visual Communication Important?


For decades, we have embraced the written word as a way of giving readers a “hook,”, especially in the wake of *Bill Gates’s 1996* monumental essay “Content Is King.” However, in today’s fast-paced, digital-centric era, it’s time to rely on visual content — specifically, visual communication.


* 1996 was yesterday, and content is still king for Google algorithms to understand website content, However, the 1997 study by Neilson & Norton Group, the world-acclaimed research entity claimed: in summary, humans do not read websites. That 79% of test users always scanned any new page they came across and only 16% read word-by-word. Thus, people prefer to skim, scan & scroll. And it still applies today.


So let's rock & roll about visual storytelling.


The creators of ancient cave drawings may not have had a marketing strategy in mind … but there’s a reason that visual communication has stuck around for millennia and can be found in practically every culture. We are hard-wired to process visual information both accurately and quickly. The alphabet is rooted in pictographs.


* OUR BRAINS ARE HARDWIRED FOR VISUAL CONTENT


Visual stimuli are a natural and essential source of information for practically all life on Earth with the sense of eyesight. Text-based communications, meanwhile, has only been around for a few thousand years and are, as far as we know, exclusive to humans. So it just follows that visual content feels more natural and intuitive to us on a basic level.

Also, COLOR can play a strong role in memory too. Scientists have observed a significant improvement in memory recognition when study participants are presented with color images vs. black-and-white images. While these studies didn’t compare images to text, it can perhaps be concluded that color graphics might offer a similar improvement in memory over text, which is generally presented in black and white.

We’re living in the age of social media, big data, and uninterrupted, global internet access. That means people are taking in more data than ever before. And visual content is uniquely poised to help us cut through all the static.

What’s more, our brains are already doing this work. More than 80% of the information we encounter, our brains process it as visual.

All this means that when you present audiences with visual content, you’re giving them something that their brains can process faster, and seemingly with less effort (if the visual communication is effective).

Aside from the science of visual communication, keep in mind the emotional connections a picture makes.

Keep these scientific considerations in mind the next time you’re considering a marketing campaign, logo, and website design to sell your products and services. And for pete-sake include it on your resume website. These tips will be essential for ensuring you keep visual content high on your list of priorities when it comes to effectively reaching your audiences.




* When To Use Visual Communication


No matter what industry you’re in, knowing the basics of visual communication can facilitate and elevate your message. Remember, your audiences are hard-wired to understand visuals more quickly and effectively than text. Visual communication can help when you:

No matter what you’re saying, it’s important to consider how your audience will best understand your message. If you recently conducted a survey, but your readers aren’t statisticians, how can visual communication help make sense of your data? If the emotional weight of your subject matter has the potential to disengage your audience, how can visual communication strike the right tone? Asking questions like these at every turn will help determine when visual content is the right answer.

Effective visual communication is so important because it can express complex information with multiple layers of meaning. A pie chart isn’t just a pie chart.

  • Visual-first approach. This means that the visuals must deliver as much meaning as the copy — or more.

  • Visuals deliver a defined tone to an audience.

  • Visuals combine aesthetic choices, movement, and information to tell a unified story.

  • Visuals reinforce a brand’s visual strategy. with thoughtful color, illustration, and typographic choices.

Visuals drive your project message and goals forward. All of the above should provide a clear visual-first communication guideline.

*** The LOGO ***

(a common visual story)

If you want to pack everything about yourself and your company onto a 2" x 3.5" business card, think again. A business card is not the venue for a mini resume or the full line of products and services.

Firstly, if it's crammed with text and a super-duper abstract logo that you created in the dead of night, with the hope it will draw more traffic... you just created confusion! What is the audience supposed to remember?


You have to ask yourself: Is my logo/icon telling a visual story?

The rule of thumb example for any type of business; (manufacturing or hair salon)

FRONT:(Logo/sandwich) NOT THE ENTIRE MENU!

Jack & Jill's Sandwich Bar

Table Service, Take Out & Catering

BACK: Location, Website, Email, Phone, Store hrs.



The first thing that comes to mind when a business card is filled with waaay tooooo much information is the owner does not have a website to showcase its

products/services.

This also applies to a job seeker's biz card:


If you get all schmaltzy with an excessively abstract logo design you are headed for a standstill marketing campaign. WHY?


Because the viewer/audience brain center has no previous relationship with it and can not figure out what this thing is? Meanwhile, the brain is scrambling to associate something with the abstract logo... another part of the brain is saying I'll probably not remember this thing. For the simple reason, you're not a billionaire with a multi-million budget for a branding campaign to market your abstract logo to be indelibly indexed into the audience's brain center so they will associate this abstract thing with your business.


Don't make it any more difficult than it needs to be.

If your logo is too demanding to remember... try this (for fast brain recall of your business)

  • Clean design

  • Clear descriptive

  • Uncomplicated overall look & feel

IN SUMMARY



If you want folks to remember your business, try us = Email

We create impressive visual displays for websites and use optimization techniques for online visibility. We invite you to visit our HOME site, take a look around and contact us to discuss your objective.


About the Author: Profile



(The Science of Visual Storytelling

Killer Visual Strategies | A Material Company

Seattle, WA 98109)

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