Posts Taged visual-communication

Visual Intelligence and Your Brand

Check out this infographic from WebDAM about the importance of visuals in capturing your audience. As you’d expect, all of us are reading a bit less and skimming a bit more, and visual IQs are on the rise faster than other types of intelligence. While I find this a little depressing (I love to read!), I’m excited about the potential for overall improvements in visual communication and design.

Boost your brand’s visual intelligence

Some quick tips on how to improve your brand’s visual communication are included at the bottom of the graphic:

1. Increase your brand’s number of visual touch points
2. Consider your brand across all channels, and plan your brand asset library accordingly
3. Create a library of high-quality, compelling images
4. It’s time (if you haven’t already) to embrace video

Once you’ve digested the below visual, just let me know how I can help your brand improve its visual smarts.

visual intelligence

Vince Vaughn Cameos in Stock Photos for Movie Promo

iStock-Unfinished-Business-6

When it comes time to update your website, collateral or even a company PowerPoint presentation, you don’t have a lot of options for visuals: You can take your own photos, hire a professional photographer to build you a library of images or you can shop around for stock photography.

If you don’t have the skills or the equipment to do it yourself and your budget doesn’t stretch to professional photos, stock images can be a great option, allowing you to find a wide variety of images taken in different locations with a diverse collection of subtexts.

Unfinished business stock photos

It’s often a challenge, however, to find just the right image, one that doesn’t scream “Stock Photo,” especially when you are looking for images related to the workplace or business services.

Stock photos with a sense of humor

In a promotion underway by Getty Images, the stock image provider pokes a bit of fun at itself while also generating some PR for the upcoming 20th Century Fox film Unfinished Business. The studio teamed up with Getty Images and created a series of generic-looking stock photos showing Vince Vaughn and his co-stars in a stereotypical stock photo corporate atmosphere.

Adweek, which first reported the stock images, says 12 images are being made available for free download,  for editorial use only, over three weeks.

I think they’d insert a little je ne sais quoi into your next internal presentation — what do you think?

 

 

Beyond the piechart: Infographics’ rising popularity

good infographic

They’re everywhere lately: infographics. There are beautiful examples, and there are terrible examples. But I must say, I love a good infographic. As a designer with a passion for reading and learning, these graphics are the perfect blend of content and design, hard facts and artful interpretation. And when done well, these graphics become a handy marketing tool—one that is both educational and engaging.

We are bombarded with information every day; we are increasingly forced to digest and act on information FAST in order to keep up with the speed at which technologies are changing how we do business. Grabbing attention, then inspiring content-sharing is a must when it comes to modern marketing. A compelling infographic is highly shareable, and it also creates a virtual “keepsake” for a brand (don’t get me wrong–a branded pen is great, but a cool, inspiring graphic/message that I can print out and keep on my desk creates for me a stronger emotional tie with a given brand.) Infographics allow a business the opportunity to tell a story or share its mission, in a concise and visually attractive format.

A good infographic will present complex information clearly, allowing the reader to quickly review and digest the material. That’s where so many poorly executed examples fall flat; they’re too complex, difficult to follow, muddied by ugly typography or colors, or they fail to stay focused on the core message. But a good infographic can make even the most mundane or silly topic eye-catching, and before you know it, you’ve learned all there is to know about a winning rock-paper-scissors strategy:

How to win at Rock-Paper-Scissors, according to cha cha.com

How to win at Rock-Paper-Scissors, according to cha cha.com

Sure, it’s non-essential information. And I don’t know where they got their data. But it’s something that will likely be shared on social media, because it’s a quick, fun read about a game we’ve ALL played. And as you can see, the graphic elements can be super simple—line art and some well-balanced typography could be all you need.

So many people are visual learners. You may get true readers to download a whitepaper, but you will catch a broader swath of viewers with visuals. Visual aids have been a key element of sales pitches throughout history. Did you know that Florence Nightingale leveraged infographics to help make her case to Queen Victoria, to improve hospital conditions during the Crimean War?

Making her case. Florence Nightingale used infographics, too.

Making her case. Florence Nightingale used infographics, too.

These graphics can be incredibly elegant and detailed, even poster-worthy:

National Geographic has long been a master at infographics.

National Geographic has long been a master at infographics.

They can be ridiculously technical, and impossibly dense (I think it looks cool, but is it useful? Maybe after a long study…so I would argue it’s not the most effective):

There's a lot going on here. Technical elements look great, but this graphic requires time to dissect.

There’s a lot going on here. Technical elements look great, but this graphic requires time to dissect.

They can incorporate crazy amounts of color:

use COLOR!

use COLOR!

Or they can fully embrace the style of the artist creating them, like this beautiful hand-drawn example from chalk artist Olivia King:

good infographic

A graphic all about inks…drawn in chalk.

Now, let’s be clear: well-done infographics are not fast or cheap to create, and should be handled by a professional. A designer will create a layout that allows the content to flow correctly, and one which incorporates graphic elements that support and highlight key content pieces, as well as eye-catching typography and a color palette that leverages existing brand rules, all while pushing artistic limits where appropriate. (Please, no clip art or poorly kerned type!) But such a piece could be considered a branded investment; it will be shared, printed, referenced, and potentially utilized as a visual aid during presentations and sales pitches.

I love maps, and maybe that’s another reason infographics appeal to me. They provide a little “You are here” for the reader beginning to navigate their way through all the information you have to share. Where will they go next? You can guide potential customers straight to the [hopefully not so hidden] treasure that is your business.

(I know, I just wrote a bunch of words about visuals. So to get really meta, I’ll sign off with an infographic about infographics…)

Press Association's infographic about good infographics.

Press Association’s infographic about infographics.