Back To CourseStorytelling for Designers
6 chapters | 38 lessons
Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.
The non-profit organization, Charity: Water, has one primary goal: to provide safe, clean drinking water to people in developing countries. Text on their website assures potential donors that, ''Private donors cover our operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring clean water to people in need.''
But if you venture over to Charity: Water's Instagram, which more than 373,000 people follow, you'll learn the story of the non-profit organization's work differently - through pictures. For example, you'll see children turning spigots of clean water and adults filling rain barrels.
Support for social organizations like Charity: Water is more effective when donors can see images of their funds at work. It creates transparency and cultivates an emotional connection between the business and its audience. Using different types of visual media to communicate a message is known as visual storytelling.
Visual storytelling allows brands and organizations to tell their company stories and engage viewers in a way that builds emotional attachment and spurs engagement. The most common components of visual storytelling include graphics, images, pictures and videos. Let's look at these more closely.
Visual storytelling provides multiple opportunities to catch consumers' eyes. Here are a few tools you can use for visual storytelling.
Graphics often include a combination of text, illustration and other design elements. They may create a visual representation of the number of people a company has helped or show how far an organization has to go to reach some predetermined goal.
For example, the website Internet Live Stats visually represents how many tweets are sent on Twitter in just one second. It displays one image of the Twitter bird for each of the 8,000+ tweets on a single page, sending you scrolling down the page to try to view them all. It is an impressive illustration that tells the story of the true volume of traffic on social media.
Graphics may include all variety of infographics, GIFs, line art, graphs, diagrams, typography, numbers, symbols, geometric shapes and other designs.
In graphic design, images are drawn or digitally rendered representations of things. They can be powerful conveyors of emotion, helping represent both joyous and tragic moments. The importance of images can be seen especially in social media today, with entire channels like Instagram devoted to sharing photos of moments and stories.
Fast food chain Wendy's recently used the image of a $1 bill with a hamburger atop it in where a famous person's face would normally be to tell the story of its $1 double stack. Without any text, the restaurant was able to convey how its food offers value.
National Geographic has long been the gold standard in using pictures, or photographs, to tell stories and engage people in breathtaking and emotional moments all over the world.
A recent post on Nat Geo's Twitter account tells the story of animal behavior at night. Of course, the story could easily have been written without any photos and might still have been engaging. But, seeing the photo essay of animals in their natural environment helps illustrate the story visually, creating a more full and interesting narration.
Pictures can run the gamut from buildings to animals to to nature to people (like Charity: Water uses). Anything that engages and explains simultaneously can be part of visual storytelling.
You can't forget video when you're talking about visual storytelling. Nest, a wi-fi based camera company, recently illustrated the effectiveness of its product in a ''hidden cam'' video of a family pet chewing up a sofa while no one was home. If you ever wondered what your pet does all day while you're gone, Nest shows you the answer.
Video sites like YouTube and Vimeo have mainstreamed video clips, both short and long, as a way to tell a brand's story. They are incorporated on websites, social media and digital ads, drawing many of their storytelling approaches from their television commercial ''cousins.'' Some platforms are even creating opportunities for live videos, which lend an extra bit of transparency and credibility for brands trying to reach their audience.
Human beings are visual. We remember much more of what we see compared to what we hear or read. That's why visual storytelling in design is so important. Visuals can simplify difficult concepts or ideas, help us internalize important details more quickly and lead to greater remembrance days or weeks from now.
Visual storytelling in design catches the eye and permeates the mind. Done correctly, it can boost consumer confidence in a brand, which, in turn, can create greater brand awareness, customer loyalty and revenue.
Visual storytelling is the communication of messages using visual multimedia. The most common types of visual storytelling incorporate components of graphics, images, photos and videos. These elements allow brands to tell their stories, engaging consumers emotionally and boosting engagement. Incorporating visual storytelling in design is important because of the way human beings process data. We are more drawn to, and respond better to, images over words. Visuals break down difficult concepts and stick with us for days or months after the fact. For brands, it can also contribute to greater awareness, customer loyalty and financial prosperity.
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Back To CourseStorytelling for Designers
6 chapters | 38 lessons
Next LessonPrinciples of Visual Storytelling: Types & Impact