“Once Upon A Time…”
Those four words, when combined, either embraces nostalgia or a magical moment about to be told… a story!
Story telling has been prevalent since the days of cave writings. However, as mankind progressed, new technologies emanated; and with superhighways of online interactions, brands are constantly swimming against a ferocious tide of customer attention. In a world where information is prevalent, visual design aids to strategize further by informing, engaging and delighting the audiences.
Good content & narrative makes a story alluring but a story viscerally explained and duly designed with the right tone, signals & aesthetics amplifies the content, etching an ordinary experience into an extraordinary experience. That’s the power of visual storytelling!
Having said that, how do we strategize design in our brand’s narrative?
According to a study by Visual Teaching Alliance, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. A logically thought out visual design strategy with the right elements of photos, graphics, colors, type and videos swiftly connect the customers with the brand’s key values, garnering engagement to its true potential. However, a logical balance must be maintained in design as undue over telling the story may boomerang affecting the brand itself otherwise.
Here are some tips to help you jump-start your visual storytelling strategy.
The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. The magic is truly in the innovative use of images that reflect authenticity, cultural relevancy and real time human experiences; nurturing cascading effects amidst viewers by fermenting emotions and engagement to the story.
Most of the real estate and travel brands, for example, use visuals & images to their advantage, by taking their customers on a perspective tour of their products, amenities and the surrounding facilities. See how we leveraged the power of photography to take the consumer through a visual journey around the globe.
Akbar Travels #PictureYourself campaign
Use Infographics effectively
Infographics are a great way to compile information and present it in a visually and digestible format to tell a story about your brand’s journey. Infographics with compelling visuals and factual information ensues the content goes viral, enables analytical tracking and magnifies you as an expert.
Set your color palette
Colors have the power to pitch different moods and brand values, as well as increase brand recognition by up to 80%. When used effectively, your brand’s color palette can evoke emotions nurturing your story. Are you a fun brand that wants to inspire creativity and youth? Then you may want to consider vibrant and fun colors. However, if you are a serious brand built on trust, you may want to use trustworthy colors. Playing with the same color over and again across all channels steamrolls to build a better brand connect.
- Choose your colors in order of importance, primary color, the one which you want to be the primary voice of your brand, to the secondary palette (the ones you will use the least).
- Choose colors that are functional and ensure good contrasting tones.
- Use images that harmonize with your color palette.
For example, notice how google uses the primary color palette (red, blue, yellow and green) across all its imagery to reflect its playful and innovative culture.
Determine your Brand’s fonts
Further, the choice of fonts you choose also affects the way audiences perceive your brand & its personality. Consider using 2-3 fonts consistently in all channels; one for the title that should be expressive of the brand’s persona along with another easy-to-read font for the subtitle and the body copy.
Olympia #PursuitofLuxury series
In the #PursuitofLuxury series we did for a luxury real estate brand, Olympia, notice how we paired a sans serif font for the body copy with a script font for the title to add to the premium feel of the brand.
Elevate with the right filters and effects
Enhancing images with tints, vibrancy, saturation, hues or blurring will set the mood for the story giving it a unique look/feel that can reinforce the brand’s culture. Most importantly the filters must have the same synchrony to other elements as per your style guide.
Take a look at how we used the vintage time lapse effect to illustrate how luxury transcends time.
Olympia’s #LuxuryTranscendsTime series
Keep the Brand layout consistent
Ensure the position, size of logo, tagline and other brand visuals remain consistent. While using them over images, ensure that it can offset against its background.
Templatize to get recognized
Creating templates for campaigns will efficiently brand a story. Notice how weekly recipes posts on social media for On1y, a gourmet herbs and spices brand has the similar format which includes the brand colors, fonts, title, images and name. Such consistent elements ties each post together rousing the campaign’s cognizance.
Personalize your strategy
Embrace the special features, capabilities and audience demographics of videos, vine videos, gifs and memes to foster different types of engagement.
The vine video by Dunkin Donuts, where coffee and lattes represent football players is a fine example of how vine videos can be used to garner virality.
Give it a human touch
Adding a name and face in the form of characters or mascots to your brand story adds life to the narrative ensuring authenticity. A simple cartoon, illustration, hand sketches or animated short films can highlight the storyline while also sharing information about your brand.
In an innovative way to communicate the company’s heritage, Murugappa Group compiled a series of live sketched #SayingItSimply videos; followed by a social strategy designed to foster engagement.
Spice up your Brand’s online presence
The timeline cover photo provides for a good amount of real estate to capture due attention from social media followers like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest etc. The online social space provides for a good amount of real estate to visually pitch your brand story.
The power of design in storytelling is no fairy tale. The race to get customer attention is on, and your brand’s visual voice is what will get your brand noticed. So put a strong visual story for your brand, if you want your business to have a happy ending.