Words and design are two inseparable elements of a story.
Let me give you an example.
The journey of traffic lights –
The idea of electric traffic lights originated in 1912.
In 1920, William Potts, a policeman from Detroit invented the four-way, three-color signal, leading to the invention of automatic traffic systems.
While the design of these systems evolved over years, there was always something missing. The uncertainty of how long to wait for the signal to open, made people impatient.
It was in 1990s, that countdown timers were introduced to these lights. The introduction of these timers made lives a lot easier for the pedestrians and the drivers. So now, when you wait at a signal, you are able to predict if you have enough time to cross the intersection.
What makes for a powerful brand storytelling?
A brand story shares information (words/text) and captures attention (design). In the example above – red, amber, green lights and their positioning account for design and the text/timer accounts for necessary information. Take one of these out of the scene and you will realise how incomplete your life becomes when on the crossroads.
A complete and a compelling story is the one that helps your audience take an informed decision. That makes lives simpler and interesting.
Role of content in design
A picture speaks a thousand words. Indeed it does. And that’s why it’s important to support it with content, to narrow down the scope of the picture.
Look at the two images below :
The picture on the left is open to perception and interpretation. It is incomplete in the sense that it doesn’t direct the user to feel a particular sentiment. However, the image on the right evokes a peculiar emotion. Difference – content.
Role of design in content
A picture helps relate with the content.
Look at both the images above and see how they have used design to accentuate their content. Hinge – a dating app, shows the option to delete the app from your phone, while sending a message that their objective is help you meet your love as soon as possible, so you don’t need them.
The other image based on the tic-tac-toe theme intelligently conveys the message that there are only 2 choices – washing hands or getting infected by coronavirus. You choose.
The concept of words and design is not new. In older days, when our grandparents used to tell us stories, they would enact characters and would use hand movements to show what they meant.
Is you brand story helping your audience make a decision? Is your story intriguing enough for your audience to stop and look around?
There is no limit to accessibility to words and images. The art is in finding and choosing the most appropriate ones. How efficiently and creatively you use content and design for your brand storytelling depends on practise. Keep at it.
Imp. Tip – When you are done creating a story, always review for fluff.