Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Would you like some art with your message?

Maybe it’s the art lover in me, but I respond much better to a message or article when accompanied by a graphic image or photograph. The interplay between words and images is a compelling combination. Each reinforces the other.

Graphics and photos add dazzle and depth to brochures. They make marketing postcards pop. Photos especially bring a story to life in annual reports. Graphics on websites underscore the intent and draw the reader in. It’s an immersive experience. Imagine you are walking into a forest. You see the trees (the copy) yet you also see the canopy (the art that frames the message).

Recently, I saw a special exhibit at the National Art Gallery in Washington, D.C. It was by Andrew Wyeth, an American artist (1917-2009) whom I wasn’t familiar with. I was with a friend who had taken art history in college and knew a lot about the artist (see accompanying photo.) I learned much from her shared history.

I relish looking at paintings and trying to discover the artist’s intent. Yet, I find it helpful to have a bit of lore to enhance my appreciation. Viewing the artwork and reading about it are both visual actions, yet combined they become a multi-sensory experience.

Andrew Wyeth, special exhibit: National Gallery of Art
As a communications consultant, I thrive when working on projects that require me to tell a story; reveal someone’s personality and passion through a profile; explain the benefits and features of a service; or make the case for a worthy cause that compels donors to support the vision. Much of these projects are copy intensive; yet there are ways to add an image (photos or graphics) that deepens the message.

Think of what these art elements (aka: visual information) could do for your next white paper. Many people don’t gravitate toward white papers because there’s all that ink on white paper. Yes, you’ll learn something but it also tends to be a rather tedious experience. My team and I can make white papers more compelling with imagery that reinforces the message.

Graphics alone: think logos, are pure visual communication. Yet, when graphics need to be paired with their partner: words, my designers are masters at adding perception to your message, stories and corporate reports.

Please share your experience about how the interplay between words and graphics motivated you or prompted you to take action.