You’ve heard it said hundreds of times; “a picture is worth a 1000 words.” This is no surprise as more than 50% of our brains are devoted to visual process, taking in our surroundings real time, and responding to visual stimuli. Most of us find watching a movie or looking at photographs to be cognitive candy compared to reading a book or a long report. Knowing what our audiences prefer, why do we spend so much time finely crafting written copy and long prose, and so little time developing visual messages?
It is time to step away from your keyboard, let go of that mouse, and get back to basics with a pen and a piece of paper, and start sketching…
“I can’t draw,” I hear you say, and neither can I. However, we can all draw lines, arrows, rectangles, circles, and stick figure people. These are the only skills you need to operate a pen and work out some ideas for your next communication piece. Start your new project with a sketch. You’ll be surprised how using both hemispheres of your brain will invigorate your thinking. Use sketching to develop visual components for your storytelling. Here are some examples:
So here’s my prescription for you as you start a new communications project:
- Think visually – what images come to mind, how can you explain things more simply with a picture, what message do you want your audience members to read and retain?
- Start with a sketch – brainstorm, play with ideas, pick a sketch type that works well for your project
- Communicate pictorially – use your favorite computer tools to create professional images of your sketches to tell your story
- Increase cognition and retention – it is easier for our brains to read, and retain information that is provided visually. Use images to be more memorable and as a way to convey complex ideas.
Have fun! Less is more when you sketch.