Enhancing Content with Visuals

03/15/2013

By Elise

You are a great person with an awesome personality—so why are you spending another weekend with Netflix and Haagen Daaz?

I am the last person that should be giving dating advice, but I ended up with an amazing guy, so hear me out. Have you ever thought about packaging? As a designer, I think about it a lot and so should you.

Walking through the grocery store you are bombarded by color, images, shapes, sizes, and texture. Which products are you drawn to? It isn’t the ingredient list on the back of the package or clever message on the side of the box, it’s the initial look and design of the box or bag itself—yes, this a metaphor for dating. You’re first drawn to someone based on appearance, and everywhere you go people take notice of how you package and present yourself. If you package yourself in the right way, you can attract the attention of the audience you are looking for and let what’s inside do the rest.

However, the packaging will not always align with the contents, and that seems to be the root of the worst dates and relationships. Dating, shopping, and life would be a whole lot less confusing if packaging always matched what was inside, which is exactly why as a marketer, you must choose visuals that match and enhance your content.

The key is to create or use interesting images that compliment your content. Memorable images drive, ‘shares’, ‘likes’, and ‘re-pins,’ which in turn drive more readership. I know there is a better way to represent healthy eating than “Women Laughing Alone With Salad.” Don’t be just another fish in the sea. When shopping for an outfit, here are a couple of tips to help you avoid the humdrum:

Stylize- Consistency is important when reinforcing your brand. Images that have a similar tone, color, or subject matter can give you that consistency. Photoshop and similar programs are powerful tools to help you make something custom out of stale, old stock photos and help you keep the same look and feel for your brand.

Illustration and Type- A bright illustration or simple drawing can be so much more memorable than a standard stock image. Anything different is always better than using the same thing as a competitor. Use illustrations that have color, line quality, and tone that is in line with your brand. Type can be just as eye catching. Get creative and have fun.

Combine Imagery- Create a collage or new composition using multiple images. Find new ways of portraying your idea. Try not to be so literal. Feel free to mix photography, illustration and type to get your message across.

Infographic- Data visualizations are a great way to display and condense large amounts of complicated information, compare or put numbers or facts into a different perspective, or bring attention to a certain parts of the information. If done well, an infographic can say all you need without saying much at all.

Powerful Images- Images with human faces, high contrast, bright color, interesting composition, or juxtapositions are much more memorable. It’s all about composition, color, and content.

Although important, a package can only do so much. If your content is bratty, rude, self-absorbed, conceited, dishonest, shallow, fickle, indecisive, non-committal, uninteresting, emotional, needy (you can tell I’ve been on some bad dates, huh?) no amount of beautiful packaging can cover it up. Content is still king, and your visuals can only do half the work in wooing readership.

 

This entry was posted in: Advertising, Branding, Design

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