Where language fails, a drawing helps. It’s no coincidence therefore, that ages ago our ancestors used illustration as a way to inform their people, and their descendants about who they were, what they did, and how they lived. And although over the years, we’ve developed an amazing number of means and methods of communication, illustration still retains its usefulness. Illustrations can explain, persuade, and even influence your audience and customers, and help you build a more human connection with them in the process.
Here’s how –
Illustrations grab your attention.
Research says that content featuring images consistently performs better than text-only content, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why. Whether it’s a presentation, a white paper or a billboard, or your website, an illustration will break the textual monotony and draw your attention. In presentations and white papers, you can use illustrations to direct your audience’s attention to key points, highlighting the more important bits of information, while also giving them a break from all the bullet points and paragraph walls.
Illustrations help understand.
We’re visual learners, most of us. And that’s why the cliche about a picture speaking a thousand words is true. That is also why infographics work. And, according to research, work quite well. We learn fast when told, faster when showed. Illustrations are super handy when we want to explain things that are difficult to explain verbally, or in cases where in-person explanation isn’t possible. Think back to every appliance manual you’ve referred to. The first thing you do is look for the diagram with the labels that tell you what’s what. Or go further back to the illustrated children’s book that first told you what a dragon was. Speaking of dragons, another benefit – illustrations can help you tell your story right from the idea stage, when photographing your product /service in action might not be an option.
Illustrations bring joy.
If you’re anything like me, the comics section is the first thing you look at in a newspaper. Think back to the last comic you enjoyed. You probably enjoyed the little doodle just as much as the joke.There’s something inherently enjoyable about an illustration. It makes you smile.
Now, you may write 200 words about your cause. Or maybe just 20. Or perhaps you’ll pick a well chosen 2. An accompanying illustration in any of these cases is going to spark some joy for the reader. And that tiny bit of joy might just result in recall value for your brand / message.
Illustrations can lighten the mood.
This ties in with the previous point. An illustration can spark joy, and is thus often useful in conveying to your customers that you’re a friendly face, even if your product/ service is super serious, say a financial or a health product. And if the service you provide is serious in nature, or if you’re explaining a complex issue, an illustration is helpful in making it easier to digest. Another way illustrations help is by helping you show your customers your softer, less intimidating side, thus making your business more approachable.
Higher reshare value –
Illustrations have a greater reshare value on social media. On one hand, you could craft a heartfelt 100 word message. On the other hand, you could use 5 words and an illustration and communicate the same thing, conveying emotion more visually. Which one would you share?
Goes without saying, that for all their advantages, illustrations are still best used sparingly, like any other design element. Writing a post soon on how best to use illustrations for your business. Check back soon!