Visual Storytelling: Sharing Your Brand’s Story with Images

Content you find is different than content that finds you. So, how do you make your messaging stand out?

Think about the sociology of communication. People have different communication styles and everyone comprehends information differently. It’s up to you to share your brand’s story from different perspectives – written, visually and verbally.

In a world where everyone is on the fly, you have the length of a Tweet to capture your audience’s attention.  The goal is to be an information designer. One way to rise above the clutter is through visuals.  They immediately engage the reader and make complex content easier to digest. Infographics, for example, are cheat sheets for businesses – a great way of summarizing data quickly using maps, charts and diagrams.

Infographics play a huge role on the Web today, but before you jump on the visual storytelling bandwagon, here are three things to keep in mind:

  1. Have a real need to visualize.
  2. Simple is better. Sketch it on a piece of paper first.
  3. Anticipate questions people are going to have.

We often use infographics to share our story or present complex data sets for our clients. Our creative team builds infographics from scratch, drafting in a sketchbook first, followed by bringing them into Illustrator to create the graphics. Sometimes, adding additional layout and effects in Photoshop is necessary.

Often, creating infographics involves hiring a professional designer. However, here are five, free do-it-yourself (DIY) infographic tools:

  1. Infogr.am is an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop infographic tool.  Users can simply pick a template, add data, customize, and share it. The downfall of using infogr.am is that your infographic may look a little cookie cutter.
  2. Piktochart is an infographic tool for non-designers with a handful of data points. It allows users to combine eight types of visualizations to build easy-to-digest and visually appealing presentation materials quickly. Piktochart also offers a premium version.
  3. GeoCommons is an online mapping tool. Users can easily import a variety of data formats and quickly produce rich, sharable maps.  GeoCommons also contains several categorization algorithms and allows users to map real-time social data.
  4. Easelly, currently in beta, is a theme-based Web app for creating infographics and data visualizations. It allows users to easily drag and drop visual themes onto a canvas and share their visual ideas online.
  5. Google Charts Wizard is an image tool used to build robust and dynamic charts and graphs through an easy-to-use interface with customization options.

What are other free visualization tools or techniques you would add to this list?