pixel facebook analyticsHow to Use Graphics in Your Content and Copywriting
Reasons to Use Graphic Design in Your Content and Copywriting

How to Improve Your Storytelling Using Graphic Design

June 9, 2021
6 MINUTES
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Stefanija Tenekedjieva

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A great story can be even better with graphic design. Here is how and where to use visuals, to improve your storytelling and brand story.

If you regularly produce content, post on social media and try to reach your target audience by telling good stories, you probably mostly focus on the writing. But, with people’s attention span being shorter by the day, it’s easy to lose sight and focus too much on writing, but completely overlooking the power of using a visual narrative in good storytelling.

In this article, we’ll offer some ideas on how you can use graphics and visual storytelling techniques, apart from photos and videos, to improve your content and as a result, sell your products or services better.

Infographics

Creating graphic design to enhance your marketing and beautify your blog content is needed, but sometimes you need to visualize research numbers or harder-to-grasp concepts in the form of an infographic. Infographics prove to be very useful in depicting big portions of data into a simple visual story.

People in the past years were unable to take a break from all the data overflow. All those numbers and percentages make it virtually impossible to grasp everything that’s happening around us, and infographics can be a good addition to attempt and explain that well.

Here are seven different types of infographics:

Statistical infographics

Perfect for visualizing survey results, research analyses, and work through numbers to show them in a way that is easy to understand. You can combine them with icons and illustrations, or simply design pie or growth charts to show the size and representation of numbers in your research.

frequency.jpg

Informational infographics

Great to use when you want to break up the long text, share an overview of a topic or a quick list of items. Usually designed as a panel-by-panel graphic, that can offer some dynamic look in an otherwise plain text.

informational.jpg

Timeline infographics

Time is not something that is easy to visualize as a clear spatial dimension, and humans usually think in measurable terms when they receive information. That is why a timeline infographic can be extremely useful in showing a course of development for a certain event or process.

timeline.jpg Easel.ly

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Geographic infographics

If you are trying to visualize data based on location, geographic infographics are the best choice. They use map charts as the focal point of the infographic and sometimes function as heat maps. Here is an example of a geographic heat map with daily Covid-19 cases in the US.

heat map.jpg NPR

Hierarchical infographics

A hierarchical infographic is shaped like a pyramid and helps organize data from greatest to least. A good example of this infographic is the food pyramid.

hierarchical.jpg Viral Rang

Comparison infographics

A simple table where you can compare at least two different options in the same criteria is a comparison infographic. It is a simple idea to help design process information like pros and cons, value, frequency, etc.

comparison.png

Process infographics

A process infographic is similar to a timeline one, but instead of depicting time spatially, it is a step-by-step visual representation of the course of action. It usually has a left to right or a zig-zag direction of the steps.

market research steps.png

Illustrations

Illustrations are a great way to add character, color and sometimes context to your content pieces. Whereas infographics help readers visualize big pieces of information or numerical data, illustrations can help relay abstract ideas better, or simply beautify a page with too many words or white space in it.

For example, if you’re writing about brainstorming sessions, you can easily find stock photos of people at a meeting and a blackboard in front of them. But you can also find illustrations that depict the same idea, in a more creative way.

If you don’t have an illustrator at your disposal, feel free to use our illustrations, which are customizable and free to download. They come in five different styles, and you can easily change their color to fit your theme perfectly.

illus.png

Characters

A character or mascot can help your readers and viewers remember the brand better, and put a face to the story. Here is an (old) example: Microsoft Word’s Clippy. The animated paper clip helped people learn about using the writing software quickly and also entertained them. It was a cute character that helped learn and gave actionable tips that would otherwise be a bit boring or hard to grasp to a newbie user of the program.

In fact, many brands use a character to make their brand story more relatable and easy to remember. Colonel Sanders, Tony the Tiger, and in more contemporary times, the endless virtual assistants and chatbots you see every day are visual and imaginary characters that help people learn easily and quickly.

Comics and cartoons

Comics are a type of content of their own, and can hardly be used as an additive in a blog post. They take a lot of artistic talent, from both writers and illustrations, and are generally harder to produce.

But, when done right, comics can be a very valuable tool to convey a brand story, help customers understand a product or service better, or simply entertain your target audience.

Here is a cool example of a comic heroine, a girl that works in software development, produced by the software company Netcetera. Neta, as she is named, is an attempt of the company to inspire girls to learn to code and relate to a character in a generally ‘male’ profession. Not only that it speaks about the brand’s dedication to the inclusion of women in tech, but it is funny and relatable, which makes it popular on social media too.

neta.jpg Credits: Neta.mk

Here is another example of a company that reshares creators’ comics that suit their narrative. The Muse, a hiring and coaching company that often shares tips about professional growth and learning, shares cartoons like the ones below to help nurture their Instagram audience.

oh.my

oh.my

Dynamic images and GIFs

Our last suggestion that can greatly improve your storytelling, is dynamic images and GIFs. These short animations or interactive visuals are a good way to provide context and show contrast in articles or help show more than one image in a few seconds in guides or knowledge bases.

Here is a good example of a dynamic image that shows a before and after contrast with a drag toggle, used by the Guardian to show the aftermath of the Beirut explosion in June 2020. By dragging the slider left and right, the viewer can see the devastating changes that the Lebanese capital saw last summer. It is an image that no storytelling can convey as well as this.

beirut.jpg Credits: The Guardian

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Conclusion

It is absolutely true that good writing skills are the most important element of storytelling. But, visual storytelling adds another dimension to your content, whether it is on your company blog, social media, or in your attempts to establish and maintain your brand story.

Through the usage of extra elements, you can solidify your storytelling skills and provide another way for viewers and readers to understand the subject matter.

Check out what you can create with ManyPixels!

Check out what you can
create with ManyPixels!

Check out what you can create with
ManyPixels!

Download our design library to see our latests creations: illustrations, brand guides, ads, logos and much more!

Download our design library to see our latests
creations: illustrations, brand guides, ads, logos
and much more!

Download our design library to see our latests creations: illustrations, brand guides, ads, logos and much more!

Stefanija_Tenekedjieva.png

Stefanija Tenekedjieva

June 9, 2021

Journalist turned content writer. Based in North Macedonia, aiming to be a digital nomad. Always loved to write, and found my perfect job writing about graphic design, art and creativity. A self-proclaimed film connoisseur, cook and nerd in disguise.