A Picture is Worth 1000 Words

by Dionne Aiken

When I saw this caricature by Dale Stephanos in the 50th Anniversary edition of Communication Arts magazine, I realized how powerful images can be, and how much they can communicate with out using any words at all.

As marketers, sometimes we do just the opposite when communicating with our audiences:  how much can we say on any single piece of media to make sure that we get all our points across?  The irony is that this actually has an adverse affect:  consumers filter this as “visual noise.”  Think about how many billboards, car wraps or ads you remember seeing on your drive to work this morning versus how many there actually were.

Image selection is crucial in design and in communicating with your targeted audience.  To demonstrate this further, take a look at these two ads:

At a glance, which ad do you think is more memorable?

Consider image selection when working with communication tools.  Be it online communications or print media, think about whether you should:

  • go that extra step and hire a photographer
  • purchase stock photography
  • commission an artist or produce something original
  • Photoshop it to give an image that extra polish

Having the right image can mean the difference between being remembered, and being forgotten.

So think about what you’re really trying to say, and before you say it all with words, think about how you can make it more memorable with imagery.

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