There is a revolution going on…
Images are gaining momentum in the communication strategies of individuals, business and governments globally. In a sea of digital information, with images overfilling our abilities to make decisions, being noticed, even for a second, can make or break your message.
Strong visuals with carefully considered aesthetics will propel your message to the widest possible audience. In turn, this will provide you with significant powerbroking potential.
The basis of my PhD and current research is The Image as Storytelling.
Today’s digital cultures might surely be approached as a global community of images.
Whatever your culture or community, the ability to successfully create/read ‘the visual’ should be at the forefront of strategy for any public institution or private enterprise.
Visual storytelling, if handled with cultural sensitivity, allows you to construct a responsive image-based narrative to be understood by today’s mobile-first global audiences.
My research shows how to use and leverage design aesthetics as a sensible, practical and creative tool to augment your visual communication strategy in the digital sphere.
Understanding the power of aesthetics to change the mood, tone or direction of a message (see below) means that you can tailor your output to influence your target audience implicitly.
In 2017 Prof. David Moore convened The Future of Photography Conference at the University of Westminster. The event saw the launch of The Image as Storytelling project in front of an invited audience including Clare Grafik, Senior Editor at the London based Photographers’ Gallery, Anne Bourgeois-Vignon, Global director at Magnum Photos, and the photographer Simon Roberts.
So, Where Are We, NOW?
Education across Europe and the United States has been fostering a dedicated agenda of verbal literacy since the advent of the Industrial Revolution.
However, since the early 2000s, the Internet Revolution seems to have altered, at an essential level, the relationship between words and images.
The visual dialectic that contemporary scholars argue for, is one re/rooting cultural traditions back to a visual-centred centrality.
The visual form, it might be argued, has a much longer history than the written tradition.
Yet, we must learn to differentiate possibilities from opportunities. For instance:
Does shooting hundreds of pictures a day actually promote visual abilities?
Does mass production lead to improved competency or understanding?
In other words, how to learn-by-doing better visual skills?
Visual semiotics, is a research field still coming out of the doldrums. As it becomes part of our scenarios, it might well become the best tool to enhance our abilities to story-tell visually.
As a practitioner I find myself regularly questioning what telling a story means, visually. Consequently, why not moving from ‘Story-Telling‘ to Story-Showing?
Indeed, story-telling can arguably be appreciated as a pivot, if not the pivot, for all forms and formats of communication, from the visual to the verbal. In The Name of The Rose, semiotician Umberto Eco states that “Man is a storytelling animal by nature.”
More recently, the legendary founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, argued that “the most powerful person in the world is the storyteller [as] she sets the vision, values and agenda of an entire generation that is to come.“
Story-telling has consistently been the practice of producing communication as well as of telling a story and understanding it. Frequently, it is all of these things simultaneously.
It has long been argued that communication might be best understood as multiple overlapping storytellings. Sometimes, like in my latest adventure as a Lego® Serious Play® trainer, we might even dig into the fashinating world of ‘Story-Making‘.