OK, you’ve decided to use visual storytelling in your organization. You’re intrigued by the concept, but you’re not sure how to get from “here” to “there.” Not sure how to go about finding and sharing the stories that are at the heart of how your idea or product or service makes life better.
Happily, there’s a proven way to go about that, a four-step process developed by professional marketers, writers, graphic artists, designers, and animators. Here’s what you can expect when working with an agency like Tremendousness that specializes in visual storytelling:
Step 1: Discovery
You’ll meet with the agency team—either in person or online—to begin a highly collaborative, interactive process that leverages the deep knowledge you have of your business, organization, or endeavor. It’s part Q&A, part brainstorming, but mostly this technique called “visual thinking”. Combined with expert facilitation, we use simple tools—such as whiteboards and markers and sticky notes—to organize thoughts and make complex ideas clear, explicit, and actionable. Different audiences for your products or services evoke different stories. This initial step uses visual thinking to discover what those stories are and the best way or ways to tell them.
Step 2: Concepts
At this point in the process, decisions are made as to how information and visual elements will be combined in a cohesive and meaningful storyline. Three basic structures, sometimes referred to as “frameworks”, underlie all well-crafted visual stories. Systems illustrate components and connections. Processes clarify steps, stages, and flows. And Comparisons point out differences—new vs. old, us vs. them, apples vs. oranges, etc. Quick, iterative napkin sketches start to bring the story to life.
Step 3: Blueprint
Here the agency adds finesse and detail to the concept. Much like the blueprint of a house, every component is placed where it belongs. Visuals are sketched in detail. Text is written, layout is established, and brand considerations are identified. The Blueprint is a fully functional communications tool, minus the final illustrations.
Step 4: Production
Think of this as the “Ta-da!” phase, where it all comes together in the structural, narrative, and branded approach deemed best for your audience, your identity, and your message. Professional artists render every pixel in perfect detail, resulting in compelling visual stories that authentically address a problem your audience faces, ignite emotions they identify with, and in the process, transforms your story into their story.