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Be Visual

by Steve Ahlbom, Creative Director, Artitudes Design

No matter what kind of communication you are creating, it can always benefit from the addition of appropriate and strategic visuals. Whether it’s a proposal, a marketing brochure, a sales PowerPoint or an entire website, effective visuals can convey your message in a fraction of the time over text alone.

Human beings process images 60,000 times faster than they process text. Visual aids, used effectively, have been found to improve learning by up to 400%. People remember 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they read, and 80% of what they see. A complicated concept can often be effectively conveyed with a few images and some supporting text.

When should you use graphics?

  • To clarify a point
    Charts and diagrams can help you communicate a complex point. For example a map system would be nearly impossible to define with only words. However, a graphic does wonders for clarifying the concept.
  • To reinforce or emphasize a point
    Using a visual is a far more powerful way to reinforce an important idea. You can use a word or phrase to emphasize or make the most important elements stand out.
  • Emotional appeal
    Getting your audience emotionally involved is a far more powerful way to engage them. If they become emotionally attached to your solution, you have an excellent chance to bring them over to your way of thinking.
  • To transport
    This is where a picture is truly worth a thousand words. It’s far easier to convey the bustle of a New York City sidewalk with a picture than it is to describe it for your audience with words alone. You’ll never adequately describe the ambiance of a place without pictures.
  • To show or describe an unfamiliar object or concept
    If you’ve never seen or heard of a kangaroo, it would be difficult to describe what it looks like without a picture. But one image can have an entire audience experiencing the same concept at the same time.


No doubt you have shown complex ideas to potential or current clients and customers. Pictures, charts, diagrams and maps are a great way to reinforce your message in a proposal, and doubly important when presenting information to your clients. It can make the difference between connecting with a client on a surface level or on a deeper level.  

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