10 Simple Rules of Visual Storytelling

Web Accessibility and PR

When you learn how to tell a story with your visuals, magic happens! A good story can be inspiring for your audience and this is how: A great visual storytelling can really help you represent more complex information. Providing visuals to tell your story will help your audience get a better understanding and brand experience.

Storytelling has come a long way since cave painting. Technology today allows us to tell stories through so many different content styles: Images, photography, infographics, videos and animations, gifs, illustrations, graphs and charts, headers and covers, etc.

Since then, even though our brain has evolved to see other things and more stimulations, it still reacts to visual storytelling to make sense of an experience. Basically, stories transcend in our minds way more than brands do. They simply work because they appeal to how we are wired.

We see a visual story and we keep it in our imagination. So get your visuals to really make your brand stand out from your competition and back up your story with great imagery!

What is Visual Storytelling?

Visual storytelling is not more than using your visual content to tell your story right. You can use all forms of visual out there as long as they work together to tell your brand’s story. Being able to successfully represent this can give more engagement with your audience, more customer’s brand loyalty, higher impact on your posts, and finally, a much higher sense of brand’s value.

When you think about visual storytelling, you probably most likely think of videos. Of course, it is true that videos can be very effective in telling a story in a visual way. However, visual storytelling is limited to videos only: it can also be employed in magazine covers, graphics, blog headers, custom stickers, social media posts, and more.

Album Cover

And now that it’s more than clear, let’s get into 10 of the most basic rules to create proper digital storytelling:

1. Use in the Right Context

There has to be a perfect match between what your words say in a blog post, caption, copies, and your visuals. When the context is right your visual can have a strong finish. They can and should be the perfect complement.

2. Minimalism Can Be Your Best Friend

Let’s say that we don’t mean minimalism in a way that you don’t use many elements, but rather that you make a balance of everything to maintain your main focus. Not everyone is an art curator that can notice everything you put into your story, so try to make it as clear as possible. Make your visual elements all point in the same direction, to the same main focus.

3. Follow Your Storyline

Remember every story has a beginning, a climax, and a conclusion. So you should stick to the same structure when creating your visual storytelling. For example, think about infographics. Think of how they start with a big beginning stating the main point they move through a few facts to get to the big main point. Then they conclude with more resourceful information. Walk your audience step by step.

Magazine Cover

4. Show Rather than Tell

You won’t be able to explain your visuals, they should be able to explain themselves. This is quite important since some people tend to go way creative so much that nobody can actually understand their references. The best way to think about this is to consider your audience, who are they, will they be able to understand your story?

5. Visual Hierarchy

Guide your viewer throughout your elements by giving hierarchy to your visuals. That means to begin with the largest, most attractive piece of graphic and make a natural flow through the rest. This applies even in blog headers, titles are big and dense while subtitles are a bit smaller and simpler. Remember to keep the focus on the main element to make it stand out from your visuals. Avoid overwhelming your viewers by highlighting the main things.

Etsy Cover

6. Help Yourself Using Characters

If you are not yet a professional of visual arts storytelling, use characters to make a more clear point. They are more relatable to people! Whether you decide to use animals, avatars, or real people like graphics it all works wonders when trying to make your story as clear as possible.

Facebook Post

7. Hide Meanings to Make It Fancier

Hide meanings and metaphors throughout your visuals to make it a little more interesting. Artists do this all the time on their music videos, on their paintings, on their album covers. Why not give it a try?

8. Colors Say Things Too

The colors you use have meanings too! Remember the psychology of colors? If you don’t this would be a great time to remember everything about it and give meaning to your visual with some colorful intentions.

9. The Art of Storytelling with Consistency

Keep it consistent throughout all your fonts, colors, styles, throughout all your visuals to aaakeep a branding sense between them. It doesn’t matter if you will be using different visual formats.

Instagram Story Post

10. Videos Tell Great Stories Too

Whether you are using videos or animated graphics, you can tell way more than with static images. Still, remember to point towards important elements. Take care of your narrative trying to keep your story clear. We recommend you remove the audio if you want to keep it 100% visual.

And That’s a Wrap

So there you have it! Storytelling is a super strategy for making great visuals to represent your brand. Simply follow the previous rules to create great storytelling visuals to give some color and forms onto your brand.

Make a better, more dynamic experience for your audience by showing your story throughout all your visuals instead of wording everything. Look for visual storytelling examples to get a clear idea of what you can use and design for your own brand. You are ready to go! Start creating your visuals today! Remember that with Placeit you can make your designs on your own as well as your videos.

PRmention is a digital PR agency for startups & SaaS businesses. Occasionally, we accept high quality contributed content and we’d love to hear any ideas you may have. Feel free to email us on [email protected] if you are interested in contributing.