© Charlene Zubrzycki
Everyone’s heard the well known phrase ‘Actions speak louder than words’…if you haven’t…well, you have now. With this in mind I invented my own saying (yes invented…?!) ‘Images speak louder than words’. I like to keep this sentence in mind being a graphic designer, as at times you can receive a shiiii…..’ a lot of unnecessary text for a project. When all the while, just one simple image can project your whole overall concept and message. While also creating a much greater impact. There are many benefits from using images in projects, especially when your working with social media. In this blog I will be talking about the benefits as to why images are beneficial for use in social media. I will be using a ‘Women’s Aid’ charity campaign poster which I created, to use as an aid for examples when needed.
© Charlene Zubrzycki
1. Overall Message Received Quicker – The world works at a fast pace these days and people don’t have time to be reading paragraphs of text, so there’s no guarantee that a viewer will actually bother to read your post. By using imagery you are essentially making sure viewers actually read your message. By cutting the length of time in which it takes viewers to absorb/understand a message, you are likely to get them to read it. Paragraphs and paragraphs of text will scare people away from your post, as we are lazy as a society…People just can’t be arsed… Taking the above as an example. Paragraphs of text could have been used from survivors of abuse, to express to the viewer the mental and physical emotions that they endured throughout. But as you can see, the above image expresses their stories and the emotions they would have felt through visual content and symbolism.
2. Grabs Attention – Think about it, when people use social media they scroll through the page at break neck speed until something grabs their eye. Then they stop. Look. Then read. By using powerful/pleasing/pretty images you are guaranteed to catch viewers eyes. Then that viewer in return will stop, look and read.
3. Interesting Not Boring – Words, words, words…borinnggg… That’s what most people feel when they are confronted with a crap load of text. We are a digital era, we spend the majority of our time in front of screens be it computer, devices, television, mobile, etc… We are never far away from those little angular shapes and their heavenly glow. We like to look at screens and the imagery they contain. It’s dynamic content, not static like a book. For example, you wouldn’t read a 300 p.g book on how matchsticks are made. But on screen…wow… I’ve seen them little picks been made, whizzing round a factory on that program ‘How it’s Made?’… and well… it looked pretty cool, believe it or not, it was also interesting?! That’s all because the viewer could actually visually see it. All that boring information you would have had to read in that imaginary 300 p.g matchstick book that I just invented (that’s right, I invented… just as I did the phrase ‘Imagery speaks louder than words’ by the way). Well all that boring information that would have been in that book I just invented, has now been condensed into visuals, and visuals appeal to us because of our digital culture. And visuals appeal to us because we don’t have to mentally create what we are reading. And as I said earlier, we are a bunch of lazy sods. So this condensed information that we receive in a dynamic channel, clicks with viewers straight away as it highly appeals to their needs.
4. Connects Greatly – Images connect with us greatly. They can connect through catching our emotions. We can’t help it, were human and we have a lot of empathy towards other humans and things (well, unless your a serial killer). Think to the type of Oxfam advertising images you see. They always pull on the old heart strings. We place ourselves into the images and feel for them. Images also connect with us through their aesthetics. We get to see things we might not normally get to see with our own eyes in real life. Images can appeal to us for their shear beauty, coolness or uniqueness. As we like connecting to things as a culture by placing significant values onto them.
5. Multi Lingual – Images are a universal language, people decode the meanings in their head just as they would words on a page. Because there are no codes or rules with imagery, different people from all different areas of the world can understand and receive the same message. (obviously cultural factors could misinterpret the intended message). But for arguments sake, lets say the above ‘Women’s Aid’ image was shared on Facebook in Ireland and France. Viewers from the two countries, even though they speak totally different languages, would interpret exactly the same intended message. This concurs through their shared symbolism and values. So even though no actual written language is being used and the rules that come with them languages don’t apply, then the initial intended message can be understood pictorially.
With all these factors in mind you can see why images are of crucial benefit for social media campaigns. They create huge, long lasting impact compared to some ‘text information’ on a page, as they hold more significance and meaning, creating greater, remember able impacts. It’s highly appealing to viewers as we live in the age of digital and are always seeing images on our screens, we are drawn towards them. It’s also multi lingual and with the internet been available in…well everywhere..! It’s a brilliant way to get your intended message received across a board of markets. An image can contain so much unwritten information and with working in social media you need to get your messages across quick and easy. In short. An image can speak a thousand words. So why would you waste time writing/typing those thousand words? When you can say it all with just one image.
By the way……..
*** The new hardback edition of ‘300 p.g Book of How Matchsticks are Made’ by Charlene Zubrzycki, is now available in all good book stores. (*NOTE – Book contains 1 pages) 🙂