If you can imagine Superman flying high above the planet every morning, deciding on where most urgently needs his help, it is easy then to realise that sometimes taking a step back helps us see where the real problem lies. We gain perspective so to speak. Thankfully we don’t have to wear tights and red pants in business, but ‘zooming out’ is something that can really help businesses see the bigger picture. In our case this is literal as our Rich Pictures serve to help people see where they can make changes, solve problems and increase efficiency. 

First pioneered in the 1990’s Rich Pictures are a recognised format used to engage business employees in constructive conversation. They do this by way of creating a meaningful narrative which can be used as a springboard for ideas and insights – it should be noted that leading economists view this as a crucial factor to a business’ success – being able to adapt and see the bigger picture. 

What are Rich Pictures exactly?

Put simply Rich Pictures are detailed visual illustrations of sometimes complex situations or business constructs. They serve to help people understand quickly and fully what is being communicated verbally or via text. They aim to aid people in organising their thoughts, re-organising a complicated system, or identifying a specific problem.

Using a combination of text, illustrations and symbols to visualise a particular situation, Rich Pictures have an excellent record. In one example Du Pont reported that after a session with Rich Pictures 95% of employees at a particular company said that they understood the company strategy better.

Example of a rich picture below:

example of a rich picture visualscribing

How can a Rich Picture benefit your business?

Rich pictures are excellent at engaging people from different levels/parts of an organisation by bringing them together on a level playing field. The MacLeod report emphasises the direct correlation between improving engagement (and thus understanding) and improving performance. “If it is how the workforce performs that determines to a large extent whether companies or organisations succeed, then whether or not the workforce is positively encouraged to perform at its best should be a prime consideration for every leader and manager, and be placed at the heart of business strategy.” David MacLeod and Nita Clarke

• Rich Pictures increase employees’ understanding of the business – they help people comprehend and importantly remember shared content

• Rich Pictures do this by creating collective experiences

• Rich pictures facilitate conversations between different sectors of the company which ultimately leads to a broad and shared understanding of a situation.

Why do Rich Pictures work?

Ultimately Rich Pictures are not about the pictures themselves but the conversations that result from them, whether these result in a better understanding of something or just better relationships between business members. The best type of resulting conversation is free from jargon and memorable. Importantly these conversations are also open to all members of the team – the art of illustration aids in establishing an atmosphere of equality amongst all involved in the collaborative process.

Rich Picture ­ A Combination of Images and Words

For millennia humans communicated solely via images and actions. Nowadays however, without words the message carried by a visual element may be ambiguous, but without images ideas and messages can be lost in a sea of words. Appropriate images and appropriate wording are therefore the best and most powerful medium for communication. The pictures are processed faster than the words and provide a mental ‘hook’ upon which the data can be hung for later recall. At Visual Scribing.com we are experts in creating Rich Pictures and understanding brand personalities – whether it be the use of a unique colour palette, a brand tone of voice, or a visual language. We develop bespoke solutions and tailored visuals to consolidate a unique communication experience which will help you and your business. Your Rich Pictures are guaranteed to empower your strategy which will enable your company to display its super powers. A bit like Superman. 

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the-funny-thing-about-awkward-situations

Picture this: a client with a powerpoint presentation loaded with bullet points which were each a complaint about company employees. We nearly headed for the exit for fear of how awkward this somewhat delicate presentation was about to become! But being who we are we could not yield to a challenge (plus we’d been hired for the sole purpose of softening the blow). “How?” you might ask…

Well, in a situation like this, which could easily escalate into a colossal disaster if handled incorrectly, humour is the most important thing. Our client was quite rightly adamant that the complaints were explained without hurting anyone’s feelings. We decided the best way to solve this problem would be to hold a ‘creative lab’ with the client to make sure that appropriate and amusing metaphors were used for each complaint. In one 4 hour session together we agreed on the correct images for each complaint issue, and the sketches were created there and then. Thus the client was engaged in the creative process. This type of idea generation is fun and energising. The client loves it and we love it too. 

Once the sketches were done and approved by the client, we scanned them and started working on the final illustrations digitally. Digital illustrations are easy to edit and have a crisp finish – though they are originally hand-drawn so don’t look computer generated at all! The final illustrations were elegant, engaging and fun without being childish. We used a reduced colour palette so as not to distract attention from the message. Creativity is the art of mixing different visions and ideas to find a solution that suits everyone. At the same time it is also important to understand the universal part of communication so that the presentation can be appreciated by a large and diverse audience. The client was extremely happy with the outcome due to how effective the illustrations were at communicating the messages to their employees. 

By hiring us to create illustrations with a great deal of humour a meeting, which could have been upsetting and damaging to the company in the long-term, was in fact positive and uplifting for everyone. The illustrations we created in partnership with the client were thus a great way to take the serious edge off a subject during their presentation, and ease an awkward atmosphere. Listening to customer complaints has never been so much fun!

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