No Visuals: When To Use Graphics

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Newspaper or magazine? Book or on-line story?

What's the difference between them, and what draws in your attention more? In most cases, the answer is visuals. Your brain is reading and absorbing the text, but it is also reading and absorbing the message of the visuals included in the particular format you're perusing.

 Magazine Stack
Text is easy to ignore, but
visualsare not.

Now of course not all of your content needs to contain visuals, as is the case with some forms of social media, but many of them should. Give your audience a selection of communication paths, subtley encouraging them to break from text to view a graphic that underscores or enhances your position.

Here are a few things to consider when applying graphics.

  1. When you have found the perfect image to convey the topic of your story, be sure you are positioning it ABOVE the headline to increase the number of people reading your article.

  2. Ensure that the placement of your images doesn't completely desstroy a consistent eye path. We read left to right, and the more times that is interupted with interferring visuals, the greater the chance you will loose your reader.

  3. Don't get so fixated on your artistic visuals that you loose sight of why they are there in the first place. Your visuals enhance your story, they assist in the narration and draw the reader in closer and closer to the subject matter. Shock and awe can be too shocking and aweing (is that a word?).

  4. Captions are 4 times more likely to be read than the story itself, so make sure your graphics are properly labeled as they may be the only content in the article to be read.

  5. QUALITY! Please, please, oh please, do not use images of poor quality that end up showing pixelated.

  6. Relevant to not only the subject matter, but to the time as well. Make sure you know who your audience is, and have an appropriate image they can relate to. So an image of Eminem is probably not going to work for something targeting senior citizens.


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