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Verse Two

Design as Narrative

Design tells a story in every moment, using visual language hand-picked for its audience. It lights the way to the guiding narrative that steers business.

Design is a story curated for context. Goodnight Moon would bore a 12-year-old to death. The Brothers Karamazov would be an awful bed-time story for a 6-year-old. Design is an unfolding narrative with a voice hand-picked for the listener — chosen for the intent. Throughout the communication path that design takes, it understands and empathizes with its audience. Each moment of design adds to the narrative. Typography and color, shape and photo, everything in a hierarchy that collectively serves the audience as the intent of the content becomes crystal clear.

Don’t let the business lose the plot. The story can drift to stale and become difficult to pick up. The characters don’t make sense anymore, the business narrative has been lured from its true course into a numbers game. A company needs to repeatedly come back to the plot that was built on serving real people with real solutions to real problems. A business must remember that its brand is the ache of the customer soothed, the promise of an experience achieved. The narrative should be the answer to the tough board room questions. It should show you true North and bring you back to your source of power.

Design is a narrative written in the visual language. Constructed shapes form letters, arranged together they form sentences, assembled they form meaning. Photographs and illustrations convey emotion and direction as abstractions and captured time. A tight grid or broken-grid create security or excitement. Movement and interaction awaken interest and draw attention. We experience content primarily with our eyes and with vision we decide if the brand is the renegade or the law, the mentor, or the hero. Good design tells this story without wasting a single visual moment.