3 Hot Visual Communication Trends To Watch

Meeting attendee taking a picture of a large graphic recording display

It’s no secret that images speak louder than words.

Most people are visual learners, which means we can understand and remember ideas communicated through pictures far better than dry data or hard-to-digest text. We’re also three times more likely to share them.

But do you know the latest ways to spark ideas and action with images?

Visual communication is changing rapidly, and inventive organizations are making the most of what’s new to unleash innovation and solve their biggest business problems. At ImageThink, we work daily with these world-leaders—picturing their big ideas so they can meet these goals. This means keeping ahead of emerging creative intelligence and insights ourselves.

Here are three of the hottest visual communication trends we’re seeing, and how they can help your business.

1. Animated GIFs

Animated image that shows a person pointing while holding a telescope to their eye

Animated GIFs bring slides and social media to life.

Infographics have long-been an effective way to communicate your message and engage your audience. The meaningful and visually captivating combination of text and images ensures employees, customers and other stakeholders instantly get where you’re coming from—and are inspired to get behind it.

Putting a fresh spin on this creative classic is the infogif. An alternative to static infographics, these animated images are having a big impact (which we believe will continue for some time). By bringing content to life with movement, infogifs capture and hold attention—generating some of the highest rates of user engagement. While they don’t function as standalone websites like interactive infographics do, infogifs are highly shareable, which makes them an ideal way to spice up your slide decks and social media feeds.

2. Digital Drawing Apps

Visual note taking on an iPad using the Procreate app

Digital drawing apps enable visual note-taking by anyone, anywhere.

Sketchnoting is a form of visual note-taking (and a term first coined by designer Mike Rohde) that blends text and drawing in a graphical map of ideas. And with mobile creative technology on the rise, these ideas can now be shared instantly and easier than ever.

Using a stylus and iPad, today’s illustrators are sketching out ideas through a combination of vector and hand-drawn artwork—reproducing a traditional, “physical” look and feel in digital media.

Sketchnotes such as these make information easy to understand, learn and remember—and you can take your own visual notes in a similar way, with the Procreate app. Quickly record concepts and key points in words, draw simple icons to condense big ideas, and add arrows, lines and other shapes to connect related thoughts. Then screen-shot your sketchnotes and share!

3. Illustrated Campaigns

Illustrated campaigns help build brands.

Inventive brands that want to cut through the crowd, capture attention and appeal emotionally to audiences are embracing the power of illustration to create stand-out campaigns and content.

Thanks to their creativity and imagination, illustrations give messages shape and life, making them clear, meaningful and memorable, so they have the power to shift people’s minds and behavior. Demonstrating this are advertisements for Casper and Seamless, which feature images that span hand-drawn visuals to vector art—a kind of digital illustration based on geometric shapes.

But illustration doesn’t just help sell products and services—it’s also a highly effective way to promote cause-driven brands.

One example of such mission-driven marketing is ImageThink’s work for GIATOC, the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime. By bringing the organization’s vision and strategy to life in an illustrated video featured on YouTube and GIATOC’s website, we helped raise awareness of the damaging effects of organized crime and how the nonprofit is overcoming these—building GIATOC’s global brand.

Want to learn more about the latest visual trends?

These three visual trends are shaking up the status quo in the creative industry—and have the power to do the same for your business. Put them to work and watch your boldest ideas and innovations come alive.

Engage ImageThink to facilitate a graphic recording workshop, tailored to your team. You’ll learn visual thinking and techniques to build confidence, collaboration—and your brand.

Ready to change your thinking?

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