Just as there are thousands of living languages, visual content can speak in such varied ways and across many, many means of communication.
At Killer, we often speak of static work (like infographics), motion graphics, and interactive content as the primary categories that help to define visual content, but in reality, each of these mediums can evolve and work together to create new ways of speaking visually. They can also all be promoted and disseminated in innovative ways — you can use these pieces or portions of them to spread awareness across your site, social channels, partner sites, microsites, and more.
Whether you’re exploring visual communication for the first time, working to define a visual strategy, or embarking on a campaign with a specific unified goal, these mediums can work together to create a clear picture of your message.
Infographics and Other Static Content
Infographics are practically ubiquitous in the online space. Lots of images claim to be infographics, even if they aren’t quite there in terms of balancing successful visual communication, effective and attractive custom design, valuable and reputable content, and ease of use.
But static visual content doesn’t begin and end with infographics — data visualizations, eBooks, newsletters, visual blog posts, and more are all examples of static visual content that can connect with your audience when executed well. Business cards and flyers are still in frequent use at conferences, while posters, brochures, and printed reports still also have their place in conference rooms, workplaces, sales floors, and more. Visual training tools for internal use often also incorporate print collateral for future reference.
Infographics can stand successfully on their own or in a series, but can also be quite effective when paired with accompanying dynamic content that either tells the same story or takes a deeper dive. Motion graphics and interactive content can be excellent partners to your static content.
Motion graphics can enhance your presence on multimedia platforms like Facebook and Twitter while also affording access to new ones, like YouTube. They allow you to tell a unique story about your business, your purpose, your customers, your product or service, and more.
Motion graphics are powerful on their own, but they can be highly effective when paired with other mediums — for example, perhaps you are showing a motion graphic during a presentation but need a print leave-behind for a sales pitch or conference. Maybe you developed an infographic as part of a webinar and it was very successful online, but viewers said they’d love a motion graphic to help most effectively pass your message on to their colleagues or boss. Motion graphics can help add a more “human” component to your narrative by incorporating movement, sound design, and voiceover.
Tasked with goals like audience engagement, detailed storytelling, and a unique experience of information discovery, interactive content shines. It can take the form of a quiz with specific results, an in-depth timeline, a report with multiple levels of detail, and much more. Because interactive content can tell many stories and take a user down many paths, it’s very well-suited to being paired with other mediums in a larger visual strategy. The different paths or layers of information can be broken down into unique infographics; a brief motion graphic can provide a high-level look at the topic before the deep-dive begins.
Interactive content opens new possibilities for translating data that you may have always thought was just too dense for your audience to easily parse. That text-heavy, table-filled report can be a thing of the past when you give users the ability to control the level of information they explore. It can also be a unique way to explore a single-path narrative in a similar way to what a motion graphic can present, but with a distinctly different experience.
Many visual strategies can benefit from interactive content because it’s highly versatile, meaning it can be the right option for a wide variety of stories and goals.
Visual Assets for Distribution
No matter which medium your art was created for, it doesn’t have to be a one-and-done piece. If you’ve created it in-house or purchased the rights from your visual communication agency, you can use the source file to repurpose your design for distribution in other ways. If you don’t have the source file, your agency should be happy to create assets like these for you, whether included in your package or added on after the fact!
No 2 visual strategies are the same, and not every visual strategy requires use of every medium in the visual communication toolbox — but knowing how each of these mediums can contribute to a visual strategy at large is a great way to begin imagining what your own path could look like.