29 Jul 2016
A few days ago I was listening to an interview with Sir Jeremy Isaacs about the lasting qualities and the enduring legacy of the TV series, ‘The World at War’. One particular caller commented that his son had learned more about the Second World War by watching this one TV series than in the entirety of his primary and secondary education.This is true in my own educational experience; I’ve learned more about the world by watching the likes of TED Talks and VSauce than I ever did in school, college and university.This isn’t surprising. Moving visuals are in our DNA, hardwiring our brains to pay attention and quickly understand things that move and make noise, allowing us to pick up visual data 60,000 times faster than we can process something as visually complex as text.
In my previous blog about the use of infographics, I quoted the old saying, “a picture speaks a thousand words”. Not surprisingly, Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research wrote a report back in 2008 claiming that if a picture is worth one thousand words, then one minute of video is worth 1.8 million.Video communication allows us to keep the visual complexities of text to a minimum and allows the more visual aspects that video provides to convey ideas quickly. Visual story telling isn’t anything new, we have been doing it ever since we started painting on cave walls. Visual story telling is very visceral, triggering an emotional response.This emotional connection can be a powerful communication tool, especially to businesses large and small. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to sell something, teach something, align someone to your vision or just wanting to create an emotional connection, video is the ideal tool.Here at NLP, we have recently launched our latest video promoting our digital offer. Not only does it showcase what digital services NLP’s Graphic Design Team can offer, but also provides a perfect example of the quality and complexity of video communication we can produce.
In a ’white paper’ published by the technology company Cisco, it is predicted that by next year, 69% of all consumer internet traffic will be video. Cisco are far from alone in this predication, as I struggled to find any similar predication about internet trends that doesn’t cite video as a rapid growth area.So videos such as NLP’s are fast becoming essential for any business. Forrester Research for example found that a web site is 50 times more likely to appear on the first page of Google search results if it includes video.The sheer quantity of internet video success stories borders on the stuff of myth and legend. Take last year’s Sainsbury’s Christmas advert about Mog the Cat which reached over 30 million views on Youtube. Now, I’m not saying that NLP’s video, or others we produce have the potential to be viewed millions of times, however it does demonstrate the power of video to boost awareness. By engaging with viewers optimally, a message is more likely to be shared with others, and the viewer will spend longer interacting with a business.NLP’s Digital Team can produce a range of digital material, including animated video, to help communicate messages, including the benefits of a development scheme. This, according to my research, could provide a platform, for it to be watched and shared by a far greater audience than traditional printed methods.
18 Jul 2016
A few of NLP’s London-based graphic designers recently attended the New Designers Exhibition at the Business Design Centre – a vast display of final year students’ work from across the field of design – from furniture, to illustration, advertising to typography.The annual event is an opportunity for students to show off the fruits of their hard labour during their degree, and for businesses to spot and talk to future creative leaders. Our visit was complemented by a talk on ‘Creative Thinking for Commercial Success’, hosted by ‘The Knowledge Transfer Network’. Speakers included Clive Grinyer, Customer Experience Director at Barclays and Kevin McCullagh, founder of Plan.Both discussed the importance of design in business – a partnership championed through successful companies such as Uber, Airbnb and of course Apple. They also touched on the clear advantage of fusing in-house design teams together with teams having strategic and analytical thinkers.This brought me to thinking about the strong link between our graphic design team at NLP and our other professional teams, and my opinion that our most successful projects are those which include collaboration between different types of thinkers.
On most of the projects we work on, planners, economists, urban designers and heritage professionals have a story to tell – of the past, present and future of a space/place/building. That story is communicated to communities, stakeholders, government, politicians and other industry players. The role of our graphic designers is to filter these stories into their key constituent parts and to translate them into compelling and easily understandable visuals. Whether this process becomes a brochure, report, website or exhibition, the visual aspect brings that story to life.When providing industry insight we work closely with NLP’s professionals to create reports, animations and infographics that communicate the most compelling data in the most appropriate, digestible way. Our recent ‘Untangling London’s Housing Election’ infographic, produced in advance of the mayoral election, is an example of a joint effort between the graphic design and research teams.
@ Design by NLP (May 2016) | Sources: DCLG, ONS, GLA, FALP, Land Registry, EHS, CML, GLUD, NLP Analysis
Not only does the fusion of ideas of analysts, strategists, planners and designers result in powerful project outputs, but they are also the most rewarding projects to work on as they provide an opportunity for people who approach projects in different ways to work together and share knowledge, and quite often lead to innovation and to new ideas for future work.The saying goes - “Great minds think alike”, but it can be far more interesting when they don’t.