Give And Receive Through Visual Design

This literary gem from illustrator Leeandra Cianci beckons a backstory. It was featured on Explore, a “discovery engine for meaningful knowledge.” The map re-imagines Manhattan as the setting of various scenes from film, literature and comics.

Click to view up close

Click to view up close

If you’re a film buff, a horror aficionado, or a graphic novel nerd, this map’s likely to excite you. And being as it’s served up by a leading intellectual/blogger Maria Popova, it’s a convenient sales tool. Curious parties can click over to her Brain Pickings site to peruse thought provoking posts that expand on the art/artists in question. Oh, and Brain Pickings ALWAYS links directly to Amazon where interested parties can purchase that very film/book/comic. Did we mention that Popova receives a cut of these sales through affiliated links (there’s been great debate as to exactly how much, though)? Either way, her business strategy is working. She blogs full time and has 1.2 million monthly readers. Not bad. Evidently, there’s power in visual communication that GIVES.

Remember, branding, at its core, is about personality. And while your business might not be in the Big Apple, and it might not involve reading/viewing art, this graphic makes for a teachable moment. Informative visuals, those appropriate to your audience, will spark interest in your product.

Are you a hardware store? Imagine an infographic that teaches 20-30-somethings how to install their own shelves.

Are you a vintage furniture store? Summarize design trends through the 20th century, and help new homeowners choose mid century modern or art deco.

Are you a nursery selling indoor and outdoor plants? Educate customers on the different light and water needs for succulents, bulbs, fruits, or annuals.

In plain speak, a well executed visual GIVES something to the person on the other end. It’s the foundation of a relationship, one where you GAIN their trust. And trust is the basis of your longterm business success. It’s this trust that earns Explore and Brain Pickings substantial web traffic and generates considerate sales.

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