A picture paints 36,000 messages per hour

We are visual animals. Yes, we’re cerebral; we love music, we read books, we love to chat ­– but the fastest way to communicate with us is visually. On average our eyes register 36,000 messages per hour. No wonder we wear glasses and need eye drops. Our brains absorb visuals 60,000 times faster than text. That seems like a lot doesn’t it? We reckon it’s a throwback to our caveman selves. Before we could grunt, “Loving your new bone collection”, we had to be able to scan the horizon for hungry tigers and bears, and know how to make a swift exit.

Blink and you’ll miss it – literally

Up to 94% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. And that’s how we recall; we see images and then put meaning to them. It all happens in nanoseconds in our busy brains, but still, visual communication is where it’s at. We see the bear coming for us and before we can shout, ‘Yikes, it’s a bear!’ we’re halfway up a tree – hopefully ; )

Visuals improve learning by up to 400%. Isn’t that an incredible number? In our day-to-day lives it’s the images that are packing a punch and stimulating our imagination.

Keeping it real with photography

But, as times change, we’re becoming more discerning about what gets and holds our attention on screen for more than a few seconds. So it’s becoming increasingly difficult to reach your audience; there’s countless distractions and it’s hard to impress them.

At Ideaseed we’re finding little changes are making a big difference to attention spans. Like using authentic photographic images in communications. Stock photography just doesn’t stand up anymore. Real life, real people, in real scenarios has much stronger cut through. It humanises your brand, injects character, makes you seem more trustworthy and relatable. Just look at the ground-breaking early 2000’s Dove campaign for real beauty that featured and celebrated real women … and coincidently drove up sales internationally by $2bn. Not to be sniffed at.

2020 has seen the launch of Dove’s Real Men campaign – if it ain’t broke… For smaller brands, user generated content is a good starting point for visuals, share and reshare.

Bite-size information

Contemporary graphics work too, and at Ideaseed we’re very fond of infographics. They allows us to take complex information and distil it into an eye-catching visual shorthand. Easily digestible and instantly shareable, an infographic tells your story in a nanosecond.

People like to be part of the story and will share their newly acquired knowledge if it looks good, and makes them look good in turn. So they’re more likely to pass on your information if it comes with a visual. In fact a tweet with an image is five times more likely to be shared than one without.

Impactful animation

Meet your visual superpower – animation. Vibrant, eye-catching animated designs are quickly becoming a popular way to display and take in content. Classy and creative, with movement that holds attention. Colourful animation can also play a particularly strong role in memory. In a recent study examining people’s recall of words, objects and colours,  colour had the greatest recall.

Say hello to the logo

The first encounter your customer, or prospective customer, has with your business is usually your logo. It needs to visually stand out and make more of an impression than those 35,999 other images fighting for their attention. It should invite and communicate your core company values in an interesting way. Take a look at some iconic logos (interestingly all created by women) that we’ve featured on the blog before.

Step out of the cave

Imagery, and how we present our brand, is an important part of building a business. We want to create engaging content and we want people to remember us. Our ‘caveman’ brains are already hard wired to register visuals, so with the right messages, told in visually effective ways, we can connect meaningfully and memorably.