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The blog often serves as a laboratory for conducting experiments on content. If something works, we can then consider it for client campaigns.

This “R&D” work has been particularly fruitful in advancing our visual storytelling chops.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the design resources of our global creative services team, Marjan Giahi, Chauncey Hill, Bonnie Lamb, Cindy Li, and Ducky Tsui (I know, great name for an artist). We’re also lucky to benefit from an ever-expanding pool of illustrators with a gift for shaping concepts into digital images.

The following captures a cross section of visual assets created for the blog with quick commentary.

This water-color artwork immediately communicates the challenge in pitching business publications like The Wall Street Journal.
www.ishmaelscorner.com/b2b-media-relations/

man pushing boulder up hill to wall street journal illustration

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man pushing boulder up hill to wall street journal illustration

Using an existing photo, we simply rewrote the sign to “Go Anecdotes” and packaged as a GIF that flips the sign back and forth.
www.ishmaelscorner.com/anecdotes-storytelling/

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The combination of a simple graphic and cheeky understatement lifts this image. Of course, “Game of Thrones” as a backdrop doesn’t hurt.
www.ishmaelscorner.com/tyrion-shows-persuasive-language-not-slides-wins-the-day-in-game-of-thrones/

 

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Channeling Elvis, this “word visual,” supports a story on Gigaom going out of business.
www.ishmaelscorner.com/a-pr-perspective-on-the-demise-of-gigaom-and-a-few-words-on-tech-media/

Gigaom logo

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Gigaom logo

Illustration lends itself to hyperbole, in this case revisiting the high cost of toast.
www.ishmaelscorner.com/4-toast-tech-industry-still-ruining-san-francisco/

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A simple flow chart visualizes our failed attempts to redesign the blog.
www.ishmaelscorner.com/blog-design-for-thought-leadership-4/

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Disgusted with the NRA’s communications after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, I wrote a post that carried this parody visual.

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Using an illustration as a GIF brings motion to the visual asset. Even the simplest of action like in this “man bites dog” visual generates extra attention.

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Riffs off the technical flow chart. By adding some visuals and coloring the language, we end up with a parody test that was syndicated in AdWeek.

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We call these “word visuals” in which we take liberties in changing the words in an existing image.

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Dispelling the myth that data must shape infographics, this take on “Storytelling vs Corporate Speak” parlayed contrast into one of our most shared visual assets.

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We’re huge fans of illustration in which anything is possible (literally). This illustration accompanied one of my favorite posts, “Open Letter to First-Time CEOs of Startups.”

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One of my go-to anecdotes to make the point that bragging does not work. I’m still trying to figure out if I’m wearing socks in this illustration.

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Life imitated art with our prediction that a selfie from the Pope would be go viral. Some amusing facial actions (and actions) taking place in the Vatican crowd.

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Channeling Jimi Hendrix — do you see the area? — we visually break down the storytelling in the Budweiser “Puppy Love” video that ran during the 2013 Super Bowl.

budweiser puppy love graph

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budweiser puppy love graph

It turns out that you can apply A/B testing to “Dear Santa” letters. Storytelling wins.

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Decided to use a cereal box in revisit Google’s decision to dial down its operations in China.

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This is the simplest form of a “word visual,” inserting a speaking bubble into a great photo. The incongruent language plays off the photo.

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I’m the last person you want on your karaoke team, but I always thought it would be cool be on album cover. That was the genesis for this visual.

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This visual depicts the intersection of social media and Cervantes. It’s also a proof point that I did take away a few slivers of knowledge from my college lit class.

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This technique does stretch the definition of original artwork. Regardless, inserting a speech bubble into a photo that leverages pop culture is effective.

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I interviewed Casey Connerty Protti who runs the “Bookstore Santa Cruz,” one of the top independent book stores in the country. One of her comments made the leap to a button.

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After deep analysis, we discovered a correlation between the lyrics in Beatle songs and the PR business.

Beatles Lyrics, PR & storytelling

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Beatles Lyrics, PR & storytelling

Illustration was again the visual of choice for a post that examines “voice” in communications.

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This is one of our more ambitious pieces of original art. Think of it as what happens when the White House and BuzzFeed collide.

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There’s much that communicators can learn — and borrow — from publications. Here’s an example of BusinessWeek providing the raw idea for visual.

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I always wanted to use an actual pie for a pie chart. I finally got my wish when I spoke at Compass U.S.A, a food services company.

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