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Storytelling in Design

Once upon a time, audience engagement, character development and narrative structure, once lived exclusively in the movies, in the arts and in the plays we watched and the books we read. But today, they’re central to the success of your brand marketing, especially in our changing world where marketing channels have become much more dynamic, and the consumer is seeking relevant content in all marketing touchpoints.


Every brand should take their audience through an unforgettable journey, so taking the time to assess what the journey will look like is a critical part of building a brand story.


Storytelling in design is used as a technique to get insight into users, build empathy and access them emotionally. With stories, designers speak via Aristotle’s points of plot, character, theme, diction, melody, décor and spectacle to increase the appeal of what they offer and provide a solid understanding of the users.” – Interaction Design Foundation




Storytelling in brand design is about creating an emotional connection between design and the person interacting with it. The story creates an emotional bond and is the reason that someone will choose a particular product or brand over another.


Simply, design storytelling is sharing information in a visual way that establishes understanding and promotes engagement.


A strong visual tie between elements can strengthen your story. Not only does a visual theme make the design look coherent and consistent, but it also ties together content elements in a way that ensures you understand they are part of the same theme.

Storytelling in brand design is about creating an emotional connection between design and the person interacting with it.


For example, Google’s Jigsaw does this with a dark background, text-heavy blocks, and line shapes. Add in space and smooth animation and users want to keep scrolling to see what part of the story unfolds next. Together, these design elements create a sense of anticipation that is essential to storytelling.


One of the best ways to use storytelling in design is to create a visual experience that is for the user. It might be your story, but you want users to own it, connect with it, and yearn to be a part of it.


If the design helps make them part of the story, establishing that connection gets so much easier.


Sometimes it seems like everything we see online is a glossed over a version that doesn’t feel real. Use design storytelling to show your or your brand’s true self online. It can be ok to write a copy from your perspective, show photos that create an emotional bond (even if they aren’t brushed up), and share why you matter.


In conclusion, telling a good story with design can look a lot of different ways. It might be an amazing narrative or video; it could be a picture collage, a game or an app. How you tell the story depends on what you are trying to communicate. The most important factor is to connect the story to your brand and the visuals in a way that resonates with users.


Just have it at the back of your mind that the best stories are memorable and repeatable, and something you want to be a part of.

Olayimika Babajide
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