User Journey

7 Strategies for Effective Visual Storytelling

For Brian Barrus, Creative Director at Studio Element, the term “visual storytelling” perfectly describes what designers do. Barrus has worked with clients like Franklin Covey, Bluehost, Microsoft, and the Navajo nation to tell their brand stories through visual designs ranging from interactive infographics to video content.

“The term ‘visual storytelling’ is a hot trend and I think it’s a new term to a lot of people, but the idea and the fundamentals behind it are universal truths that have always existed within design,” he says. Barrus shared his top tips with us for effective visual storytelling in today’s complex, cross-channel environment.

Rethink Your Approach to Visual Hierarchy

Effective storytelling requires a different approach to the way many designers think about visual hierarchy in their work. Instead of leading with the big idea, designers need to provide visual context early on to help draw viewers into the story.

“In design, there’s a tendency to say, ‘This is what I need you to know, so I’ll make that the first thing you see.’ When you’re telling a story visually, however, you need to approach it differently. First, you set up the context or the problem, and then you deliver the resolution or moral to the story,” says Barrus.”


"MicroValues and Knowledge Landscapes" is a working version article by Celso Singo Aramaki