Nowadays we are being surrounded by advertisements, visually appealing materials both on the Internet and in the real world, and all of them am competing and hunting either for the attention of different groups of people, or for potential customers. Brands started realizing that there are few characteristics that make them outstanding and shine brighter than the others offering the same type of goods or services, and this inevitably leads us to the concept that we, the customers, are no longer searching for goods but, on the contrary, brands are searching for customers. This immediately leads us to expecting more and more from companies, searching for better conditions and more friendly attitude, but what is more: we search for good looking goods, well-packed products and well-presented services. There is this inexplicit understanding among customers that if product ‘X’ looks good, then it is logically good when it comes to the quality, and vice versa, if the quality is great but the packing is not impressive, then this product sells harder and needs more personal recommendations as a condition to attract new customers.
Looking at this situation from a wider perspective, we can easily understand the future trends through the very popular book ‘The Third Wave’ by the sociologist and futurologist Alvin Toffler. The book presents an historical overview of the past two human civilizations with objectivity and projects the third one that is in the process of unfolding as change sweeps across the globe. Three waves describe three different types of societies in sequential order and each wave pushes the older society and culture aside.
The First Wave economy was of agrarian nature that began around thousands of years ago, where everyone made their own products for their own consumption and there was little or no trading between households. The Second Wave, commenced in 18th century, describes an industrial society, where machine expressed its muscles to begin Industrial Revolution and urbanization around factories. By the end of II World war, however, we began to receive signals of a gathering third wave, based not on muscles but on mind.
Having this in mind, we come to realize that we have easier access to anything we could imagine, and this situation leads us to wanting to receive everything in the best possible way. There comes the need of good design and visual tools and materials in the current industrial, political and social conjuncture. Good visual presentation is a promise for everybody that their messages, their ideas and concepts will be noticed in the crowd among the others competing for attention.
Personally, I can display lots of examples of visual tools and designs that helped me over the years so I could eventually be successful in my job and in my personal projects. I never studied anything related to this specific kind of knowledge, never took any course in digital presentation skills. Being creative and motivated to reach your objective is enough most of the times.
A simple example is that I started working in a private school which had a Facebook page with certain number of fans. I was wondering why such a small number of fans was there, as we were the most recognized school in town. Then I realized what people need to see and made a strategy on how to manage that page:
I always showed personal stories because people love to associate with others.
I managed to show them in very appealing way.
By now, I have made three times the number of fans we had in the beginning.
Creativity is the Key to Success
Few years ago, I was keen on pursuing my higher education in one of the very renowned universities in The United States. These universities have a huge pool of applicants and limited number of prospective students who manage to pass all the examination procedures and begin their studies. At this time, I was wondering how I could present myself in such a way that I stand out in the crowd and draw the attention of the admission committee to my application. As the Resume is a very important part of the application package, I came up with the bright idea that my Resume won’t be the standard format, so I made a magazine. Believe it or not, I had no clue how that would work, and I am not famous with design works, I work in a totally different professional field. I found an online platform that allowed me to create a professional magazine: mission completed. Thanks partially to my Resume, I got admitted in a few very good universities. Resume here. Then I made a booklet for my school: here.
Build Your Brand Alone
I partially work as a volunteer in one of the well-known monasteries in Bulgaria, and two years ago we decided we can make honey and sell it, so we could collect money and build a new building there, which would allow people to come for trainings and sleep there. We made a 500 beehives bio farm, then started producing big amounts of honey, and later realized we need to make labels for the products we offer. Of course, we had no digital design volunteers, so I challenged myself I get that labels work done. I didn’t know I had to deal with Adobe Illustrator – the horror of all of my dreams. I installed the program, opened it and told myself ‘Goodness, that’s never going to happen. No way.’ It was so complicated that I cried. Then step by step, in a big hurry as we had no time, I made all the labels. I was scared someone would ask me at that time how am I making the labels: my answer would be ‘Frankly, I have no idea’.
by Ava Dobreva
TC "Promoting visual facilitation" in Brolo, Sicily