Junkyards, Reverse Engineering, and Everything There Is To Know About Effective Storytelling With Visual Design

Kayode Olowu Nigerian PR Report 2020


  • Kayode Olowu



Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a visual content creator, you’ll definitely find this piece useful in one way or the other.


Here are a few tips to learn on effective storytelling:



  • Build A Junkyard


Come on, I don’t mean an actual junkyard, I mean a folder of random ideas, designs, ads, and various kinds of interesting content. Having a junkyard might not seem important right now, but it is a priceless treasure for those times you’re out of ideas and desperately need inspiration.


Just like the contents of a real junkyard, I find these materials for my creative junkyard in the oddest places – like the comments section of popular Instagram accounts and the end credits of animated movies.



  • Dig Deep


To tell the best stories, you’ll have to dig deep to find what everyone else hasn’t found yet. Most people consume the same kind of content, and therefore create the same kind of stories. So what will distinguish your work and help you tell effective stories is in the content you consume and the places you draw inspiration from.

Remember, there are no diamonds on the surface level. Dig deep.



  • Tap Into Consumer Habits


Some of the best stories are the ones that tap into the existing habits and cultural nuances of the people you’re talking to. Let your stories be a nod to an inside joke your target audience can relate with. This makes them feel seen and more likely to pay attention to the story you’re telling.



  • Follow The Consumer Journey


In creating stories about a brand or product, ask questions about how the consumer interacts with it. Do they use the product at a particular time of the day? Where do they use it? How do they use it? What do they think about the brand?

Answering questions like these as you create your stories will help you get into the consumer’s head and create stories they won’t be forgetting in a hurry.



  • Use Analogies


Again, ask questions. What is the product or essential brand message similar to? What does it remind people of? How would you communicate it if it was a meme? In using analogies, we learn to find the connection between things that seem pretty different and even cross ideas from one industry to another.



  • Reverse Engineer The Process


Most times, we consume great content passively, and just say things like ‘hey, this is great!’, ‘big ups to the team’, but that could be you if you think deeper.

So when you see content that resonates, ask yourself how the team that worked on the project arrived at that idea. What questions did they ask? How did they successfully sell the idea to the client? Analysing the idea that blew your mind helps you learn the process of creating something equally amazing.


Finally, do not just do good work, but go out there and do great work.


(These tips were shared by the Founder and Creative Director of OneWildCard, Kayode Olowu at a virtual event on “Effective Storytelling With Visual Design”. Compiled by Efe Ukpebor.)


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