The business focus on visual storytelling has grown significantly in the past several years. This trend has been driven in part by the way people consume content: according to the 2014 Eccolo Media survey of business executives, video and infographics were cited by 35 and 21 percent of respondents, respectively, by frequency of consumption among all content types. (For reference, white papers took the top spot with 49 percent.)
In the age of information overload, visual storytelling helps content rise above the noise. And by providing a memorable snapshot of key ideas, it can offer readers a gateway into longer-form content. The interest in visual storytelling is not new, however. When I was with the McKinsey Quarterly (back in the mid aughts), our most popular e-newsletter was the Chart Focus—a short paragraph introducing a chart or exhibit excerpted from a longer article. Readers ate it up.
As companies seek to communicate through visuals, the demand for skilled designers has never been greater. The challenge is finding someone with design chops who also understands business. Many designers excel at visual composition but treat data and analysis like their own personal kryptonite, while most numbers people may be able to articulate the minutiae but can’t present their ideas in a visually compelling way. The right designer can sharpen and elevate your ideas; the wrong one can drown your brilliance with bad presentation.
That’s why I’m thrilled to welcome Delilah Zak to Leff Communications. She is the total package: a skilled, thoughtful visual strategist well acquainted with the business audience. She spent the past decade as a senior designer and associate design director at the McKinsey Quarterly, where she applied her vision and skills to print and digital publications, infographics, e-readers, apps, and everything in between.
Where Delilah really excels is in strategic planning of how information can be presented. I’m consistently floored by her ability to home in on key concepts and create a lasting visual impression. We’ve collaborated on the Illinois Innovation Index since its inception; Delilah dives deep into the data and analysis and comes up with accessible ways to tell a story. She also demonstrates a work ethic that ensures she never fails to hit a deadline, no matter how tight the turnaround. For all these reasons, she is already an invaluable Leff Communications team member.
We’re fortunate to have Delilah with us and look forward to applying her design prowess in promising new ways. As if to beat me to the point, she’s already collaborated with our video production partner, Highway M, on motion graphics to translate her design work to videos. Watch the first product of this budding relationship below.