One of the hallmarks of our postmodern, internet-driven culture is that communication is moving away from the written word toward images. Just check your social media streams — the perpetual-motion reblog machine that is Tumblr, the Ecards filling up your Facebook news feed, the ubiquity of infographics. We live and breathe images today.
Not simply for the sake of an aesthetically-pleasing picture (which, I would argue, does matter) but in order to communicate effectively.
That’s why I’m always intrigued by efforts to redesign documents and forms we use every day. Simply put, many of them are a cluttered mess — the unspoken message, when a person picks one up, is often, “What, exactly, am I filling out now?”
This is an interesting take on redesigning the British birth certificate. Granted, there is some unnecessary information here, but your eye can easily find what’s most important on this document.
Think how much easier it would be to understand the most important information (i.e., where I am going and when) if your airplane ticket looked more like this?
Apparently, sometimes these things work. Perhaps American Airlines took several of the suggested principles from this designer in their recent rebranding/website re-launch.
. . . . .
Pastors, we are called to share the Word of God, which endures forever.
In service to this high calling, I encourage you to learn to communicate the Word of God visually. You don’t have to be an artist, and you don’t have to ride a motorcycle into the main sanctuary (for reals), but tying together visual elements will help you deliver more effective sermons.
Keep it simple. Too much information per slide is kind of overwhelming. You don’t have to go ultra-simple, full-on Pecha Kucha — 20 slides, 20 seconds each — but please don’t use any of these cluttered, crazy presentations as your guides.
Seriously, you’ll end up with this.
Although this is ancient history (2007!), Seth Godin’s tips on simple, effective presentations still work today.
These days, I’ve been creating graphics to highlight Scripture verses and quotes (which I believe is more effective than simply putting the words onto a blank screen):