Do you remember your favorite book from childhood? Close your eyes and try to recall it. You’ll most likely envision some illustrations you saw, the color of the book's cover, or other random visual images. We believe this happens for two reasons. First, people recognize words as pictures, so while you most likely struggle to remember the exact words you read, you can recollect images that appeared in your mind while you were reading the text. Second, the human brain is better trained to recognize visuals over text. It is generally agreed that the first true writing of language appeared around 5k years ago. Most scientists think that people who look like us - anatomically modern Homo sapiens - evolved at least 130,000 years ago from ancestors who had remained in Africa. And around 40,000 years ago we experienced a turning point in human creativity; wherein modern Homo sapiens arrived in Europe and left the first unambiguous artifacts of abstract and symbolic thought. Even if we take the latter as a starting point, Homo sapien have been recognizing images for eight times longer than they’ve been reading written language.
That's why we believe in the value of consistent Illustrative systems for brands and companies. This is especially true if brands or companies provide digital experiences and services that are fairly abstract, making it difficult for people to visualize them without external help. Illustrative systems also positively influence business metrics. When you provide a visual experience of your marketing copy or descriptions on your website, you reduce your site visitors mental load, leaving more space for them to commit your message to memory. Moreover, reading text and seeing an illustration which tells the same story allows people to intuitively connect the two pieces of information, generating a satisfying "A-ha" moment. This produces a "dopamine hit" which makes the readers feel smart and accomplished. This cheerful emotion also helps to build an invaluable emotional connection between your brand and potential customers.
Sounds pretty smart, ha? And how about this — having consistency throughout your illustrative system helps viewers not only recognize your brand faster, but it also builds trust. Because of the primal brain’s function, familiar things are usually seen as safe and preferable and evoke positive emotions, including trust.
And this is the case with MarkLogic. They do amazing things with their Data Hub. As they say, "The MarkLogic Data Hub gives you a perfect 360° view of your data faster than ever on the most secure, agile platform." Even after reading the words in that message, it's pretty hard to create an image of their product in your mind. That's why we designed (and keep working on) the System of illustrations that helps to support telling the stories of complicated things with memorable illustrative structures. We will share more soon. Stay tuned.
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