Editor's Note

by New Idiom

Everyone, even my mom, has some type of social networking profile. (She’s on MySpace if you’re wondering).  Basically everyone under 70 takes pictures. We live in a society that, according to Michael Beirut, makes things with “words and pictures”.

While this is really nothing new, what is new is that the masses have joined the professionally trained designers and journalists in authoring content for others to see. Now everyone makes things with words and/or pictures, and they’re getting better.

Maybe a time will come when merely participating in society will demand as much media fluency as fluency in your native tongue. Designers have operated in this world forever.  Careers are made and broken based on the extent to which a designer can clearly and compellingly deliver a message.

The designer/researcher’s job is to discover intricacies, convey why they matter and communicate what to do about them with speed and aplomb.  As a rapidly increasing number of messages (emails, articles, blogs, advertisements, presentations, etc…) infiltrates daily life, more clarity and sophistication are required to float above the noise.

This is no secret in the design community.  There is a growing number of consultancies now employing trained filmmakers to create narratives to transfer research gathered in the field.  Film is a medium that enjoys a large body of  experienced viewers (we have grown up with major motion pictures).  Consultancies such as BMW DesignWorks USA and Gravity Tank are breaking ground by using complex techniques to craft extremely rich messages, and then showing them to time-starved decision makers within organizations.

Is this the obvious next step?  Will the creation of visual narratives become the gold standard for presentation 3.0?  Are there important nuances lost in these crafted and compressed messages?

One of your editors,