Colordance Design

Digital Storytelling

Historically, our ancestors gathered around the campfire, entertained by word and dance. They may have participated in rituals where drawings of animals and mythic figures were artfully etched on cave walls. For most early cultures there was no written language. Stories were traditionally the main vehicle for communicating concepts, principles, and values, as well as historic facts.

William Buchholtz Journey Home CD Cover

What story does this CD cover tell?

Good storytelling still matters in our complex contemporary world. Today, digital screens have replaced camp fires, cave walls, and ancient scrolls. Now words, music, and rich visual imagery convey concepts, principles, values, and facts of our digital age. Our desktops, laptops, tablets, smart phones, and print media act as a chorus to entice viewers to take action.

Our hunger for good stories hasn’t changed much overtime. Smart businesses recognize this and seek to educate their customers with this idea in mind.

Alison Esse co-founder of The StoryTellers Ltd, a business which teaches the art of storytelling to corporations says:

“Storytelling is the most powerful form of learning and shared knowledge.”

Effective storytelling captures listeners’ attention by stimulating their curiosity, imagination, and feeling response. A good story can be persuasive tool to introduce topics, model new behaviors, and teach by example.

Compelling stories can be expressed thru any media. They do not have to be audible or written words. Every picture can tell a story. Even a series of pictures can reveal a story.

If you want your business to be noticed and remembered, you want your promotional materials to tell a convincing story. At Colordance Design we consider it part of our job to keep an eye on your story. Consider us your editor who keeps your narrative inspiring, clear, and well organized.

Resources Consulted

  1. Heeg, Robert, Tall Tales: The Strength of Storytelling.
  2. The Storytellers,

Dance Your Distinct Rhythm and Design

Speak With One Voice

Imagine your marketing communication as a dance performance. There’s a story line, costumes, musical score, and choreography—all consistent with a theme that is meant to captivate an audience. However, the ballet Sleeping Beauty is in stark contrast to the popular TV program, Dancing With The Stars. Envision a ballerina dancing an arabesque on the TV show. Her costume, movements, and music would be out of place. Likewise, a couple intent on dancing a competitive Latin cha-cha would disturb the rhythm of a graceful ballet. Whenever overarching themes are mixed and not integrated, chaos ensues. No clear messaging is sent.  Effective market messaging needs to “speak with one voice.”

It is best to communicate your marketing messaging with its distinct rhythm and design. If you are presented with two different logos that you like, do you use one for your website and another for your business card? Would you use a brochure if the layout and identity components are not consistent with the rest of your advertising collateral?  Our advice to the above situations is to take into account your viewer’s needs and politely say “No.”

Consistency Matters

Often business owners do not take the time to consider how their advertising collateral is perceived by the audience they target. If the brand ingredients are not applied consistently to all print and media applications, the choreography is interrupted. Consider what occurs when you mix the colors red, blue, and green together—you get a shade of brown. Or, if you cook a soup and add ten spices to the pot, will it taste delicious? Just because you like a specific color or spice does not mean that “adding to the mix” will create a better end product. Too many colors, too much detail, or too many unrelated ingredients muddies the messaging – like melting a box of crayons into one brown blob. You loose your impact and leave your readers confused.  Who will remember you?
Coke signage
Take into account your viewer’s memory bank. Each day they step out their front door, they are surrounded by a sea of images. Photographs and typographic treatments are everywhere. You want your audience to remember your business, even when they are not, at the present moment, in need of your services. Thus, when they do have a need in the future they can retrieve a snapshot or “byte” of information from their neural archives.

Repetition Imprints Your Messaging

Imprinting you marketing message into the minds of your target audience requires repetition of a consistent design. Remember the last time you were thirsty and shopped at the grocery store for your favorite drink? Can you visualize the name and product packaging? Red and white label, Coke, perhaps? Major brands often advertise their brand mark correlated to a consumer need.  Thus, when you are thirsty, your mind brings up the image of the soft drink logo.

Your visual choreography begins with an iconic logo capturing the symbolic essence of your work. It progresses to a conceptual theme embracing a distinct graphic design style. It incorporates meaningful imagery which alludes to a larger context or culture in which your business thrives. It encompasses a successful website which mirrors your distinct business identity. Thus, viewer’s are invited to engage with your business by gently capturing their interest, support, and participation. This is accomplished through the application of good graphic design and web usability features, which increases web site effectiveness.

Your promotional materials should communicate a distinct, consistent identity. Brand consistency is vital. Our human brain thrives on it. Be firm and steadfast with your market communication.  Our advice?  Dance your distinct rhythm and design and speak with one voice.

Market Messaging

The ancient Greek proverb, “Know Thyself” has been attributed to several different Greek prophets, most notably Socrates. This well known phrase was inscribed above the door for all who entered the Temple of Delphi in ancient Greece.

“Know Thyself” Still Relevant Today

Today these words are still relevant for all types of businesses. Every business needs to “Know Thyself”—what it does well, and what differentiates it from its competition. Every business wants to communicate to their customers why they should buy their service or products instead of someone else’s. Thus the question: what do you offer that is unique?

Identify The Problem Your Business Solves

In order to discover the answer to this question, it is often helpful to consider a problem solution approach. First, identify a problem your business addresses. Second, describe the unique capabilities your business provides to solve the problem effectively.

Educate Your Customers

Sometimes the problem is obvious and the differentiators and messaging needs to focus on the solutions. In other cases, more time must be spent describing the problem clearly and concisely, so that a potential customer understands why they need your services or products.

For example, a company that specializes in nutritional supplements would want to focus on the health benefits a supplement provides so that their potential consumers can discover that problems they may have can be addressed with a specific product to improve their health. You are teaching the customer that you have a solution to a problem that the customer may not be aware of. This marketing strategy often involves in-depth educational content addressing one or more problems.

In contrast, a commercial cleaning service deals with a topic that needs no explanation. Everyone knows that a clean environment is a necessity for a commercial setting. Thus, the market messaging would focus on the distinct attributes of its business processes —timeliness, supervision, and customer relations—to differentiate itself from its competition. This marketing strategy highlights the unique aspects of the business that provide value to the customer.  This is the “value proposition”.

Market Messaging Includes Problem and Solution

Effective market messaging targets a problem, a solution, or a combination of both. “Know Thyself” as a business matters. Make your marketing collateral—media (web, PowerPoint) and print—impact your viewers. Just like the trees in the forest. They know themselves, and know what they need to do to thrive.  Read more about the value of creating a business identity. 


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