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Host: Lorraine Ball

Images Convey Meaning at a Glance

Episode #892 August 13, 2023

the episode

Traveling through Central Europe I was in three different countries, with three different currencies and three different languages. I don’t speak Czech, German or Hungarian, but managed to navigate bus, train and boat transportation with ease.

How? Almost everywhere we went the directional signs included simple icons which conveyed their meaning at a glance. As I sipped my espresso in a sidewalk café I thought about how this same strategy of simple meaningful graphics applies to any business, even if you are not serving a global audience.

Why? Because your brain can process images 60,000 times faster than it can process words. Whether you’re running through a train station, or surfing a website an image conveys an idea or an emotion in an instant. So if you’re thinking about adding icons to your marketing or website, here are a couple of quick rules.

  • Keep the graphic simple. You want people to get the meaning at a glance. 
  • Create a consistent style set so all of your icons look like they’re part of a family.
  • Test for meaning. Don’t assume your icon communicates what you think it does. Show it to people and see if they understand the meaning and the intention behind the design icons.

about the marketing minute

Each week, host Lorraine Ball shares just a few words on a marketing topic. She boils down creative ideas, practical tips, and decades of real-world experience into a mini podcast which is always less than two minutes.

Look for these mini bits of marketing inspiration every Sunday.  Then come back and enjoy the longer interviews every Thursday.

Look for the mini podcasts and full episodes on iTunesSpotifyGoogle Podcast  and wherever you listen  to podcasts.