Words anchor your images

In communications class, I remember one professor telling us that the words you use to describe an image have a tremendous impact on how it is perceived by the viewer. She said "words anchor an image". I imagined a nail that was hammered in the audience's brain.

If I show you a tomato and say "Italy" you will think of Tuscany fields under the sun, a juicy, tasty product, a rich spaghetti sauce, all the Italian culinary traditions. That's how Panzani, a French agro-industrial brand, sold its tomato sauces and pasta to millions of families after World War II.

I told you recently that one of the basic rules for a good User Experience (UX) on your website is to "delete your copy by half". I know it's hard to be concise. But one exercise to reach this important goal is to try and use 2 words. For example, one noun and one adjective. The result you want to achieve is to give way to the audience's imagination. The picture will tell them a lot; add 2 words to anchor it the way you want and leave the rest to the stories these words bring up in people's mind.

As sociologist Roland Barthes reminds us in Mythologies, our modern life is full of symbols and signs that unconsciously organize our everyday world, like what we choose to eat.

Click on the image to watch the video on Kickstarter.

Click on the image to watch the video on Kickstarter.

The video above is a good example of this technique. Adding the world of dancing to the vision of flowers in slow motion makes us envision an experience where plants have their own creative power.