Imagine describing the color blue:
Blue is one heck of an amazing color. The human eye can stare into its deep iridescence and discover an intensity as bright as the yellow of the sun. We can also experience blue without even consciously knowing it because its pale hues light our skies on a daily basis. Blue can invite us into a welcoming living room, yet can even be used to describe the darkest of moods. Blue can be drab, it can be bright, it can even stir up any number of emotions in people as a descriptor.
One thing you begin to notice about all of these descriptions is that simply using words to describe “blue” can promote as many interpretations as there are audience members. There are primary colors, secondary colors, and tertiary colors. There are complimentary, active, and passive colors. Determining how your audience interprets these colors can take a ton of explanation…or might just require a visual aid.
Take, for example, all the times Hollywood has remade films…either to appeal to a different audience or because someone decided to change the tone of a story simply because they interpreted it differently. Or even noticing how the tone of a story can change simply by changing the director who completes a film.
And while many of us are taught how to choose our words for the most effective narration of our stories, few of us are aware of the imagery required to connect our audiences with the experiences we’re expecting them to engage with That’s where visualization comes in. Instead of simply putting a bunch of words on a page, visualizations are meant to communicate both abstract and concrete ideas through the use of color, shape, and design that encourages active and informed audiences and yet visualization of those narratives is also what creates shared experiences.
Think of an audience member imagining some sort of light cyan blue sky when visualizing Harry Potter, someone might wonder if they’ve even read or watched past the first 2 books/movies…but on the other hand, if that same audience member was imagining some indigo-ish darkened skies with dark clouds clinging overhead…you might consider them to be an expert on the tone of the entire franchise.
While many narratives have meticulously chosen words that carry with them tons of meaning, those words are conveying concepts, ideas, and descriptions that can be interpreted in multiple ways. Developing the images, animations, and environments that have the ability to convey more cohesively shared experiences allows audiences to engage with the presenter as well as among themselves on a higher level of understanding.