Visual Narratives & Design Thinking: 01 10 2018

Story bag

→ Senile, slightly kleptomaniac grandfather with Alzheimer

Napkins, old newspaper, belt, socks and a wallet stuffed in pockets of a large jean.

Keeps stealing whatever is put in front of him (paper napkins included), keeps undoing his belt etc …

We spent 20 minutes exchanging with our partner, the other had to analyze our bag and attempt to understand the story behind it and vice-versa.




“Images ignite imagination, evoke emotions and capture universal cultural truths and aspirations”

– What is narrative art?, Museum of Narrative Art (2017)


During this session we were introduced to the principles of narrative theory, to consider the forms that storytelling can take and to explore the significance of drawing as “… a touchstone and tool of creative exploration that informs visual discovery … [that] fundamentally enables the visualisation and development of perceptions and ideas”.

– Taylor A (2014)


Storytelling is a basic human function.

Storytelling is everywhere and has become all-consuming in the social media age.

→ everyday basis (smartphones, ads, computers etc …)


“The way we see things is affected by what we know or what we believe …

We never look at just one thing; we are always looking at the

relation between things and ourselves. Our vision is continually

active, continually moving, continually holding things in a circle

around itself, constituting what is present to us as we are …”

– Berger, J. (1972) Ways of seeing

Now everything is disposable.

Specific brands speak a story, they target an audience


Humans of New York, the series

Related image


A visual narrative must:

– Appeal to the senses

– Contain relevant content

– Capture authentic moments


Simplest ideas are, most of the time, the most powerful.

Human connection


“… Stories differ from other narratives in that they

orient our feelings about the story content.”

Emotional engagement within the structure of a story is more easily remembered.

– Mallan, K (1995) in Haven, K.F. (2007)

Story proof: the story behind the startling power of story‘.

Capture curiosity and attention

– Blogging

– Email

– Social Media


“The art or the past no longer exists as it once did. Its authority is lost.

In its place, there is a language of images. What matters now is who

uses that language for what purpose.”

– Berger, J. (1972) Ways of seeing

Group work

What is/makes a good story?

Find an example of a visual narrative that you find compelling and create a five minute presentation explaining why.


Strong feelings

Emotions conveyed

Something that engages the viewer/reader/listener

Drama, familiarity, simplicity, immersion, relatability …

Drama: Stories need dramatic developments and emotional dynamics.

Familiarity: The more familiar a story feels, the more powerful it is.

Relatability: The more people identify with a story, the more likely they are to be persuaded.

Entertaining, catches the attention

→ Under its playful and colourful appearance, this “game” reminds you that everything you wear, possess, use was made by slaves. This website brutally reminds you of that fact and makes you re-evaluate quite a few things.

Image result for slavery footprint


The afternoon was spent being introduced to InDesign or re-introduced for those that had already come in contact with it. I also worked on a personal project which was born out of curiosity more than anything else.  I’ve worked with photoshop before but I never went too far when it came to exploring the whole software which ended up annoying me so I took out all of the photographies of my past projects and decided that I’d do something with it. I’ve been looking for links, exploring how I could make something entirely new out of pieces that already had their meaning and their place in my portfolio, as well as expanding my knowledge of software such as Photoshop and InDesign and developing my arranging and “portfolio-making” skills in the process.


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