We need to pay attention to what our ideas look like.
Recently I was working on a project with a colleague. We were shaping an idea and he put together a concept sheet — a summary of our idea for leadership buy-in. His summary was one long-winded paragraph in a tiny font compressed on to the top third of the page.
The only thing more exhausting than glancing at it was reading it.
I told him that we needed to shape it up a bit. Maybe make it a little ‘cleaner.’
“You’re caught up in details,” he said laughing as he slapped me on the back. “It’s the the idea that counts. It’s about the thinking.”
Yes and yes.
The way we present an idea is as important as the idea itself. The structure of our writing determines how we hold someone’s attention. Clean fonts, strategic spacing, and healthy margins create mental breathing room for readers. Call it editorial design. Or just call it a new literacy.
The effort made to design this site, for example, was centered on the experience of the reader. Every element of typography and spacing was considered.
This is the Information Age. How you package information determines what your ideas look like. More importantly, it determines how your ideas carry.
If you like this you might like the 33 charts Design Thinking Archive.
Photo by Federico Bottos