from strategy to art(work)

THE STRATEGY

You have a specific goal in mind for your audience: a verdict, an understanding, a decision. Your initial sketch contains all of the right content but only you understand how it works. There are in fact dozens of ways to present the same information according to what you want to highlight and the kind of audience you want to engage.

THE ART(WORK)

sibylLINE can work with that same content to help you illustrate* a coherent story for someone who has not lived with the material for days, weeks, months, years like you.

*Please see the bottom of this page for an outline of sibylLINE’s working process.

How to present the collaboration and quarrels among a group of four

In the initial sketch (left), we meet four members of the group who exchange information in multiple ways (as indicated by the connecting lines and arrows). This sketch does not tell us anything about the sequence of communications, who was (or was not) privy to information, or if there was a starting or stopping point for communications. In other words, this flow chart has too much flow and not enough clarity. The visual strategy (right) identifies John as the starting point, denotes the direction of communication via color-coded arrows, indicates a person being bypassed via dotted lines, and tracks the number of communications.

How to present a timeline of popsicle sales

People use timelines to narrate a sequence of events in many contexts, but often these timelines become crowded with too much text and cluttered with chronology even when the timing is not the takeaway message. It is thus necessary to decide what you wish to emphasize on a timeline (e.g., key events, frequency of some activity, correlations, geography) and the best way to achieve that emphasis. The initial sketch (left) shows an abstraction of a typical, text-based timeline. The visual strategy (right) emphasizes the data by month using dots and categorizes the data using color-coding.

How to present Aeneas’ journey in Virgil’s Aeneid

As with a timeline, you can sequentially list the steps in a journey (left) or you can chart them on a map (right). Mapping a journey adds geographical data, and adding large stars at the most important destinations and smaller stars at other stops prioritizes the data. The next challenge for this map would be to summarize events at each stop using an icon (e.g., an icon for the Sibyl at Cumae and an icon for Aeneas’ liaison with Dido at Carthage). You could even represent the duration of each leg of the journey by giving the lines between each stop different weights (e.g., thicker lines for longer voyages, thinner lines for short trips).

How to define prior art patents

Venn diagrams are easy to draw but can oversimplify relationships. The initial sketch (left) shows three equivalent ovals with overlapping areas of equal size (e.g., three prior art patents). In contrast, the visual strategy (right) contains the smaller, violet circle inside the larger, purple circle to show that one category (e.g., patent) is a subset of the other. The dotted rule further emphasizes this relationship, and the different hues of purple show relatedness. The small, pink circle is an outlier so this patent should not be grouped with the rest of the prior art.

working with sibylLINE

when strategy needs art(work)™

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MEET

sibylLINE meets with your team to learn about your project and visual needs.

ASSESS

sibylLINE reviews your documents and provides feedback on the effectiveness of the visuals you have developed to date along with ideas you have for new visuals.

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DEVELOP

sibylLINE provides strategic visual recommendations for improving existing visuals and creating new ones. Additionally, sibylLINE will design a program for your visual platform (e.g., PowerPoint), with a consistent color palette and fonts, icons for recurring themes, and templates for frequently used slides (e.g., quantitative charts, document callouts, and bullet point slides).

IMPLEMENT

sibylLINE can produce all of your graphics or work flexibly with your existing graphics team (your firm’s in-house team, your client’s in-house team, or your usual outside team).