Media Magazine

The Relevance of Storytelling: New Book Seems to Hit the Spot

Posted on the 21 July 2011 by Themarioblog @garciainteract

It is all about the story

We often talk about the extremely important topic of storytelling here.

Just this morning, as I engaged in conversation with potential clients about their upcoming project ,I mentioned that in today’s environment we do not talk about redesign projects, which bring to mind hints of cosmetic exercises (not too practical in 2011 and beyond).  Instead, the centerpiece of any discussion involving the rethinking of a media house should be storytelling.

And so I am so happy to see that a new book coming out this week, appropriately titled A Practical Guide to Designing the Invisible, by Robert Mills, a project manager and writer from near Cardiff in the UK, hits the spot with just the right approach to storytelling.  I am certain to get a copy of this book soon, but I have been able to read an excerpt , and I thought I had to share it with all of you, since it will allow you to have more intelligent disussions if you are about to embark in a rethinking project, or simply to help you clarify things with your team as you go through the day to day operations of telling stories.


Audience: Before you can know what conventions will help you tell your story, you need to know what that story is and, just as important, who it’s being told to.

Genres; Narrative is evident in many media including photography, comic strips, and films. We can learn from these to improve our online stories.

Photographic storytelling: Narrative is usually thought of in relation to movies and books. But it is also present in photos.  A photo captures a moment of time, but a great photo makes us imagine what happened before the moment was captured, or what happened soon after.

Films: Films can teach us the art of slowly revealing a story, piece by piece. They can also teach us the value of deciding what to show (and not to show), what adds to the story, and what is
simply ‘noise’.

The web: Online, we don’t even have the luxury of expressions and gestures. That means we have to focus on the details. Great storytelling doesn’t come from dialog alone.
In many ways the web is an ideal storytelling platform because it’s largely concerned with presenting information. But there are some constraints you need to be aware of when storytelling on the web.

Also of interest today

Conde Nast is Experiencing Technical Difficulties”:

An unflattering portrait of the problems Conde has had with iPad development. Particularly harsh against Adobe’s apps (an interview with Khoi Vinh). Useful to consider the pitfalls of the approach for all of us who are in constant experimenting and learning mode when it comes to the tablet.

Typograph-Thesis. Graphing the typefaces used in Type Directors Club annuals from 1979 to 2008. Reed Reibstein writes me: “One of the most interesting things I’ve seen lately.“

Regarding Philly’s free Android tablet offer,
Can Discounted Tablets Lure New Newspaper Subscribers?“:


TheMarioBlog post #813

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