What the Sistine chapel ceiling can teach marketers about infographics | Isoline Communications

Marketers regularly tear their hair out in a futile attempt to create the perfect infographic, but help is at hand in the form of the great Michelangelo.

Michelangelo locked himself for two years in the Sistine Chapel with Pope Julius’s brief ringing in his ears.

“Paint an everlasting symbol of the greater glory of God, and serves as an inspiration and lesson to His people. Freely draw upon the Holy Bible… Let it be so magnificent that people go away awed and humbled by what they see.”

Imagine if Papa had used different words.

“Paint the ceiling.”

Or “Hey Michael, can you just cover the cracks on the ceiling”

Or worse. “Man, something easy on the eye…

When I was a young intern working at JWT I worked with the inspirational Indu Balachander who used this story to illustrate how a great brief was all that stood between a masterpiece and humdrum rubbish.

Anyone in tech B2B knows that infographics are great marketing tools. They are eye-catching and make tough concepts accessible. But they only work if you scale papal heights in briefing your creative team.

First, ask yourself if you really need an infographic. If you’re constantly drawing to explain your product or process, then yes – you probably do. Once that box is ticked, put in the hours. Write out the logic flow and data points. Doodle if you want. Take a long walk or two. If you’re patient clarity will emerge on what the infographic should say to whom and what should it achieve. God does exist in the details (Julius would agree). Now you’re ready to call in the designers. Regardless of what their websites might claim designers are not techies. Your 40 slide sales spiel on microprocessors is not going to be as helpful as a concise design brief. Explain, elaborate, demystify and inspire.

Now, step away and be patient. While your team may not need two years to create the Sistine Chapel of infographics, make sure they have enough time. Provide feedback and input as and when necessary.

Patience and collaboration will help you create the infographic that will do the job of a thousand words.


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About the Author : Anu Ramani

Anu Ramani is a specialist in international B2B communications.

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