_people connect with people

I've noticed something. Lately, as we swipe and scroll and tap, I've noticed a visual movement back towards rough edges and fingerprints in our graphic design and illustration - that lively lino-cut illustration you liked, or the 'playbill' style graphic design you shared?

Through our swiping, scrolling and tapping, we seem to be drawn towards greater expression, reflecting truer personality. There's a growing tide of design and illustration that shows a resurgence in traditional techniques, or at least reference to them: marks made with letterpress, etching, lithographic printing, pencil, ink and rollers, analogue photography, where evidence of the human hand remains. The craft movement is back. Why is this?

People want genuine connections, which come when we can embrace imperfections and one-off qualities found in honest, individual expression. 

We want real humanity in our shared messages, because it helps us sift through the mass of stuff published online to find people and ideas that we chime with – to look for good personality and character.


What does this mean for you and your visual communication? 

  • In your design and illustration, aim to speak with real character that rings true to you and your message.
  • Work with a designer who is good at bringing personality into visual communication, and who understands the kind of dialogue you, uniquely wish to create.
  • Better still, work with a designer who knows how to marry personality with clean, neat, reassuringly tidy layouts (very important for conveying the disciplined togetherness that is your business).
  • It's alright to be subjective. It's good if things bare the mark of human hands. This is a celebration of the individual rather than just a box-ticking, corporate fit, and ultimately could really help you define your niche, therefore your audience.

When we find signs of familiar character, of the real human being, then we can better figure out if we're in the right place for a useful conversation.

In a world where we are increasingly rejecting the hard sell, we take more responsibility for making our own, genuine connections to help solve problems. 

It is all about YOU, because, after all, people connect with people.

*** ~> practising what I preach, this is me at a recent workshop with letterpress legend Alan Kitching. Soaking in Kitching's expertise is like having Neil Young show you around a fret board. Nerdy, inky, typo-geek buzz!