At a presentation I gave last week, someone asked me how I would respond to the statement, “a picture’s worth a thousand words.” It’s a fair question, I suppose, given that I’m a word-guy. I mean, I’m not “anti-graphics.” But I don’t get paid for pictures. I get paid to paint pictures with words…to create images in readers’ minds.
But there is some truth to the thousand-words-conversion factor for images. Graphics can deliver powerful messages, create strong emotions, and compel people to action. Without words providing context, though, does everyone viewing the image “see” the same thing? Or does a wordless image leave too much room for interpretation that could lead to a response other than what the artist or advertiser wants?
I paused for a moment, and responded to the question this way.
“A picture may be worth a thousand words. But a picture with the perfect caption is worth a million.”