VI's Story


History of Visual Messaging

In the early 70's, innovative leaders began experimenting with visual methodologies to both craft and deliver messages. Read More

The Story of Visual Ink Creative

Traditionally, business communication and messaging has been verbal, incorporating PowerPoint slides to suggest a visual component. Visual communication has become prominent as leaders recognize the need to grab their audience's attention, to encourage dialogue, and to share images that drive their point home.

History of Visual Messaging

In the early 1970s, innovative leaders began experimenting with visual methodologies to craft and deliver messages.

A large portion of this pioneering visual work was developed and incubated in community change organizations, such as the Coro Foundation, before finding acceptance in business.

One pioneering change and development company, Interaction Associates, spearheaded the path toward incorporating visuals into business settings. Founding Visual Ink artist Kevin Woodson began his career at Interaction Associates, where his first role was working with consultants and facilitators to support visioning initiatives at companies such as GE and Charles Schwab.

With the tech boom of the ’90s visual methodologies  became a popular and effective tool in a range of business settings, such as strategic planning sessions and corporate retreats. At this stage, ‘graphic recording' was launched as a technique to visually capture and document presentations, dialogues, and decisions. Artists made their mark here, drawing full color wall-size murals that captured the highlights and memories of a meeting.

Visual Ink Is Born

In 2000, Michael Stark and Kevin Woodson formed Visual Ink to address the specific business needs of the skyrocketing tech industry. Their accomplishments during this time included:

* Partnering with senior facilitators to support mergers, spin-offs, ERP implementations, and enterprise transformation.

* Designing and supporting Las Vegas-style offsites for hundreds of department managers and employees

With the economic downturn in late 2001, event budgets shrunk, travel was eliminated, and the lively all-hands meetings that had provided such fertile soil for visual innovation all but vanished. During this time, visuals were widely regarded as a form of 'entertainment' and an unnecessary expense.

Evolving Visual Communication to Come Through Hard Times

In the absence of events, VI Creative worked directly with clients to transform visual communication by creating and delivering quick, clear messages to targeted business audiences. The company thrived by shifting its focus from expensive, one-time events to communication programs with long-term business value. Clients found that visual messaging engaged stakeholders and encouraged dialogue without the expense of hosting large meetings.

In today’s business climate, visual messaging has fully matured, and is playing a vital role in bridging internal and external business communication:

* Account teams capitalize on visuals to dialogue with more senior customers about business strategy.

* Big change depends on employees, stakeholders, and business partners understanding and supporting the program.  Targeted visual messages keep people on track.

* Marketing departments work visually to prototype customer experience and design new services.

Visual methodologies have come to play the role of the 'glue' in large-scale change initiatives because visuals ground audiences in the 'big picture' and reinforce critical success factors, no matter how complex a transformation may be.

Lights, Camera, Action!  Visual Communication Leaps to the Next Level

As VI Creative continues listening to leaders and refining our visual tools, we’ve developed exciting solutions to reach larger segments of a business, deliver and measure messages, and add more life and flexibility to static maps.

From animated motion maps (make this a link) to start-to-finish visual symposiums, we’re continually pushing the envelope on solutions that dazzle and delight—all the while achieving meaningful business results.

As we've grown, we've found that our best new ideas consistently come from clients who present us with new challenges and demand fresh and innovative solutions. We're looking forward to hearing your business challenges and supporting you.