Ikonos

“In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative original thinker unless you can also sell what you create. Management cannot be expected to recognise a good idea unless it is presented to them by a good salesman.”

Attributed to David Ogilvy. As ‘Father of Advertising’, the Englishman seems to have single-handedly created the ad industry we see today.

Another quote from a famous dead person;

“In the arts the way in which an idea is rendered, and the manner in which it is expressed, is much more important than the idea itself.”

From the ‘pre-eminent neoclassical painter’ of his period (his 1794 self-portrait hangs in The Louvre), Frenchman Jacques-Louis David.

You can surely swap out ‘the arts’ for practically any other pursuit.

How about someone nearer today. With the flipped angle, author of How to be a Graphic Designer, Without Losing Your Soul, Adrian Shaughnessy from 2005;

“When a good idea is rejected, it’s often the presentation of that idea that is being rejected, not the idea itself.”

There are several strands which conflate to propel your good idea.

Think of the classic ancient Greek trio; ethos, pathos, logos. Add in the mistakenly often overlooked fourth; kairos. For an idea whose timing is just right.

In our modern-day setting an extra element also feels crucial.

That of being able to present your idea through imagery.

I wonder if the ancient Greeks would approve my suggested use of an extra term; ikonos?

Defined here as how you show your idea. Draw it. Let the audience visualise it. Create an ‘icon’ of it for them. Summarise it through the iconography of a chart, diagram or picture.

Having written a book on this very matter – 101 Diagrams That Sell – providing templates from which to show your latest idea, I can attest to how powerful such a visual can be.

Got yours in place?

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