When Your Audience Are More Likely To Embrace A Key Number

embrace 2014 album cover

This is the artwork from a new album I’ve recently listened to a few times. The swirling influences from Joy Division meets 80s goth meets 70s pub rock of the band, Embrace.

The album cover is a simple ‘five-bar’ or ‘herringbone’ tally stick treatment. Showing a gate across four uprights to denote the number 5.

The wikipedia page on this gave me all sorts of slide ideas.

I’ve long recommended salespeople try in every deck to have at least one slide that is solely a number.

Writ large, with as distinctive or colourful display as possible.

After one annual kick-off presentation I made a couple of years back, I was in discussion about it with a handful of the assembled throng later. I happened to ask which slide they remembered most. One that earned early recall had a simple number on it.

For that particular slide all I did was just take one of their dark corporate colours to fill the background, then plaster a two-digit percentage in white font on it as big as I could make.

The tally marks above opened my mind to all manner of interesting treatments. Way cooler than, say, Roman numerals. Anything that aids the post-remembrance of your number is a winner.

And you don’t need to spend that many minutes beyond the couple that a bog-standard slide such as the one I mentioned takes.

I suspect that such marks work best for a small number. Possibly any single digit one. Which could still fit almost any purpose, if you see the power of using the maths construct of ‘ one significant figure’. For any large and round number you may wish to evoke, simply use its first figure alone – the one before all the zeroes.

Then there’s the matter of which tally marking system to use.

I was delighted to learn the two other methods via the wiki page.

Can’t wait to use the Chinese style in Asia and learn more about it. Then there’s the Franco-Hispanic which is also great in a less complicated box basis. Here’s a black-and-white 7 in the Chinese and 8 in the Gallic-Latino I drew on a tablet;

tallymarks ch fr-sp 200x270

As a footnote, when writing this post, I surfed for number visuals through google images. My first random number was ‘124’. My entire page seemed filled with vintage Fiat motor cars. Model number 124! So for the creative thinker, there’s all manner of options from house number plaques to road signs to car plates to deploy for that potentially pitch-sealing presentation recall.


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