Recently, in a meeting with a business client, we were asked about why we combine words and images on every page of the Kaleidoscope lenses. Several people remarked on how innovative it was to see the combination…and how good it felt!
Yet, combining words and images goes back at least 40,000 years. In the West, however, this combination only continues in certain venues. As I was researching various sources, I reflected on how modern advertising has known about and successfully used the power of combining images with words, emotion with intellect. How often, for example, do you see an ad that doesn’t have a photo or video? And then there’s the web…and Facebook. Yet, in many business settings, rather like the common meeting room without windows or powerpoint presentations, images are considered unnecessary or distracting.
And, in about 2nd or 3rd grade, just after we learn to read and when many of us develop a belief that we can’t draw, this practice of combining words and images begins to evaporate, never to fully return. Perhaps it came to be because of the costs of printing? Who knows? Whatever the reason, combining images and words is both relevant and powerful. The combination helps us more deeply understand ourselves, each other, the world around us, not to mention our work and purpose for being here.