Simple & Visual: Using paper and digital video to bring clarity to complexity
BusinessWeek: Rethinking the Presentation

Simple & visual: Tales Of Mere Existence

Tales_2 OK, this example is mostly just entertainment, yet there are some simple life observations in this material as well that are evocative if nothing else. In terms of presentation style, however, Levni (Lev) Yilmaz -- the creator of Tales of Mere Existence -- has found a unique way of creating visuals that are supremely simple and support the narrative in a way that adds both clarity and emotion. Apparently, his technique is to film himself drawing the simple cartoons from underneath a pane of glass. This means he has to draw the letters backwards. It's an interesting effect. There are many good ones on his YouTube site. Below are a few of my favorites (the first one reminds me of my own dating experience in college -- totally been there).

 Never Visit Your Girlfriend At Work


Subtext

How to Break Up is also good (over one million views). I'm Not Going to Think About Her is good too.

My aim in pointing you to this is not so much the creative content (not everyone will find these amusing), but simply to show you some other examples of people using creative and simple visual techniques to enhance narratives. Perhaps I have been preoccupied recently with simple hand-drawn images since I have just read the excellent The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam and Dan Pink's new book in manga (more on both of these great books later -- both are highly recommended.)

Comments

Val

Love these shorts.

Great example of clear and simple presentation too.

Kiran

Something similar:

http://iacs5.ucsd.edu/~pbang/dance_monkeys.htm

Caution: PG13 for language

Nick

Good stuff. Wouldn't be easier for him to write the letters "forwards" and then flip the image on the computer?

Josh Braun

The folks at commoncraft sell "explanations", using a simple visual style http://www.commoncraft.com

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