Context and Contrast

The other day I was watching Noggin ("television for preschoolers") with my 2 year old. They were singing a counting song and dancing around holding up cardboard cutouts of numbers. The number 4 was yellow, but they were holding it up in front of a mostly yellow background. My first thought was "pretty poor set design, they need more contrast". Then all of a sudden it occured to me that any type of communication need strong contrast to to stand out from the background. Or in other words, to paraphrase Seth Godin, to be seen or heard your message needs to be remarkable, it needs to stand out, …contrast.

As my son went on watching Dora the Explorer, I started writing this post in my head… "what else is necessary to deliver a good message?" The first thing that came to mind was context. For any message to be understood, it needs to be in context. Words, symbols, pictures, books, whatever have no meaning out of context.

My experience is that most people try to deliver a message by focusing mainly on the content. I would add contrast and context as on par with content, and necessary ingredients to make a great message.


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