This blog puts up for discussion application of basic narrative and design principles. The content will be changed from time to time to critically examine Marwick’s ideas of personal branding (2103, p356) and Potter’s storying the self (2012, p31), among other things.
The first example is the deliberate narrative structure of My Story of Communication which highlights Aristotle’s simplified 3 Act Structure, and also Tzvetan Todorov’s theory as interpreted by L. Cohen that a good narrative should have 1. Equilibrium 2. Disruption 3. Recognition/facing the problem 4. Repair 5. New equilibrium.
The original key visual header image was created to support the featured article on my Sheepwallker game, designed to engage the conversation of autism awareness. However, upon reflection, the colours did not adequately reflect the genre of cartoons, animation or entrepreneurship, nor create a strong brand. Even with a bee-sheep hybrid photoshopped in front of a live-audience in 15 minutes 🙂
Most of the entrepreneur blogs I liked had one thing in common: A face. Gary had a fantastic appeal with his own cover picture wielding a device in some fancy place. However, I thought the use of black was cool for tech but not ideal for my genre – cartoons. Seth, on the other hand, had a great colour scheme had me re-evaluating what might be more befitting the art and animation genre. Fortunately, I found this picture taken at Montmartre, that just happened to have a whif of Gary’s pose, combined with a fraction of the style of Seth.
For those who need to get an easily customizable WordPress theme, Twenty Eleven (as well as Twenty Ten/Thirteen/Fifteen) come highly recommended. In its original form, however, I found the font choices limited, as well as a “Site Identity” bar that took up unnecessary white space at the top. Considering the hot areas of F-Pattern research, the content got pushed way too low for my liking.
One solution, assuming you have some photoshop knowhow, is to work the Identity with your own choice of font directly into the image. And yes, I had to enlarge the painting just to fit the text in, if you’re wondering. This way, you can disable the default display “Site Identity” white bar, which gives a much more desirable F-pattern match with the secondary row smack on my menu bar or cover post content.
An added note about layout, much as I like Seth’s strong design (and generous permission to use his blog picture in my analysis), I longer than necessary to find the link to his bio. Noting the key highlights of the layout, the next instinct is to scroll down looking for more stuff. Nothing found.
It turns out I had to scroll right (or zoom out). This is a drawback of deviating from the common F-pattern layout. A minor risk, some may say, but a risk, nonetheless.
What a great idea to initiate “engagement”! I liken this to a plot device used in good narratives. It works as a clever mechanism to help move to story forward, arguably even more critical for an interactive blog as a story literally ends when engagement stops.