top of page
  • Writer's pictureKen Voyles

CMYK - A Quick Guide to Original Storytelling

In printing, as well as color photo editing, there is a common acronym that many have heard and understand – CMYK.

CMYK denotes the four-color process needed to print on a traditional (non-digital) printing press. C stands for the color cyan, M is for magenta, Y is for yellow and K stands for black. Those four colors combined at different percentage become a myriad of other colors.

When it comes to sharing your story, the four components of CMYK can also be a guide to your approach, one that includes: Capturing attention, Making it emotional, You being real and Keeping it personal.

Capture Attention

Our daily lives are filled with distraction, confusion and just too much information. Getting heard, let alone seen, in this time of unrelenting messages requires finding a way to seize the precious few moments you have with a reader, a viewer, someone in your audience. This isn’t always easy but sending yet another boring postcard to someone’s mailbox isn’t always the answer. Perhaps, it’s a digital postcard, or better yet how about a personal message using something that clearly identifies it as having come from you or your company.

Make it emotional

Studies show that facts and figures, while critical to a message, do not work alone and will not get you heard. In fact, telling stories is just that – tell a story. Appeal to the emotional aspect of the human audience you are seeking to reach. We may not remember the stats but we will remember the speaker, the writer, the photographer who shared from the heart.

You should be real

Stories have to be honest, not fake. By that I mean making stuff up or using other people stories is not being real. Every reader, client or customer, needs to feel that what you are saying comes from who you, that the story you are sharing is from experience. So, talk about yourself, your team, your product from an emotional viewpoint and be genuine. Think Nike. The idea to “just do it” is one that we all can relate to and understand. It has an emotional “what are you waiting for” kind of appeal. Yes, it’s vague but it’s real in that we relate, we understand, we know it’s a “slogan” while still seeing a real idea about being driven, having a passion to succeed.

Keep it personal

Now “just do it” is fantastic, and while it doesn’t tell a specific story, it allows us to create our own story. I think of the passengers on the hijacked 9-11 airplane who took back their plane. What did they say? “Let’s roll.” A similar idea. I also think about my own life when things weren’t going so well and I needed energy. What did I tell myself ? Time to do it, time to stop wasting time and getting rolling. In other words, I reflected back in a personal way. Now all of our messages can’t be tied directly to another’s personal life, but they can be directed outward from our own experience.

For example, my Word and Vision company name partially comes from a David Bowie song that I love. “Sound and Vision” is a classic Bowie composition but I’m not a “sound” guy, I am a wordsmith and photographer so I thought perhaps “Word and Vision” would denote who I am. The point here is that I just shared with you a personal story, a real story, one that appeals to our emotions and hopefully got your attention.

That’s CMYK.

15 views0 comments


bottom of page