The average person has an attention span shorter than that of a goldfish. While Sammy, your carnival prize, could focus on that fleck of food for nine seconds, in today's online world, you lose interest in just eight. This hyper-digitalized environment, one in which brands and individuals compete for attention, has sparked the need for higher-quality content—and better visual storytellers to create it. That's why I teamed up with Contently's Director of Design to produce PixelTalks, a design-focused salon that brought together New York City's top graphic designers and animators.

Role: Event Producer

The pixel is the common denominator across the creative industry.

Creatives can often find themselves siloed in both their companies and the creative community at large. PixelTalks aimed to connect visual creatives across mediums to foster continued conversations around design thinking and to offer opportunities to refine their skills. We invited pre-eminent industry leaders who are defining the trends in their respective crafts to speak to our audience.

On May 12, Rachel Gogel, creative director at The New York Times’s T Brand Studio, spoke on visual storytelling in content marketing campaigns.

On July 14, Google’s Rob Giampietro – creative lead of the company’s material design studio – and Amber Bravo – who leads the editorial efforts at Google Design – discussed how they develop design ideas throughout print, digital, and social channels to engage their audiences.

3 Keys to Great Content Marketing Design, According to The New York Times

Rachel Gogel is not a fan of the term “visual storytelling.” To her, it doesn’t capture the unique challenges designers face when telling a brand’s story.1

Gogel, the creative director for The New York Times’s T Brand Studio, is, of course, an expert visual storyteller herself, helping companies tell their stories through native advertisements. “As people, we are storytellers,” she explained. “The question is, how do we use visuals to influence emotion1, to get an audience to view your images, to stay and eventually come back?”

How Google Designs Great Content, in 5 Steps

As brands put more focus and resources towards creating content, one of the biggest challenges they face is making sure their content isn’t just on brand, but that it breaks through and reaches people.

To create this type of content for its global audience, Google, a company whose corporate motto used to be “Don’t be evil,” turns to one of psychology’s best-known constructs for its content design strategy.

“We organized it around Maslow’s hierarchy of needs,” Rob Giampietro, the creative lead of Google Design, said at a recent PixelTalks event. Giampietro was joined by Amber Bravo, an editor at Google Design, to reveal the five steps Google takes in creating its content.

I wouldn’t change a thing… it was very well organized and I loved that there were delish snacks and plenty of drinks. The space is perfect for sitting and had room for hanging out and talking as well… the speaker was smart, articulate, and clearly passionate about her work.

Linda Rubes Art Director & Designer