How Many Ways Can You Say ‘Helvetica’ in Picture Form?

If a picture is worth a  thousand words, saying ‘Helvetica’ should be easy.

So my typographer friend decided to call all the social media networks to find out why his ads weren’t working. They all promptly replied; “Sorry, we don’t serve your type”

A (‘slightly’) satirical view of social media and its senseless-appearing use and function for promoting your business using pictures. Read on to learn how ‘Helvetica’ fits into the story. The examples used in this post are not necessarily true in every individual case and have been used for entertainment value and expressing the sentiment of the subject of using a picture to convey an idea for promoting a product or service.

So there ‘she’ was, undoubtedly a beautiful looking face.

Intrigued by the way in which the moody lighting accentuated those curves,
compelled me to click the photo, but only to find that the link would take me to a whole
bunch of similar looking faces…

Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook – I have a confession; sometimes, I just don’t understand where you are going!

Normally, I have a simple formula that I often use when deciphering whether something should make sense or not. It’s simple really, moreover it’s quite obvious; (x + x = 2x). And so, if something doesn’t weigh-up, then either – you don’t have the full story as to what ‘x’ is, or, some form of ‘jiggery-pokery’ has taken place. Or, maybe it’s time to change my formula.

With today’s fast moving digital world, it is easy to go around missing out on a question that simply does not present itself as a question.

You see, on the internet, there are so many tentacles that connect an intention and the result. And as a consumer, you are privy to one world, whilst as a business owner, another. Together, and with the knowledge of both perspectives you often have conflicting expectations about how things should work.

Meanwhile, social media has steadily developed into a ‘thing’ that has a significant influence on not only how we communicate through marketing. But also, how that communication is received and interpreted.

So, Continuing with first, Pinterest…

What happened to YOU, the face I first saw? I wanted to know more about the person behind that face, its name, its story. I don’t know what else! but basically, something that would tell me more about the face in the image and the people behind it. I thought my click would have taken me to a page where I could learn more about the beautifully sculpted face in the photo. But instead, you give me more similar faces with no explanation and no further information regarding what I am looking for.

So what’s the point? Am I supposed to just ogle these photos for sheer pleasure – a dopamine hit maybe?

After all, what’s ‘geekier’ than collecting images and placing them into categories for easy reference…

Maybe I am simply the wrong type of ‘potential customer’.  And I get it.  I understand that there may be a leaning towards monetizing your service.  And so, therefore, unless I worked for a modeling agency or fashion ‘something’ this would all make better sense.

If A Picture's Worth A Thousand Words Saying ‘Helvetica' Should Be Easy.

So, tell me, what is the point? Where is this all going?

If my interaction with an image is solely made possible so that I demonstrate my approval with a ‘like’ or clicking a heart shaped button… (‘hello!’ this feature has now been removed) – Who exactly does this help?

Okay, okay, I’m busting your balls – I know it’s all about inspiration and ideas but I also know that you may well be experimenting with artificial intelligence and facial / image recognition technology. And your social media platform is still learning what’s what. Does this mean you (or, someone else) is developing what may be the ultimate digital ‘person finder’? Can you imagine, inputting details such as ‘Donald Trump look-a-likes’ into an image-finder app, that calls up all the portraits of people that it thinks looks like Donald Trump? But, doesn’t that already happen? Check out this similar tool for identifying fonts from an image.

And then there was Facebook.

Now, as for YOU, Facebook, Who do you really want to be? Because It seems to me, that you want to be all the other social media networks at the same time. Should I call you FaceTube, FacePin or Face-a-gram (suggestions welcomed below)? You just keep changing things around causing a disturbance, especially for the people that help keep you in business, no matter how small.

You see, my Typographer friend is bewildered as to how he can reach out to the gazillion members you have with his typographic designs. Plus, the audience he has pointlessly accumulated over the years.

Whilst he also uses your advertising service, he finds that his ads are hardly ever approved – they apparently contain more ‘type’ than they contain ‘image’. He is a typographer after all. And the worse thing is, he keeps receiving advertising suggestions from you ( yes you Facebook). To which, when he responds by placing an ad, it is promptly met with a “Sorry, your Ad was not approved” notification.

Now, due to his lack of success with his current visual approach to his Facebook Ads strategy, he is now thinking of taking the ‘visual metaphor’ approach, where he uses images and graphics that express the fonts and typography he designs – but he feels this might be misleading to his audience. I mean after all, how many ways can you say ‘Helvetica’ in picture form?

Oddly enough, though, he does feel that his posts perform much better when he uses photographs or casually shares images with no real business related objective. The problem is, he has no idea whether people are responding to the aesthetics of his posted photographs, or to the actual subject matter if there is one.

This reminds him of how he may be misleading people with the similar approach he uses for his paid advertising. Which wouldn’t help much especially as his intentions are on showcasing his actual work and not just the images he uses to promote his work.

confusion - If A Picture's Worth A Thousand Words Saying ‘Helvetica' Should Be Easy.

Is this approach really misleading?

Well not really. But it can be, and especially where there is a likelihood that there is no obvious or conceivable connection between the image and the service or product being offered. But then again, the reaction to an image may arise for a number of reasons; for example, It may be relevant as a reference to a particular moment in someone’s life, or, simply because an image is considered to be attractive in some way.

However, as in my typographer friends case, only a very few people actually venture past the ‘visual barrier’ and make it to his website.

So, who else is there, inadvertently making the internet experience confusing?

Oh yeah, Instagram. Now, I understand that during these digital times, NOT having a mobile phone may seem a little out of place. But let’s just say you don’t have a mobile phone!

What then, Instagram?

Fortunately, there are ways around this, that is; uploading pictures to Instagram without a mobile phone. Not sure how long before this feature is broken in the name of ‘monetisation’ but it sure works right now

Now, besides the mobile phone issue and ‘ogling’, I can’t really think of any other Instagram peeves. How about you?

If A Picture's Worth A Thousand Words Saying ‘Helvetica' Should Be Easy.

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If A Picture's Worth A Thousand Words Saying ‘Helvetica' Should Be Easy.


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