Why consistency is the key to a killer video

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Too many scribes are let down by inconsistent images, a mishmash of fonts and a confusing layout. Making your video visually consistent will ensure your audience understands and remembers your message. Follow these 5 design tips for a sharp scribe that will wow your audience.

Messy scribes slow down the rate your viewer can process information. If they're having to decode a new set of design conventions every few seconds, it quickly gets confusing.

You end up wasting their time and attention. And your message gets lost along the way.

Having a consistent style to your videos builds trust with your audience. Recognisable elements – logos, colour schemes and layouts – will help you to build brand recognition.

Follow these 5 simple tips for consistently good scribes.

Choose your colours 


A too-busy colour palette can make an otherwise decent scribe look like a trainwreck. Often a scriber will use every colour in the rainbow to try to grab the viewer’s attention, but it’s actually easier to emphasise elements with a limited colour palette.

Choose just two or three main colours for each video. If you have company colours or a house style, that's usually a good place to start.

Try our guide to captivating your audience with colour for expert advice.

Top tip: Even if it's just you making the videos, put together a quick style guide so you always know what colours, fonts and formatting you're sticking to.

Select a style


The strongest scribes use just one type of illustration throughout. Changing rapidly from one style to another can break the flow of the scribe and look odd. 

Whether you prefer using stickmen, cartoons, lifelike characters or photographs, try not to mix styles when you can help it. 

Many of the images in the VideoScribe library are grouped by style and we're adding new libraries all the time. But if you're looking to build up a collection of matching SVGs or need stylish matching character images, try SVG Studio.

Top tip: Collect all the images you need before you start and test them in VideoScribe to make sure they draw well. This will help you avoid last-minute switches which could spoil the look of the video.

Simplify your language


Tiny mismatches in language can have a big impact on the viewer's ability to take in information. For example, if you say 'movie house' to begin with, don't say 'film theatre' a minute later. The split second it takes for someone to realise that you're talking about the same thing is wasted time.

It's the same with acronyms and abbreviations – unless it's something really obvious, try to say each name in full or you're forcing your audience to work out what you mean each time.

Decide what level of formality you want your video to have and make sure the words and phrases you choose are consistent with that tone. The language you choose can have a massive influence on how your audience perceives you or your business

Top tip: Test your script out on colleagues and family. Make a note of any bits they don't understand or that don't sound natural. Smooth out the bumps and you'll be left with a nice, flowing scribe.

Plan your layout


Layout is often the last thing new scribers think about (when it should be one of the first). A well-designed layout will structure and amplify your message – unclear layout will only confuse people.

When you present information in a scribe, pay close attention to which elements you're putting where. Don’t make it hard for the viewer to find information – if your text is centred in one scene, don’t confuse your viewer by making it left aligned in the next scene. It will only take them longer to find the important bits.

Establishing a consistent structure and hierarchy within your scribe will make it look instantly smarter. Get the layout lowdown for attractive, clutter-free scribes. 

Top tip: Rather than thinking of your scribe as a series of screens, why not use them to build up to a bigger picture bit by bit? Thinking of the overall effect will strengthen your message and reduce the temptation to vary the layout drastically from one frame to the next.

Bring out your branding


Match the brand elements in your video to those on your website, social media – everywhere you have a presence. Syncing everything up will make you seem far more professional and focused, and your audience's confidence in your brand will grow. 

Just like Mashable, you could turn your own logo into an SVG image to use in your scribes. For instant recognisability, why not create opening credits or an opening song for your scribes?

If you're posting your video to YouTube or social media, make sure the name on your account matches your business name and that you provide links back to your website. This will make it much easier for people to find and remember you.

Top tip: Build yourself an assets library (logos, fonts, favourite images and jingles etc) that you can go back to again and again. Having all your useful bits and pieces in one place will make it much easier to stay on top of keeping your content consistent.

For more guides on making powerful and unforgettable scribe videos, try the Better Scribes series.

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