Add another dimension to your message by meshing a new medium with your current style.
“The medium is the message,” said philosopher Marshall McLuhan once upon a time. (He also predicted the invention of the web 30 years before it happened, so he was clearly on to something.) This week, integrate a second medium into your post to add more depth to what you usually publish.
A few weeks ago, we featured Jenny Maloney’s delightful site, Place for the Stolen, as an editors’ selection on Discover. Jenny’s daily short stories are a little wry, a little dark, a little off-kilter, and a lot of fun.
But it’s not just the words that give her stories life and shape, it’s their design. She publishes every post as an image, using fonts, colors, alignment, and line lengths to create a graphic that gives each story unique visual interest and dimension:
Her design choices might reinforce the mood of a story, add lightness to a grim tale, or create a sharp juxtaposition between story and visual to leave us unnerved. Each day, I look forward to reading her latest work and seeing how she’s chosen to present it.
This week, publish a post containing the kind of work you’d normally publish — but mix it with a second type of media, either digital or analog:
- A photo (or several!).
- An illustration.
- An embedded video, tweet, map, or Instagram photo.
- A graphic, like the ones Jenny creates.
- Clippings from print books or magazines.
- An animated GIF (yes, you can make your own).
- Words (if you normally publish photos or art).
If you’re interested in exploring graphics like Jenny’s, there are great, free websites like Canva that will help you create one — we’ve even got a tutorial — while the free tools at PicMonkey are our favorites for combining text and photos. This tutorial on creating visuals that aren’t photos is also a great starting place.
The goal here is to integrate whatever added medium you choose. Don’t just add a photo to your poem, layer the words over it. Don’t just embed a tweet mid-post, use a series of tweets to tell your actual story. Use the second medium to help communicate meaning, not simply as a fun added visual.
Is this one a little tough? We hope so! Exploring new territory and pushing up against boundaries spark creativity, so we’re excited to see what happens here.