Communicate Big Ideas, Visually.
Yes, we know that a picture can be worth (at least) 1,000 words. But what's the social impact of a well-designed image? That's what management consulting firm BCG and an international food research organization are betting on with their new report (see below).

Also in this issue, I take a look at the intersection of AI and human creativity. Could machines ever learn to doodle as well as humans?

Pencil to paper, stylus to tablet, finger to screen. Many ways to make marks of meaning. What marks will you make this week?
Welcome to my digital postcard filled with 3 things related to Visual IP*. It's designed to quickly inform, then get you on your way. In each issue you'll find an inspiring quote, an image, and a link to an essay or resource.

* Visual IP (intellectual property) = proprietary frameworks, diagrams, and drawings based on your ideas, which help you explain, influence, and persuade

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Archive Is Up!

I've finished creating an archive of past issues of this newsletter on my site. I'll be adding new issues on a regular basis. So if you missed something or wish to revisit a topic, browse to your heart's content. (Thanks to Tommy for the nudge.)


“Drawing is not what one sees but what one can make others see.”
― Edgar Degas

The True Cost of a Cookie

The image above comes from a research study, The True Value of Food, published by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). It captures an important message: that the price we pay for food often hides the true environmental, health, social and economic costs.

Here a cookie priced at roughly $.55 for the consumer is shown to carry a true cost of $.89 once the price of the other externalities are factored into the larger social impact. On the right are the raw ingredients of the cookie (flour, butter, sugar, cocoa) and the flags of the nations where these ingredients originated. The final True Cost of the cookie is $.89, of which 63% is attributed to hidden costs related to environmental, health, and socio-economic impacts.

The True Value of Food (TVoF) report was prepared in conjunction with the Boston Consulting Group, and "helps companies to identify the direct and indirect natural, social and economic impacts of a food product from farm to fork."

Big ideas that can generate a big impact — all captured in a graphic of a cookie.

Quick, Draw! by Google

Can a neural network learn to recognize doodling? That's the question Google AI researchers want to answer with a game they built with machine learning. called Quick, Draw!

To play, you draw and a neural network tries to guess what you’re drawing. The more you play, the more it learns. So far Google has trained it on a few hundred concepts, and they hope to add more over time.

One result of the game is that Google has amassed a huge data set of drawings — more than 50 million (!!) doodles made by 15 million players. The data is open source and shared publicly. So engineers are using doodles to test neural networks, researchers are studying patterns of how people draw, and artists are getting inspired

In the data set you can pick a concept — such as a hammer — and a page from more than 100,000 different drawings of a hammer appear. Or, select the Randomize button in the upper R of the screen, and a random page of doodles will materialize before your eyes. To add yours, my visual-loving friends, just play the game. Fun with a purpose!

Authority By Design Registration Opens Next Wednesday

Registration for my new online course and community, Authority By Design, opens next Wednesday. This 3-week cohort-based class is for those who want to increase their visibility, credibility, and revenue. So if you're a consultant, coach, creator, speaker, or other professional who makes your living selling services, this course is for you.

You'll walk away with a portfolio of proprietary frameworks and diagrams and other tools of visual persuasion that you can put to use in your business immediately. And yes, you can have zero art skills and still take part!

This project has been nearly a year in the making, and it's exciting to bring it to you. Look for the registration link in next week's newsletter.

Thanks for joining me. May you create images with impact as well as doodles for fun.

As always, if there are others you think might enjoy these types of ideas and resources, please forward this on.

Until next time: Make something happen!

PS: Was this email forwarded to you? You can sign up to get your own copy on my website.
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