Visual metaphors: Balance

I’m working on improving my visual vocabulary by collecting metaphors. This turns out to be an interesting challenge. I’ll add more text to this blog post later, but in the meantime, here are some of my notes about one word. Click on the image to view a larger version.


One! And there are so many other concepts to play around with… =)

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  • James

    This is great! I’d never thought of so many ways to visualize balance.

  • I like that you’re exploring different methods of representing the same metaphor, and the subtleties between the representations.

    As you continue developing your visual summaries, you might want to explore the difference between illustrations that merely mirror the text and those that enhance it.

    For instance, on your Getting to Yes visual summary, the lock and compass illustration for “Don’t get locked into negotiation positions” didn’t feel like it added anything extra to the text. Whereas had you used a tug-of-war for positions and a force diagram for interests, it would have given a visual way of thinking about the differences between the two styles.

    But keep it up. I’ve been enjoying the summaries overall.

  • Trevor: Ooooh, yes, that’s a better way of putting it. I’ll redraw that soon. Deliberate practice involves revising, after all. Thanks for sharing those insights. I’ll challenge myself to go beyond the obvious illustration! =D

  • Leo Marland

    Sacha, an intriguing post. Just a thought for you – I think the range of visualizations you tried for balance may indicate the shallowness of the metaphor. Let me expand a little, While we use the balance metaphor, are we really talking about balancing one factor? Well sometimes we are, but I think we also use it when we are looking more for complementarity across several factors – but the visual metaphor is stuck with one factor. This would explain why we try to use some more spatial methods or tables with indicators to have more dimensions.

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