When the Commons officials released their version of MP’s expenses, it is doubtful that they realised quite how powerful a visual aid they had created. It’s appearance across acres of newsprint resuscitated what had almost become yesterday’s story. Almost.
The impact of the heavy black rectangles has been dramatic. They have given new life and drama to the story. They have added emphasis and stimulated fresh interest.
In fact, they have performed the way visual aids in any presentation should, adding to the communication takeout. Too often so-called visual aids are crutches that only aid the speaker, little more than aide-memoire notes. They do not aid the audience.
Creating powerful visual aids takes thought and imagination. A striking emotional picture, a brutally explicit graph, product samples, a memorable quote or a redactive black rectangle!