The Long and Winding Road: The cavemen had it right!

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Yep, it is true. despite all our fancy ideas to the contrary the cavemen had it down and we have been playing catch-up ever since.

Telly Savalas , famed for his portrayal of TV cop Kojak was close when he sang his hit song ‘If a picture paints a thousand words’, the written word might be mightier than the sword but when it comes to getting a message home it is pictures that work.


In Olde England we had and still have symbols related to shopping activities that date back to times when most people were illiterate and standard symbols were used to communicate . Remember the red and white striped revolving column denoting the barber shop? I live just up the road from the Greyhound, the Queen’s Head, the Buck I’th Vine..all pubs, the latter being the overnight stop for a certain William Shakespeare on his travels. Ironic that the ultimate word-smith would find his accommodation by looking for a sign depicting a deer and a hedge! 

As we look at today’s educational melee unfold we might, tongue in cheek, say that it is no wonder the pictures are making a comeback as literacy seems to be a transient phenomena.

The enigma here is that the rise of the e-reader is at its’ zenith today and this might de-bunk my assertion but think again, the e-reader is a small TV and we can also do other things on the device. We really are drawn , like moths to a flame, to pictures and especially to those that move. Info-graphics were a huge sensation last year not because they gave us new information but because of the way they gave us the information…in picture form.

So we have developed to the point where we tell stories to get people to do things we want them to do…otherwise called advertising. Take a trip down memory lane and watch these three clowns entertain you , educate you and use images to drive the point home:


They don’t make them like that anymore!

Enter Google Glass and we see the, perhaps final, development in the integration of pictures with our ideas and messages. While the cave drawings depict daily life and cultural identity through the ages so we today are laying down our version of cave drawings in digital form. Even though the brain is an auditory biased organ we still use visual clues far more readily as the initial means of contact. It is only when we have attention that we add depth and nuance with audio but lets leave that for another day!

Now before we go, look at how hard we tried to get the picture technology going in the 1980s…


No matter how much we have evolved and how refined our techniques have become, we have always used pictures to tell the story.

see you on the long and winding road…… Patrick

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