“Whenever a man can get hold of numbers, they are invaluable: if correct, they assist in informing his own mind, but they are still more useful in deluding the minds of others. Numbers are the masters of the weak, but the slaves of the strong.”
― Charles Babbage, Passages from the Life of a Philosopher
Number is a very ancient archetype that seems to predate humanity itself
In Number and the Language of Science, mathematician Tobias Dantzig mentions a number of examples of animals and even insects who seem to posses a number sense. The classical Greeks conceived numbers as the substance of the universe – not as an abstraction but something that exists and composes all things. In his book on Pythagorean Numbers, Philolaus of Tarentum (ca. 475 BCE), states: “All things, at least those we know, contain Number; for it is evident that nothing whatever can either be thought or known without Number.”
Dating back thousands of years, numbers have a profound effect on our psyche.
Specially so, with the number 9. We are charmed by number 9. In an experiment conducted by MIT and the University of Chicago, a women’s clothing item was tested at the prices of $34, $39, and $44. To their utter surprise, the item sold best at $39, even more than the cheaper $34 price...that is the mysticism of number 9.
We all talk about doing compelling graphics to captivate your audience
For a change, try using numbers to get your message across in your booth display design.
Learn what numbers mean and how you can manipulate the voice of numbers when you design your graphics for your exhibit. Do not stop with your exhibit; splash it across your marketing channels and marvel in the knowing that "numbers are indeed living, qualitative reality that has to be experienced."
is a brief run down ON HOW TRANSLATE DATA INTO NUMBERS AND USE IT IN YOUR MODULAR EXHIBITS THAT WILL LEND YOU AN EDGE OVER PRETTY PICTURES
Size it up or (Down)!
Large numbers fool your brain into thinking that you are getting more. Use big numbers to convey big benefits — for example, high nutritional benefits (1,000 milligrams of fiber, not one gram) or cellphone talk time (660 minutes, not 11 hours), to make people feel as though they are getting better deals.
People tend to infer more from large numbers. Play on numerosity if you want to downplay your "30-day service penalty, by referring it to as a one-month suspension."
OR, PUT IT UPSIDE DOWN, OR DOWNSIDE UP — WHETHER IT IS A QUANTITY OF TWO OR MANY, IT IMPARTS A SEQUENCE, IT IS THE MATHEMATICAL LOGIC OF BEING ALIVe
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WHEN YOU CONVERT YOUR DATA INTO NUMBERS, YOU HAVE THE LUXURY TO ADD MOVEMENT, TEXTURE AND HUMOR — IF YOU CAN ENSLAVE NUMBERS, YOU CAN PREDICT TOMORROW — This power sets you apart. Now, you can tout yourself to be a trendsetter. Trendsetters prefer breakthrough to incremental innovation. Their ability to reformulate products, processes and business models is a distinct advantage. They find extra ordinary expression in the ordinary.
YOU ARE ON THE THROWS OF THE 4th INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. This revolution will fundamentally alter the way you live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before.
IF YOU ARE NOT A TRENDSETTER, YOU OUGHT TO BE ONE. THIS IS THE TIME.
THE DESIGN ADJECTIVES OF A TREND SETTER BRAND
1. Cutting Edge — They are one step ahead of their peers. The have a natural inclination of what will be interesting and important tomorrow
2. Elite — Their ambitious and creative approach put Trendsetters ahead of the pack. They are admired in their inventive approach.
3. Imaginative — Being unique is their way of expression. They are noticed for their bold, creative ideas.
4. Edgy — Trendsetters break new grounds. They enjoy working against the grain. They have a knack for hostility — they have an attitude of take it or leave it. Apple is the best example in this space. Despite the unfriendly charges in a commoditized category, where most consumers are pragmatists or opportunists, Apple has definitely, carved out it's own edge.
5. Progressive — Trendsetters are always looking ahead. They inspire those around them to move forward and drive change. They like to see their brands forge ahead of competition and they are not afraid to tweak expectations to make it happen.
People often resort to numbers than untis to make decisions. We perceive weeks as a greater unit than days, regardless of the number attached to it. For example a two- week is perceived to be a longer change than a 14-day change. Units comes in handy when evaluating a long term loan/mortgage payment. For example a monthly payment over 360 months seems less palatable than one over 30 years and a 30 day money back guarantee. Download PDF
Nuance of Numerosity
Numerosity is a “property of a stimulus that is defined by the number
of discriminable elements it contains.” More pieces of something usually suggest a larger magnitude. The brain is always seeking a pattern: proximity, alignment and so forth. For example, because larger houses usually have more rooms, the brain automatically concludes a house to be a big one, if it has certain amount of rooms... and you know that is not necessarily true. Download PDF
DESIGN YOUR EXHIBIT WITH RE-IMAGINED SOLUTIONS
Without your data there can be no insights.
Without insights, there can be no relevant or meaningful strategies that can be undertaken
Without a strategy, exhibiting is a waste of money.
Areas of attention. If your product, cuts down on logistic cost, do not simply message it, make a list of all the cost associated with logistics and and print it out on a long strip of banner and drape it down from the ceiling to floor 9 (above). Exaggerated the pain points of your audience. If you have a 10' space with a back wall; — get your message through by using stylistics numbers to drive your point (as shown above).
"Numbers constitute the only universal language." However, if your product has a powerful benefit offering, ditch numbers and tap the neural circuits with the language of fantasy and play. (above: the elephant and the saucers)
Ascending versus Descending Order:
It looks confusing: Right? It is very common for marketers to resort to this strategy...Be Educated!
What is greater? 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 vs. 1 x 2 x 3 x 4.
At a first glance the brain automatically extrapolates the first 2 multiples and places a higher value on the factor of 4; 12>2 or the first number 4>1. So how you place your numbers have profound impact on the way it appeals to consumers.
Research shows that people are drawn towards the larger number/larger benefit. For example, "70 items for $29" is more appealing than, when the price is presented first (e.g., "$29 for 70 Items"). Download PDF
Complexity in Calculation Matters:
Neuroscience states that the brain is fundamentally a lazy piece of meat. It doesn't want to waste energy. The brain thinks per unit price in a "70 items for $29" package is lower over one billed as "$0.41 per item,"
However, when it is easier to compute the brain is not fooled by it.
For example, in a package billed as "50 items for $20" the brain is fast to calculate per unit item. Keep this in mind when carving out any marketing offers that appeals to the masses. Download PDF
SIGNING OFF WITH THOUGHTS OF PYTHAGORAS
For Pythagoras, numbers were a bridge between the visible and invisible worlds.
"It was a way of understanding and working with nature, leading to the contemplation of eternal things that never vary."
For you designers, use numbers to solve design and messaging obstacles, drive distinction and distill visual pollution that is so rampant every where around us.
Keep in mind: "The relative influence of numerosity, units, order, and calculation difficulty depends on decision contexts, individual mindsets, cultural conventions, and mathematical competencies, among other variables."
When crafting your message with the aid of numbers, being aware of these factors will power your design to be visually stirring, intellectually stimulating — as a result, your audience will be left with a sense of timelessness.
"If you do it right it will last for ever." Remembering Vignelli
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