The Power of Iconography

3 minute read

Upland Admin

A good eBook is visually compelling, contains relevant information for your readers, and drives leads. But how do you make your eBook stand out in a sea of content?

Design every inch of it.

Good design not only matters, it’s utterly essential. It’s the difference between a Word Doc turned .pdf pamphlet (gulp) and a visually gripping asset that drives leads.

Good design not only matters, it’s utterly essential. @jeanwrites

And particularly for eBooks which tend to be more informative or educational in nature (as opposed to playful), one of the best ways to jazz up your text is by using iconography.

Icons are a quick visual method for expressing ideas and communicating information. They:

  • tend to be simple, widely understood and relatable, and easy to digest.
  • are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text
  • simplify complex thoughts or ideas.

Okay, So Who’s Doing Iconography Best?

Pay attention to digital marketing bigwig, Neil Patel, and his eBook The Advanced Content Marketing Guide.

Inspired by his brilliant visuals, we named Patel our Master of Iconography. To better understand his thought process, we asked him some questions about his strategy:

Q: What’s the importance of iconography in the creation of an eBook?

A: “The use of icons, graphs, and digital artwork makes massively text-heavy eBooks more readable, more fun, and helps create more engagement,” Patel said in an interview with Kapost.

And he’s leading by example. From cover to cover, each of the 259 pages of his eBook has been comprehensively integrated with icons including headlines, data points, and even step-by-step guides. Everything. It could be a major factor in the book’s wild success. Within six months, the Uberflip-powered ebook amassed 361,494 readers and 8,421 email opt-ins.

Ready to Get Started on Your Own Iconography Quest?

Designing good iconography can be hard. If you don’t believe us, try this:

  • Write down a simple list of 10 things.
  • Now try drawing an icons for each of those things.

Tricky, huh?! And that was just 10 things. Turning a 20,000+ word eBook into a collection of icons is like trying to create a picture book dictionary.

But there are several ways to get started. First, you can tap into online resources. There are several free downloadable icon sets for content marketers, and other industries. You can easily download vector images to manipulate the icons and personalize them. Or, try making your own icon library. Challenge your in-house designers to make icon libraries as they develop icons during various design projects. These can be used in whitepapers, on your website, in eBooks, and any other collateral.

Or try Patel’s strategy. Simply hire a really good designer.

“If you hire good people, you don’t have to tell them how to do it, they tell you,” Patel says.

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