Storytelling Canvas

Storytelling Canvas

What is it?

The Storytelling Canvas is a creative framework designed to help you map out and refine narratives effectively. It encourage a holistic approach to storyline development and considers characters, emotions, audience engagement, and iterative improvement. The tool consists of six essential sections:

  • Key Story Elements: In this section, you identify crucial story components such as characters, themes, settings, and conflicts. It's the foundation upon which the narrative is built.

  • Character Development: Here, the focus is on creating depth and authenticity in characters. You delve into character backgrounds, motivations, fears, and relationships, ensuring relatable and multi-dimensional personas.

  • Plot and Narrative Structure: Think of this as the story's architectural plan. You'll outline the overall structure, including essential plot points, character arcs, and narrative flow.

  • Narrative Variations: This section encourages creativity and experimentation. You can explore alternative story paths, "what if" scenarios, and different character choices to find the most compelling narrative.

  • Emotional Resonance: The emotional connection with the audience is paramount. This category helps strategize how to evoke specific emotions at different story points, creating a powerful impact on the audience.

  • Final Story Blueprint: As the culmination of the canvas, this section consolidates the best elements from the exploration process. It represents the refined, user-centered, and emotionally engaging story ready to be brought to life.

The Storytelling Canvas is versatile, suitable for both individual and team use. It encourages collaborative creativity, harnessing diverse perspectives to craft captivating and resonant narratives.

      When to use it

      1. To systematically plan and refine narratives, ensuring they captivate and resonate with your audience.
      2. To harness diverse perspectives and enhance creativity when crafting stories collaboratively.

      Remember to

      1. Keep the audience in mind throughout the process to ensure the narrative resonates with them and elicits the desired emotional responses.
      2. Embrace experimentation and iteration, especially in the Narrative Variations section, to uncover fresh ideas and refine your story.



      Gather inspiration and references

      Collect inspiration and references that are relevant to the project. This can include existing mood boards, Pinterest boards, existing presentation content, and any other presentations from the client. Also, look for presentations that are similar in nature, format, or purpose to the project you're working on.


      Define design elements

      Define the key design elements that will be incorporated into your boards. For a presentation concept board, these elements typically include a chart and/or diagram, typography and type relationships, color schemes, icons, imagery, and 1-3 sample layouts. Determine the specific choices for each element that align with presentation content.


      Brainstorm and sketch ideas

      Start generating design ideas by brainstorming and sketching rough concepts. Think freely and explore various directions while keeping the brand's identity, values, and target audience in mind. Consider design details such as rounded corners, outline versus solid versus gradient, image style and tone, etc. Don't worry about perfection at this stage; focus on capturing the essence of each idea.


      Select the strongest concepts

      Review and evaluate the sketched ideas based on their alignment with the brand's objectives and visual identity. Select the most promising concepts that have the potential to communicate the desired message effectively.


      Explore and refine concepts on digital boards

      Transfer the selected concepts from your sketches to digital concept boards. Create separate boards or groups of boards for each concept. Organize and structure the digital concept boards in a logical and visually pleasing way, considering the flow, hierarchy, and composition of the elements. Use layout techniques like grids to create consistency and balance.


      Select concepts for client review

      Choose 2-3 concepts that effectively communicate the desired message and align with the brand's objectives and visual identity. Ensure each concept is distinct from one another while staying consistent with existing brand guidelines and the nature of the presentation.


      Present and discuss

      Develop a narrative or description for each concept on the concept boards. Clearly explain the thought process, reasoning, and unique selling points behind each design. Encourage discussions and gather feedback from the client to understand their preferences and expectations.


      Make adjustments and finalize

      Based on the feedback received, iterate on the concept board if necessary, making adjustments and improvements. Once the concept board is approved, it serves as a guide for the subsequent design stages.Make any final refinements or modifications before moving forward with the project.