Bord&Stift has already been on the road for quite a few years. We’ve grown on every level: our texts are sharper, our illustrations more striking, the editing work slicker. But we’ve also developed expertise in areas that we hadn’t anticipated. For example, we’ve made quite a few short films for very specific target groups.

Our goal is to explain complicated things in a simple way. We are also pretty good at explaining “normal” things even more simply. We recently made a number of films for people with a cognitive disabilities and people with low literacy. We learned some pretty interesting things.

Take it literally

It’s important for the voice-over the the text uses short and active sentences, with simple words and as few figurative expressions or metaphors as possible. This target group can take things very literally.

Common idioms or expressions like “He’s barking up the wrong tree” or “Hit the road” can cause confusion. Someone might mistake those descriptions as literal or think they are instructions. That confusion means the thread of the film has already been lost.

Build from right to left

The drawings also have to be built up simply, without unnecessary accessories. The symbols we use must only be interpretable in one way. If a character in our video is in a bad mood, we could draw a dark cloud over the head. But then someone might think: has the weather suddenly turned bad?

And did you know, that people “read” videos from left to right in addition to text? This means that the video clip has to be built from right to left. The newest can then be seen on the left, which catches the eye first. Very educational!