Graphic Artist Irma Zimmermann's Toons Cut Through Social Media Clutter

Back in the early '80s, Irma Zimmermann's first position out of art school was that of a 'junior artist' for BBDO, one of the world's most awarded and prestigious advertising agencies. Pre-Internet, ad campaigns consisted of laboring over story-boards by hand and burning the midnight oil to meet pressing deadlines. However, it was the necessary incubation period, where this graphic artist learned her craft and prepared her for a life of creativity.

Irma ZimmermanIrma ZimmermanFlash forward thirty years and we find a seasoned business professional who is still very passionate about design, the creative process and helping others achieve their business visions. As Director and owner of her Australian firm, Tell IT Media, Zimmermann provides the services of design, branding and Social Media, where the name of the firm "encompasses (her) vision of communication through design and technology."

In interviewing Zimmermann today, I learned how strongly she feels about the need for effective visuals in today's fast-paced digital age, Zimmermann proposes that "images are a way to show 'snackable content' in a world overloaded with information." She points to "the continued growth of Pinterest and Instagram, and the changes to Facebook Timelines. . . as harnessing the power of the visual." In this cartoon, she presents a illustrative overview of social-media-itis, a disease many of us in social media can relate to.

To highlight how strategy figures into the social media equation, Zimmermann points out how it's necessary to economize on one's time to its greatest potential. This means ensuring your Social Media activity has a strategic direction that is focused and conforms to a road map.

Using the popular graphic format of infographics, Zimmermann was able to literally and figuratively draw a parallel between Pinterest and a Swiss Army  Knife, and the many baked-in tools that come part and parcel.

Many of Zimmermann illustrations are tied her to her blog postings at In so doing, she can use the visual to initally attract the the reader, but more importantly provide some common ground where she can instruct and inform in a way that is pleasing and satisfying for the recipients.

When inspired as Zimmermann was recently after attending a webinar conducted by noted social media Michael StelznerMichael Stelznerspeaker and author Michael Stelzner, she was quick to not only sketch what she witnessed but also to dissect complex ideas and concepts into simple and bite-size chunks of information.

Here she creates a visual interpretation of Stelzner's "Elevation Principle," which ties "great content" to the "wisdom of crowds" while eliminating the reliance on the traditional "push" advertising of the past.

Today, in presenting Zimmermann with a parody of my personal biography, the following was fodder for her illustrative genius:

Ron Callari is a self-proclaimed social media scientist. When attending to his clients' needs, speaking engagements or providing content for digital publishing sites, he's been known to jaunt off to Beijing, China to climb the Great Firewall or provide BBC Radio with some insight as to how the 'Barefoot Bandit' alluded the authorities while social networking. Sufficiently armed with schadenfreude, his first graphic novel about Facebook caught the eye of the Huffington Post and actually ended up selling a few copies.

In turn, she was able to convert my story into this unique whimsical display, titled, "A Day In The Life of Social Media Scientist Ron Callari."
Social Media ScientistSocial Media Scientist
Going forward, Ms. Zimmermann would like to see her cartoons continue to create interest around herself and her brand - and perhaps in the not-so-distant future. . . a Social Media Cartoon book might be coming to a bookstore near you. I, for one, wait eagerly.