The Art of Visualization and Facial Plastic Surgery

Visual aids assist in explaining complex facial plastic surgery concepts. The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures by Dan Roam provides a good system for assessing how to communicate complex concepts to an audience in a manner that is simple but is dense with relevant information. This blog post seeks to summarize the system as described by Dan Roam as well as how we at Harmon Facial Plastic Surgery applied his system to communicating our philosophy on addressing facial aging comprehensively with advanced surgical techniques. Seek a fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeon if you have concerns about your face and neck.

“The Real Goal of Visual Thinking is to Make the Complex Understandable by Making it Visible” - Dan Roam

Dan Roam states: “the real goal of visual thinking is to make the complex understandable by making it visible.” To that effect, he created a system to represent complex ideas visually.

First, he suggests choosing an idea. Second, he suggests deciding through what framework the idea should be visualized. Third, he suggests deciding where on multiple scales this framework should be applied to an image.

The framework through which the idea can be communicated includes who/what, how, and where, among others. The appropriate drawing, including visuals and tables/charts as needed, is largely based on this decision. More than one framework can apply to an idea.

Dan Roam’s “SQUID” scale concept is applied once the appropriate framework(s) is/are decided on. The “SQUID” scale concept requires choosing where on a scale the visual aid will fall in different dimensions including from simple to elaborate, qualitative versus quantitative, individuals to comparison, among others.

The choice of framework and scale on each dimension is dictated by the idea as well as the intended audience.

How Harmon Facial Plastic Surgery Developed a Visual Aid Using This Technique

We at Harmon Facial Plastic Surgery sought to communicate the fact that we offer a suite of complementary, advanced facial plastic surgery procedures – including the extended deep plane facelift, neck lift, lateral temporal brow lift, and lip lift – that can address the signs of facial aging comprehensively* and in a way that is natural appearing. Moreover, we sought to highlight the extended deep plane facelift, a technique in which Dr. Harmon is one of the few surgeons in the world fellowship-trained by its creator. This makes him uniquely qualified in the Cincinnati area to perform this technique.

First, we determined that the WHO? and the HOW? are the most appropriate frameworks through which the visual aid should be created. The WHO? are our patients, whose excellent care we value most. The HOW? are the surgical techniques and the way they can restore a great deal of the youthful balance to the face that is lost with aging.

Second, we chose the following on the scale for each dimension: SIMPLE rather than elaborate, QUALITATIVE rather than quantitative, EXECUTION rather vision, INDIVIDUAL rather than comparison, and CHANGE rather than status quo. In effect, we chose to visualize a simple, powerful idea about facial plastic surgery in a way that intelligent people with little available time would be able to understand quickly and easily.

How the Above Process Translates into a Draft Hand Drawn Visualization

How did we translate the idea of addressing facial aging comprehensively through the Harmon Facial Plastic Surgery philosophy and method? Moreover, how do we visualize this simply, qualitatively, individually, and emphasize change? A drawing on a piece of printer paper formed the first draft of this:

Napkin Drawing.png

The Draft Hand Drawn Visualization is then Interpreted by a Design Professional

The next step was to hire a professional designer to translate this into a more visually appealing design. See the poster that hangs in our office below:


The above image utilizes our brand logo, icon, and color. Our motto Feel Good About Feeling Good is emphasized. And the four highlighted procedures are visualized simply and attractively.

Trust Your Face to a Facial Plastic Surgeon

It is important to seek a fellowship-trained specialist in plastic surgery of the face and neck when you have concerns about your face or neck.

Request a Consultation

Request a consultation with Dr. Harmon at Harmon Facial Plastic Surgery in Cincinnati. Visit our clinic. You will learn more about Dr. Harmon’s credentials, style, and approach. Build a relationship with our dedicated team. Do not stop searching “plastic surgery near me.” Get in touch with us to learn more.

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*Not all procedures are indicated for every patient. There may be reasons why one or more procedures may not be appropriate for a specific patient. This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute direct medical advice. It is essential that you have a consultation with a qualified medical provider prior to considering any treatment. This will allow you the opportunity to discuss any potential benefits, risks, and alternatives to the treatment.