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Clichés: Stack of Coins Pictures

Coins may seem synonymous with wealth, but they are also a clichéd visual representation. Yes, there are other, better options.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint

OS: Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X



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Let's admit that coins can look beautiful, especially if they are golden! Add an interesting light source and a stack of gold coins does appear warm and secure. However, what was once interesting can soon become boring; and then you may no longer like pictures that contain neat stacks of properly arranged coins.

If you search Google Images for "wealth", you may find that five of the top nine images show coins (see Figure 1 below). That's more than pictures of dollar bills or gold ingots. Probably coins represent wealth better, even in these days of plastic money and online payments?

Wealth equates to stacks of coins, even in today’s worl
Figure 1: Wealth equates to stacks of coins, even in today’s world

That's precisely why we are finding alternatives for pictures of stacks of coins as part of our Overcoming Clichés in Pictures series. For now, let us understand better what stacks of coins represent:

  • Money that is accessible right now.
  • Wealth that has been part of a company or family for generations. That is the reason why coins are shown rather than bank accounts or other holdings; think of old wealth vs. newly acquired money.
  • Material possession of wealth rather than money deposited or invested elsewhere.
  • Stability and safety of wealth.
  • Value of paper money can fluctuate, and paper money can also be demonetized.

Now let us explore visual content that can use that can replace this cliché? To do so, we will as always use guidelines discussed in our Overcoming Clichés in Pictures article:

Think Creative:

How can we think creatively to find alternatives to stacks of coins? You can use similar keywords in your search rather than just wealth. Some that could work include prosperity, security, stability, independence, contentment, or greed, depending upon what your final message may be.

Think Creative

Here are some thoughts:

  • If the coins suggested stability, you could use a visual of a strong pillar? Or perhaps, show a senior citizen in a comfortable, semi-luxurious setting.
  • If the coins represented self-determination, think of other ways to show financial independence. Again, it is a great idea to use pictures of human expressions.
  • If the coins represent security, especially for senior citizens you can choose a picture that shows luxurious living.
  • PowerPoint MVP Ellen Finkelstein adds, "Just yesterday, we chose a photo for a financial advisor. He works mostly with retirees and almost retirees. We choose a photo of a gray-haired couple playing golf with palm trees in the background. We often focus on the emotion, the 'why' when we choose images, the emotion that the presenter is trying to elicit. In my client's case, it was a longing for an easy retirement."
  • If you can be cheeky, you can show a picture of someone who has a tattoo of dollar bills.
  • Another PowerPoint MVP, Echo Swinford jokingly suggested Harry Potter in Gringott's, and although that's not a stack of coins, it certainly represents a small mountain of coins! Ironically, some clichés can be overcome by magnifying the cliché itself.

Again, use the ideas explored as a way to brainstorm yourself. Your ideas for visual representation of wealth may be entirely different. Even better, you can combine two or more visual ideas to create a graphic that is a collage of both visuals and ideas!

If this section did not help, move on to the next one.

Think Profound:

Now is the time to delve deeper, and think beyond just wealth. Was wealth all you were trying to express, or was there another profound message you wanted to deliver?

Think further. These thoughts will help:

Think Profound

  • If you wanted to show position as a result of wealth, will a crown studded with precious stones work?
  • There are many pictures of Feng Shui money available. These are not something that denote wealth, but they do denote happiness and prosperity.
  • In some cultures, wealth is also shown as a divine personality. In India, Lakshmi is the name of the goddess of wealth. Will a visual of goddess Lakshmi work? In this case, you have to make sure whatever you are expressing is understood, and also you have to use such visuals in a way so that they do not offend any culture.

If this section did not help, move on to the next one.

Think Logical:

Now let us think logically for alternatives that will help us overcome the cliché of any picture that shows stacks of coins.

Money is probably a great topic that affords itself to logical thought. Money matters express well through charts and even tables.

Think Logical

Here are some thoughts:

  • Charts work well if you are showing changes in revenue
  • For accounting, you can use simple tables. Try not to provide detailed accounts, and show the larger picture.
  • You can also create a slide that includes a picture plus a table or chart.

If this section did not help, move on to the next one.

Think Again:

Did you hit a dead end? This step may be the end of your thought process about the "stack of coins," but this not a dead end. Consider that you are beginning a new thinking process now because stacks of coins won't work for you! Start thinking all over again until you find something better. What about thinking about other important aspects of life that have nothing to do with money? OK, that wasn't too funny!

Think Again

See Also:

Clichés: Handshake Pictures
Clichés: Globe Pictures
Clichés: Phone Operator Pictures
Clichés: Teamwork Pictures
Clichés: Light Bulb Pictures
Clichés: Target and Dart Pictures


Visual Clichés: Clichés: Stack of Coins Pictures (Glossary Page)

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