Unlimited time for analysis
Designed for a 7-second attention span
Only includes elements that represent data
Includes illustrations that inform and entertain
Seeks to communicate information for research/educational purposes
Seeks to sway the opinion of the viewer with engaging visuals that support an agenda
Sales and Marketing Materials
Explorative Infographics - provide information in a clear and coherent way that allows the reader to come their own conclusions. Just the facts; no biased opinions.
Narrative Infographics - guide a target market through information that tells a predetermined story. The learned outcome usually benefits the creator of the infographic by highlighting their product or service. The use of iconography is to achieve maximum information retention, leaving readers with a specific message to take away that drives the sale or support of a product or service.
Formats for Qualitative Data Visualization Qualitative Data Visualization is non-numeric. Instead it is data used to create a value judgment based on the negative or positive evaluation of an experience. Some of the main qualitative benchmarks include: convenience, utility, functionality, affordability, safety, pleasure, ease, etc. Timelines
Timelines show the details, overlaps and connections of history visually (text and imagery) while informing the viewer on one central subject.
Timelines can also take on a narrative editorial theme.
Word Clouds are a way to visualize text data. The text data is often generated from keyword tags (metadata) on websites, but it can also be used to visualize freeform text. The tags are usually single words, and the importance of each tag is shown through prominence using type hierarchy through typeface, size and color.
Pictograms are a way to visualize data through universal icons that generate word associations to the object represented. Color, scale and/or hierarchy of the pictogram used to represent the significance of its value in association to the subject at hand.
Lists or Comparative Lists
Lists or Comparative Lists are often used in Editorial or Brand-Centric advertising to sell the viewer on product, brand, lifestyle, experience, etc. IE Why you should choose this. Why you should choose this over that. Lists can also imply a judgment. IE You are healthy, adventurous, stylish, tech savvy, etc.
Quantitative and Qualitative Working Together
Semiotics Semiotics is from the Greek word semeiotikos, which means “an interpretation of signs”. Semiotics is the study of signs and how meaning is created through the repetition of Iconic, Symbolic or Indexical signifiers. Signs are made up of: Signifier (the printed image) + Signified (the concept or meaning of the image).
There are 3 types of Signs: Iconic: the signifier resembles the signified. Example: Passport Photo is a literal Icon of the passport holder.
Symbolic: the relation between signifier and signified is conventional and can be universal or culturally specific. Example: The American flag symbolized the United States, freedom, democracy, etc.
Indexical: the signifier is caused by the signified. Example: Smoke signifies Fire.
Signs can have literal or denotative associations (referring to the actual object the icon represents) and connotative associations (referring to what ideas the icon represents).
Pictograms and Isotypes Pictograms & Isotypes (International System of Typographic Picture Education) were developed in 1925 by Otto Neurath. Neurath was the Founding Director & Chief Theorist at the Social & Economic Museum of Vienna. Isotypes begin as a Pictogram, but through their repetition or division they communicate quantitative information, while Pictograms are mostly used for qualitative information.
Neurath, 1934. Isotypes - Quantitative Information Isotypes are Repeated or Divided illustrations used in Pictorial Statistics that connect object to quantity.
Pictograms - Qualitative Information Pictograms are single illustrations used to deliver a message that can be universal or site-specific.
The first rule of an Isotype is that greater quantities are not represented by an enlarged pictogram, but by representing multiple pictograms of the same-size.
The first rule of a pictogram is the essential information should be communicated at a glance.
In both Isotypes and Pictograms, the images are mostly Iconic (the signifier resembles the signified). In order to achieve optimal clarity to the viewer, Isotypes are almost never depicted as 3-D objects in perspective.
Pictograms for the Universal Pain Chart used in Hospitals
Pictograms for the National Parks Service
Pictograms designed for the Phone App Scavenger Hunt
Pictograms for the NYC MTA
Pictogram Wedding Invitation
Repeated Isotypes representing the need for Obamacare
Divided Isotype representing statistics on Singapore’s Religions
Divided Isotypes representing Singapore’s Geography + Politics
**Isotype Design Fail** Neurath would not approve of this Isotype because it breaks the first rule of Isotype design (greater quantities are not represented by an enlarged pictogram). Enlarged pictograms create confusion because there is not a clear representation of the “standard” size from which we can visibly compare an increase or decrease in the amount.
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