#Infographics – Hackneyed or what?

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) ran an interesting seminar last night under the title “Word up, it’s time to get graphic”.

The session was focused on the use of infographics in communication, although it expanded over the edges a bit to encompass other visual components.

I love the best infographics, and there are many about, but I tire of unending strips of charts and dubious, out of context, data.  My faith was restored last night by Freddie Ossberg, the Founder and CEO of Raconteur Media.  Those in the UK will probably know Raconteur from the excellent inserts that they produce and distribute with the Times and Sunday Times newspapers.  Raconteur have mastered the balance of design and message with meaningful infographics  that support and inform, rather than dazzle and confuse.  Examples of Raconteur’s best-in-class use of data visualisations can be seen on their site, here.  Now those are graphics that I think Edward Tufte would approve of.

The event was hosted by the Royal College of Physicians, and the College’s Public Affairs Manager Andrew McCracken gave some powerful examples of the use of imagery within their own messaging.  He also pointed us to this video – a public safety announcement from a local council – that was scripted and filmed in just two hours at very low cost and which went wonderfully viral, In The Depot:

So, all in all, this writer is re-inspired as to the power of (well-conceived, well-executed)imagery.

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