Seeing is understanding

The importance of the infographic in corporate reporting.

Jump to the main content area

In this complex business landscape there has never been such a necessity for information to be more open and accessible. It needs to be clear, open and honest and ultimately depicted in a way that the viewer can easily understand, a way that can often cross cultures, knowledge and languages.

Infographics have been omnipresent for decades, ever since man stumbled through his caves. One of the earliest examples of this form of communication was rock art in Europe which dates back to the Aurignacian period, some 32,000 years ago. This is where story telling began.

Today we all take for granted our everyday consumption. Our drives to work offer a multitude of symbols to help us along our way, the usage of maps, the reading of a newspaper – all these things go unnoticed to many, in terms of how exposed we are to information graphics and how they aid our daily lives. Harry Beck, the designer of the London Underground map, offers a shining example of how an immense amount of data has been filtered, evaluated and clearly articulated. A tourist can now cover the expanse of inner city London without having to bother the manic london commuter for directions. Everybody is a winner.

The recent upswing of information graphics and data visualisation has gone hand in hand with enhancing user experiences and in terms of annual reporting it helps no end in building relationships and understanding with the stakeholder. Infographics are there to aid value creation ideas and to ease the understanding of the business, the people and the strategy, and, above all, how it is likely to develop. Investors want to know the story and a great infographic should reinforce the message.

“Tools and aesthetic notions, help us understand – and act mindfully – in the big picture” John Thackara (founder and Director of The Doors of Perception (Doors))

Lest not we forget that these tools need to be not just factually accurate but also need to reflect good design, fit well within the brand and offer up the purest form of the information to hand.