Where image meets narrative

Information graphicThere’s extraordinary power in a thoughtfully conceived and artfully crafted infographic. When a complex dataset, process, or ecology is expressed as an image, we can see the whole and explore the parts. We can choose our own path to discovery, unlike most linear written narrative. Great infographics (or ‘ideagraphics’ as they’re sometimes called when they share ideas rather than just information) combine image and narrative in ways that neither an image nor a narrative could manage on their own.

Which is why it’s really cool to hear from information designer Francesco Franchi via Co.Design, talking about how he does what he does so extraordinarily well. Franchi’s visualizations of deeply complex topics give a glimpse of what’s possible when art, information, and insight come together.

Arts organizations should be good at this — in our communications to our constituents, in our information sharing with our boards and among our co-workers, in our budgets and reports, in our advocacy and positive evidence for our impact on the world. To be blunt, we currently kinda suck at it.