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Infographics: Absent Without Leave

Mitchell, I (2020) Infographics: Absent Without Leave. In: 2CO: communicating complexity 2017 . pp. 59-68. (2CO COmmunicating COmplexity 2017, 23 November 2017 - 25 November 2017, University of La Laguna, in Tenerife, the Canary Islands, Spain).

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It is widely regarded by cultural commentators that we are in a period of unprecedented political uncertainty, in which there is a desire for simple explanations to the complex sociopolitical challenges of 21st Century. It might be argued that in this climate a mode of communication such as infographics would have considerable currency – especially within the context of interpreting and understanding the competing and contradictory political views that often reference complex data and statistics. Infographics have always attempted to make the visualisation of information easy and accessible to ordinary people whilst maintaining an objectivity and factual accuracy, articulated in the work of the Isotope Movement and the celebrated examples by William Playfair, Florence Nightingale and Thomas Clarkson. Other examples such as The Daily Express newspaper’s Expressographs of the mid 1950s promoted the political bias of its owner and were little more than news propaganda masquerading as informative graphics. Whether it’s objective explanation, communicating a sociopolitical cause or belief, or outright deception and propaganda, infographics have been a central communication tool for many years. However this research finds an almost complete absence of infographics used during the 2017 UK General Election across a variety of communication media channels. This paper questions whether infographics have a place anymore in communicating political ideas and beliefs and whether this represents an emerging irrelevance (or death) of one of graphic design’s most significant visual languages. Are we entering a post-truth, post-facts, post-infographics era? This research will focus on an analysis of communication content published during the 2017 UK General Election, ranging from traditional printed newspapers and official political party publications to unofficial online and social media output. The results presented will determine the extent of infographics diminishing value and relevance and offer some possible reasons for this phenomenon.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Infographics; Political graphics; Propaganda
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN4699 Journalism
Divisions: Art & Design
Publisher: Universidad de La Laguna
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2020 12:04
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2022 15:17
DOI or ID number: 10.25145/b.2COcomunicating.2020
Editors: Ceccarelli, N
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12358
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