The Art of Visual Storytelling

When I write reports, I am telling a story. People learn best from stories. Good stories capture our attention and keep us hanging in until the end. Along the way, we think, we learn, we enjoy.

My stories use words. My own and other people’s. I know that many people learn best from visuals. And that visuals can convey a message or a complete story more quickly than words can. But I’m really bad at creating visuals that tell stories.

Which is why I’m enthralled with this book, The Best American Infographics 2013, that came out in, well, 2013. With an introduction by David Byrne. Who says things like

“The very best engender and illustrate an insight by visual means…Insight seems to happen most often when data sets are crossed in the design of the piece – when we can quickly see the effects of something over time for example…When that happens there’s an instant ‘Aha!”…”

And I do love a great infographic. Which is why I am reading this book, and will probably check out each annual edition. And just maybe, someday, one of my reports will have a really really insightful infographic.

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