4Picturing statistical narratives

A century of data visualisation in public relations practice

Jon Cope and Mark Wells

Introduction

Early in his 1936 explication of Isotype, Otto Neurath emphasises his central assertion in all-caps: ‘WORDS MAKE DIVISION, PICTURES MAKE CONNECTION’ (Neurath, 1936, 18). Today, his typographically amplified message continues to resonate strongly with public relations (PR) practitioners. Since their resurgence coinciding with the development of the visual web from around 2010, infographics and other forms of data visualisation continue to proliferate to the point at which their production has become almost routine in public relations practice.

In this chapter, we survey the subject of graphic design – focusing ...

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