visual communication

Making Your Point with a Chart

The struggle to convey complicated or comparative data can be simplified in a chart.

For people addicted to Excel spreadsheets, charts look like pies or pillars. But they don't have to. Charts can be lively visual communication companions by making your point quickly and effectively.

Southwest Airlines famously launched its service with a series of print ads that featured a chart. The chart showed Southwest Airlines' fares to various cities compared to rival airlines. No further commentary or hype was needed. Message delivered and received.

Creative communicators now think of charts as more than arrays of data. They see charts as powerful message boards, backed by data points, as illustrated by the "Diamonds Were a Girl's Best Friend" chart. Both renditions contain the exact same data, but the one on the left packages that data in a much more engaging and, arguably, informative format. It is the difference between plastering data points on a page and making a point.

Let Them See What You Mean

How many times have you heard someone say, "I see what you mean?"

People say this all the time, and they really mean it.

We understand what we see clearly in our minds, which works in the currency of images.

Communicators who want to connect with target audiences need to think visually. They need to show what they mean. Playwright Harold Pinter said we use words to hide our nakedness. Use visual communication to reveal what you really mean.