Saturday, 12 October 2013

Otto Neurath

 “words divide, pictures unite”, Otto Neurath

My new HoD Claire and I both share an interest in Mass Observation, as did my former colleague Anne.
This was a major undertaking around the 1940s and onwards, to capture daily life.

There have been quite a few books that have drawn on this, by authors like Joe Moran, Simon Garfield and notably David Kynaston with his remarkable social histories of the years after the war. I wish I had the time to do them justice, but they stare at me from the bookshelves...
One of the outcomes of the work was data, lots of it, and people like Otto Neurath created a style called isotype, which was used to visualise data. At a time when infographics are all over, it is interesting to look back at the earlier ones, and how they stand the test of time...
As the husband of a graphic designer, it's also an area that has a lot of relevant interest and books in our house....

It would be interesting to have a go at creating infographics with students.
If anyone has any favourite tools, or examples of student work I'd love to see them...

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