Graphic design

Understand: <link each bullet point to grey headings below>

  • the use of graphical style
  • the value of using visuals to convey information and how to choose appropriate visuals including diagrams, photographs, cartoons, videos
  • how to choose appropriate graphing formats (pie charts, bar charts and so on)
  • how to design and/or specify graphics.

Graphical style

The use of recurring graphic elements and well-developed typographic style sheets reinforces visual unity. Input from a skilled graphic designer can improve the document’s readability and the reader’s comprehension of the information presented.

Using visuals to convey information

Technical communicators are accountable for correctness and quality of information represented using graphics. Designers should be culturally inclusive, conceptualising and choosing images that offer suitable representation across gender, race, sexuality, religion, culture and age.

Graphs, diagrams, photographs, sound bites, video clips and animation can all help to clarify information and give readers a greater appreciation of the content of a publication.

Choosing appropriate graphing formats

The primary purpose of graphs and charts is not to illustrate but to illuminate; they should be clear, simple and suitably proportioned, with all superfluous space and visual clutter omitted. Graphs should tell a story — they show trends and provide outcomes or provide guidance. Care must be taken to select a suitable charting style – for example a pie chart is suitable for showing relative amounts, whereas a line graph can be used to show a trend.

Design and/or specify graphics

Understand selection, placement, reproduction, colour systems, photographs, diagrams and maps.

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