Case Study: 5 ways to convey information without words

This is a great infographic that shows the state of the average American diet:

Note the many methods used to convey information in an easy-to-understand format:

1 – By using a circular representation for the quantities of foods consumed, the infographic works like a pie chart, showing not only the quantities of food groups consumed, but also the proportion each one makes up of the whole.

2 – Each food group is demarcated by a picture – a cow, sugar cubes, a pepper, etc, to visually convey the food group alongside titles such as ‘vegetables’, ‘fish & shellfish’, etc.

3 – Each food group is colour-coded, in a way that most people unconsciously identify with. So to represent vegetables, the colour green is used, white for milk products, brown for wheat, and so on.

4 – Similar food groups are placed together – fish alongside meat, chicken and eggs, eggs alongside cheese and milk (all dairy products), vegetable with fruits and wheat – all non-meat products. They could have placed the food groups separately, but by placing them in this logical order they allow us to better judge the make-up of the average diet.

5 – At the bottom, key foods we all recognise, such as pizza, soft drinks, ice cream, etc are shown along with how much of each the average person consumes. By using readily identifiable products such as these, (together with the pretty pictures), information about the average diet is better conveyed (and remembered afterwards) than referring to generic food groups such as ‘vegetables’.

All in all, an excellent infographic, and one that shows the numerous ways that information can be relayed to the reader in non-word forms.


About Rakesh Ramchurn

I am an MA Magazine Journalism student studying at City University London. Love infographics and all things italian. Comment on my blog posts, or tweet me: @italophiliac
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