Information Design A Graphic Designer’s Salvation

Roger Whitehouse writes in CommArts about Information Design as the answer to the itching question that may gnaw at graphic designers -- "Is that all there is?" Whitehouse argues that if you feel limited by the prospect of applying graphic style to information, there is light at the end of your career. The new prospect comes in the transition from graphic designer to information designer. He summarizes the differences quite nicely. Graphic design is nearly all information of some form or other that we convey graphically. But the difference between Graphic Design (with initial caps) and Information Design (ditto) is a whole cultural leap. In this context, the former is more to do with the notion of graphic design as applying graphic style to information, while the latter is more to do with the study of how information is perceived and processed by an audience, and the formulation not only of the graphic form of that information, but often also of the actual content; all the while doing so with a clear understanding of all the processes, both physiological and psychological, that are involved. In other words, it is more a distinction of process, than of product. It's a shame that he doesn't also mention IA, but the two terms are used so interchangeably.