Theory of ID

Information Design is a multi-disciplinary, multi-dimensional field where both theory and practice work together.  Information design works to define content and provide structure, clarity, simplicity, unity, and emphasis.  It does this through the legibility and readability of text, pictures, layout, symbols, numerical values, charts, graphs, maps, and color.  It coordinates information, aesthetics, and cognitive principles.

And while it’s not feasible to develop fixed information design rules that instruct information designers exactly how to best design a message, a designer can follow several principles and guidelines in order to design effective and efficient communications.  Edward Tufte, a pioneer in the information design industry, has developed solid, working theories of how best to communicate information.  You can learn more about Edward Tufte and his theory on the subpages within this site.

Clarity of communication is the goal, with aesthetics of presentation facilitating that goal.  To reach this goal, messages must be effectively designed and produced in order to then be correctly interpreted and understood by the audience.  Information is the basis for decision making.  Visual messages are a powerful form of communication that stimulate an audience’s emotional and intellectual response.  The ability to communicate visually has always been, and continues to be, critically important.

Two main components of information design theory are represented through infology and infography.  Infology is the theoretical component of ID while infography is the practical component. 

Infology is the theoretical and infography is the practical component of ID

Infology is the science of verbal and visual presentation and interpretation of messages.  It is the science behind the way in which a message is designed and produced in order to achieve the most favorable communication between sender and receiver.  Whereas, infography is the actual design and execution of bringing together words, pictures, and graphic design.

Information designers must have theoretical knowledge and practical skills in order to produce effective messages.  

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