Communicating information rather than driving sales

What if your aim is to impart information to an audience that isn’t particularly engaged? Or the data is technical, complicated or copious? The answer is often to simplify where possible and cherry-pick the most pertinent or surprising facts.

In a previous blog I talked about the quirks of designing for the public sector  and that the challenge of making information easier to ‘take in’ and comprehend is something I deal with a lot. Here are some approaches that I’ve used to highlight facts or tell a story:

1) Pull out percentages and enlarge for visual impact

pie chart

A pie chart and pull out percentage from the QEII Annual Report, designed by Pogo based on their existing brand guidelines.


2) Multiple symbols to represent quantities

A snippet from Pogo’s Annual Report for Capacity.


3) Timeline

timeline showing photos of different types of motorbike

TImeline to celebrate 100 years of Motorcycling New Zealand by Pogo.


4) Maps

Road upgrades on Kapiti Road were shown on this map design by Pogo for Kapiti Coast District Council


5) Icons/pictograms

abstract map of wellington with pie charts and percentages showing travel types into the city

Pogo’s infographic showing travel into Wellington City for the Wellington Regional Growth Framework

6) Diagrams

One of several diagrams describing different models in the ‘Alive and Well’ document designed for Upper Hutt City Council and Lumin.

7) Illustrations

Illustration of a dune in profile

One of the illustration showing dune erosion in the brochure (by Pogo) for Kapiti Council City Council


Selling features and benefits

If you are a business selling products or services, differences can be distinguished by colour-coding or with benefits/features highlighted by icons. Using a table to compare costs, features and benefits is a popular and effective way for customers to decide which option they want.

table showing features and benefits of a product

Features and benefits table laid out for Kestrel Group.

Other things to consider

Getting through to your audience is paramount. Being more accessible and inclusive will help with this. I’m by no means an expert but areas to think about include:

  • People with visual disabilities and low vision
  • People with learning difficulties, including dyslexia etc
  • People with limited literacy
  • Different languages
  • Being inclusive with gender, ethnicities

The UK Home Office put together a set of accessibility posters which are great resource.

Check out the previous infographic blog here.

If you have any infographic questions, feel free to get in touch.




abstract map of wellington with pie charts and percentages showing travel types into the city

We live in an increasingly complex world and are bombarded with information 24/7. To have any chance of catching and holding a customer’s attention it helps to be very clear about what you want to say and present that information in an eye-catching or easy to digest form.

Infographics (or information graphics) is described by as “visual representations of data, information, or concepts.”


A recent article by The Guardian, about New Zealand’s clear messaging during the Covid-19 pandemic, highlights how important it is to have a clear communication strategy and how it is delivered.

“Information design may seem a superficial front by which to assess a pandemic response; but whatever course a government chooses to take against the virus – whether it be elimination, control or herd immunity – it is effective only insofar as people understand it.”

One example they reference is the use of simple black and white pictograms to illustrate public health directives, chosen for their inclusivity, compared to examples of less successful campaigns in other countries.


illustration of public health messages

‘Unite against Covid’ public health illustrations.

While most projects do not have the same pressing importance as a government’s pandemic response, using appropriate infographics will often help people understand the story you want to tell them.

Infographics can be divided into three basic types:

  • Data visualization (charts, graphs etc)
  • Information design (concepts or other information, such as process, anatomy, chronology, or hierarchy.)
  • Editorial infographics (graphic content to replace more traditional editorial features)

Example of editorial infographic from

Part two of this blog can be read here.