Introduction to Information Design


Order denotes a relative extent of generality:
Symbols usually have to denote and represent or stand for a whole class of objects/artifacts. This is a function that representations in verbal language undertake effortlessly by categorising and standing for a particular group. Further, by assigning a certain level of visual order in terms of simplified forms and details, the visual representation tries to denote objects with a certain degree of generality.

Order strengthens a given representation:
For a representation used in a signage to be visible from a distance. It is essential for it to have the strength to stand out from its surroundings and be recognised for its representation of the given message area. A strong figure against the background, a certain amount of thickness for the lines and the use of symmetry are factors that can lead to this visual potential.

Order smoothens the definition of the representation:
Representations that are viewed from a distance have the tendency to smoothen out perceptually. Sharp details, textural details, angular shapes and such details tend to become less prominent. It is always preferable to pre-smoothen such details so as to avoid distortion of information when viewed from a distance.

Order brings about uniformity:
By following the same rules of imparting visual order it is possible to bring about uniformity in the visual features, both within and across the symbols. Such a group of representations could logically be identified as belonging to the same family.

Order leads to learning:
Order tends to reduce complexity and arranges the various elements of a composition in an organised manner. This makes for easier comprehension, recognition and remembrance, leading to an overall enhancement in the quality of retrieval and processing of information.

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