Isotype

As the Olympic Explainer videos requires to communicate with such a diverse audience, I wanted to look into methods of communication. One of these methods is Isotype. Isotype (also known as Vienna Method) shows social, technological, biological and historical connections in pictorial form through simple illustrations with little to no wording. It is a picture language that is usually used to display facts and quantitative information. The leading director of this method was Otto Neurath , who originally wanted the idea to teach people of Viennese about their city. They didn’t want to bombard the audience with accurate, long-winded facts but instead bring them to life. Some argue that it shows of detail in the facts but Neurath (1973) argues  “to remember simplified pictures is better than to forget accurate figures”. Through research, this museum apparently experimented with animated film using Isotype, something I should definitely look into.

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The bold colours and focus on minimal design allows you to understand the illustration easily with little amount of type to assist the viewer. This is something I need to achieve within my own work.

Marie Neurath was the “transformer” behind the Isotype method who aimed her work at younger readers, allowing them to understand information through isotype as an easier alternative to it being explained. Some of her work is quite fascinating and really shows you the diversity of this method even with its minimal style. A specific example of her work is the “the transformer”

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Finally, I want to look at the works of Gerd Anrtz, a crucial member of the Isotype team in 1928. Gerd really pushes the boundaries of Isotype by giving it a more stylistic twist than the more conventional pictograms. It really brings his designs alive whilst still giving information clearly and simply. I will most likely look towards Gerd Anrtz work as inspiration when looking into my own design.

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However, I want the Olympics Pictograms to be gender-neutral so details such as hips and hair need to excluded within my designs.
 

Neurath, O., Cohen, R. S. and Foulkes, P. (1973). Empiricism and Sociology: The Life and Work of Otto Neurath. Netherlands: Springer-Verlag New York, LLC.

“ISOTYPE (International System Of TYpogra phic Picture Education) method, expressed the modernist ideals of minimalism, functionalism, of design, with the factuality, universality and neutrality, relative autonomy and stability, of the visual with respect to interpretation and cultural references. It had an abstracted, simplified, elemental and Gestalt-like conventional quality intended to convey a concept through the constructed representation of a typical individual—also similar to Bauhaus ‘essential types’, a graphic product of the same German intellectual culture of typology which included taxonomy, morphology, physiognomics (discussed by Neurath in 1921), eugenics and Hempel and Oppenheim’s logical analysis of types (Hempel and Oppenheim 1936).” – http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/neurath/visual-education.html

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