Otto Neurath and his wife Marie we’re visual communications pioneers. Beginning in the 1920s, they developed a system of pictographs to represent information called “Isotype”. The Neuraths had an idealistic vision: the written word as a barrier to education for the lower social classes, as well as a divider of nations — while a visual language could transcend everything. The British designer and academic David Crow writes that today, “Visual communicators are still struggling with the search for some form of purpose to what they do just as Otto Neurath was almost a century ago.” In terms of my own work at H&K, I certainly enjoy getting complex ideas across with images — leading to that “a-ha” moment when the person gets what we’re trying to say.
(Crow, David. Left to Right – The Cultural Shift from Words to Pictures)