Charting a New Course for Your Publication

Why not add credibility to your publication with some great visuals?  Indeed, charts and graphs offer great ways to increase the effectiveness of your publications. Through the use of data, charts and graphs support the arguments or positions that you are advancing. These graphic enhancements are commonly used in corporate annual reports for the financial section or to illustrate services, accomplishments or goals.

Infographics are graphical representations that are used to make complex data easy to understand. The idea here is to make the data user-friendly by distilling it down though the use of simple graphical symbols rather than lengthy technical texts.

Here are four ways to make effective charts and graphs:

1) Build elegant charts and graphs. Go beyond the usual.  Add depth, color and shape to your charts and use colors consistent with the rest of your design.  The three samples below shows a very cleanly designed chart that we created for the State of Commute Report for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.  We created nearly 150 charts and tables for this lengthy report.  All these graphics had the same font, same color scheme and same dimensions.  This definitely makes for a more harmonious design and hence a successful corporate communication.

Figure68 Figure20 Table36

2) Enhance your charts and graphs with extra “pizzaz.” These use additional graphical elements such as photos to help illustrate concepts.  In the first example below we used photos of buses in a chart that we created for a Norwalk Transit Annual Report.

In the second example directly below, we created some elegant pie charts by adding 3-D effects and placing these on top of soft water background photos for the Inland Empire Utilities Agency Annual report.  These special effects gave this publication a very elegant look and reinforced the theme of water conservation.

NTAnnualreportdocument-8 IEUA-Annual-Report26final-163) Create infographics. Communicate your data through visual representation.  Below you will see some interesting examples of data sets where numbers and graphic shapes  were used to explain concepts in a pictorial sense. In other words, these symbols were used to tell a story in the simplest of terms without boring readers with unruly statistics, lengthy explanations or daunting technical data comparisons.

Sticking to simple shapes, a monochromatic color scheme, and large visual displays of numbers will make it that much more easy for your readers to understand. Facts and figures can be displayed in this way as well to avoid long lists of bullet points. Even adding a simple iconographic symbol next to a fact will create a visual representation that readers can latch onto.

infographic-2 infographic-1 KPDowneyGatewayDECFinalspreads-1

Infographics-sybols4) Develop other visual representations.  These are more elaborate pictorial representations or complete scenes that are used to tell a story or to explain a data set. Below you will find samples where we created elaborate rendering of buildings or illustrations of parks and flower gardens.  These were used to visually portray strategic imperatives, best practices, corporate restructuring or performance initiatives.



If your company needs a beautifully designed annual report, financial report, collateral, poster, interactive presentation or newsletter that might also need infographics or innovative ways of displaying data, please contact HWDS at  We design of individual graphics such as charts, graphs and tables or complete reports.

“Infographicize” your publication with rich displays of data.  You’ll not only add credibility, understandability and interesting content and but you will also enhance the overall appearance of the publication.


Please note: All projects displayed on this blog are meant for educational and instructional rather than promotional purposes. We respect our clients’ brand integrity

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