The traces left by the information designer. Data visualization and enunciation

By: Valeria Burgio


Volume: 08
Issue: 01:Summer 2022
ISSN: 2459-2943
DOI: 10.18680/hss.2022.0005
Pages: 63-83
Lic.: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Data Visualization
Data journalism
Graphic design



A common understanding considers information design to be a clear and immediate transfer of information, in which the author disappears to make the data emerge with utmost clarity. This idea of infographics as a transparent and objective medium is questioned by several scholars and practitioners who consider visualization not just as a representation of numbers, but as an interpretative device. In this essay, we will review these positions, with special regard to the use of the semiotic concept of enunciation, which is also beginning to be used in critical design theory and digital humanities. This concept allows us to detect the traces of the act of enunciation in the visual artefact. In particular, we will deal with the recognition of visualization as an act of interpretation, the visual calibration and distancing from one’s statement in journalism and scientific communication and the visual reference to the production process in graphic design.


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