A cognitive, socio-semiotic, linguistic, and discursive approach to popularisation strategies in infographics


Information graphics or infographics are multimodal discursive spaces created by the combination of data and information visualisation, typography and colour. As effective forms of information communication and popularisation, infographics are frequently used by international organizations and government bodies as a means of popularising complex topics linked to health, food safety, politics, business and the environment. In this paper, Ciuccarelli’s 2012 concept of the visual macroscope is adopted as an interpretative lens on a small corpus of infographics from the World Health Organisation, together with the tools of socio-semiotic, linguistic and discursive analysis, applied in a bottom-up approach. From a socio-semiotic perspective, it is seen that layout, pictorials, colour, typography and the order of information combine to make the ideal (solution or goal), the scope of the problem and the real stand out; from a linguistic and discursive point of view, thematic organization interacts with pictorial organization to make salient information emerge; lexical repetition, unmarked declaratives, and constant theme enact the strategy of explanation, frequently used in popularisation discourse.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v29p291

Keywords: infographics; popularisation; interdiscursivity


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