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De 80-jarige oorlog / A.W. Ijzerman. Leiden: Nederlandse Stichting voor Statistiek, 1948

“Eventually, Arntz designed around 4000 such signs, which symbolized keydata from industry, demographics, politics and economy. Otto Neurath saw that the proletariat, which until then had been virtually illiterate, were emancipating, stimulated by socialism. For their advancement, they needed knowledge of the world around them. This knowledge should not be shrined in opaque scientific language, but directly illustrated in straightforward images and a clear structure, also for people who could not, or hardly, read. Another outspoken goal of this method of visual statistics was to overcome barriers of language and culture, and to be universally understood. The pictograms designed by Arntz were systematically employed, in combination with stylized maps and diagrams. Neurath and Arntz made extensive collections of visual statistics in this manner, and their system became a world-wide emulated example of what we now term: infographics (..) Important for the overview is the way in which the symbols are employed within the page’s grid. Here too, simplicity rules: horizontal arrangement represents changes in quantities, while vertical arrangement shows a passage of time or a comparison between various data. An accompanying illustration (Führungsbild) sometimes appears in the background of these infographics to enliven the composition and to add a geographical or content-related connotation.”


Max Bruinsma. Gerd Arntz web archive, 2008.

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