Book Excerpt

Did Reuters and Fox News intend to mislead their audiences by these terrible charts?

An 18th century bar graph.
An 18th century bar graph.
One of the earliest known bar graphs, from The Commercial and Political Atlas.

Whether in school or in the workplace, the majority of us have had to either read or create charts and graphs at some point in our lives. This graphic representation of data, called “data visualization” or “data viz,” has been our go-to method for understanding how numbers correlate to one another for centuries. In fact, the first-ever line and bar graphs were developed as early as 1786, when William Playfair released The Commercial and Political Atlas.

Playfair wanted to compare the total amount of exports to the total amount of imports in Scotland over a single-year period (from 1780 to 1781), broken down by source/destination. To chart total numbers, identify locations, and differentiate imports from exports, he realized that a combination of bars and scales would do the trick. …

Visual communication agency team members collaborating
Visual communication agency team members collaborating

When I launched Killer Visual Strategies (then called Killer Infographics) in 2010, the concept of creating and sharing an “infographic” as part of your marketing strategy was still quite new for most brands.

In fact, it often caused so much confusion that I found it easier to tell people I owned a design agency rather than waxing poetic on the finer details of how visual communication differs from design, and how it applies to the greater world of content marketing.

Fast-forward nearly a decade and the concept of a visual communication agency has now solidified itself as a significant and necessary addition within the creative agency space. Some folks might argue that a visual communication agency is nothing more than a repackaged design agency or a niche marketing agency.


Amy Balliett

CEO & Founder of Killer Visual Strategies, LinkedIn Learning Instructor, Public Speaker, Higher Ed Guest Lecturer, Business Mentor, and Author

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