Start 2020-03-18

The International Institute for Information Design (IIID) is a global network for people who work to make information clearer – for everyday life, business, education and science. It combines graphic design, user experience, plain language, and design research.

  • Burkey Belser – designer of US- nutrition label – dies at 76

    Burkey Belser designed the USA-nutrition label in 1994. It was updated in 2016.

    Similar to many other iconic information design objects, Burkey Belser was never paid. The importance of these nutrition facts labels cannot be underestimated.

    Obituaries appeared in the Washington Post and Davidson College on September 25. An interview was published in March 2014.

  • Article in ‘Nightingale’

    An article by Will Stahl-Timmins and Nadieh Bremer ‘Showing Human Stories Behind Data Points’ has just been published in Nightingale.

    The article describes the considerations that go into the development of a visual to show ‘35,000 recorded cases of rape, sexual assault, harassment, stalking, and abusive remarks between 2017 and 2022 in health facilities run by the UK’s NHS (National Health Service)’.

    The article concludes: ‘There are no hard rules, no correct answers. … There is always a healthy dose of personal judgment that is needed to find the right balance and there are plenty of individual decisions to make about scales and formats, which will depend on the project being worked on.’

  • IIID Conversation with Gillian Harvey, 5 October 2023, 15:00 UTC

    Health communications about addiction

    Gillian says “it’s important to engage communities in health system change, particularly for marginalized and equity seeking groups. I will also discuss what types of methods work well, but also what could be improved upon in using co-design”.

    Gillian Harvey will discuss two projects designed to increase empathy and reduce stigma toward people who experience addiction. She used co-design methods to learn from lived experience and non-traditional knowledge forms; and she used community-based decision-making aimed at shared ownership of the solutions.

    Exhibition with colourful hanging panels.
    Gillian Harvey
    Gillian Harvey

    Introducing Gillian Harvey

    Gillian is an Associate Professor in Design Studies, Department of Art & Design at the University of Alberta (Canada), where she teaches undergraduate students design theory, practice and research. She is Co-Director of the Design Health Research Innovation Lab (DHRIL) and a World Region Representation of the International Institute of Information Design (IIID).

    Her research prioritizes information design, design for decision making and design in critical or emergency situations including technical administration of emergency overdose kits, patient safety education materials and pediatric resuscitation. She has worked with government, industry and the private sector developing materials that include projects that address systems concerns, and enhance broader healthcare processes.

    Register here for the IIID Conversation

  • Natural History Museum launches £150,000 wayfinding tender

    The Natural History Museum has launched a tender valued at £150,000 for the design of a new signage and wayfinding system.

    More information: Delta eSourcing

    Deadline to register interest: September 14, 2023.

  • New Book: ‘Herbert Bayer’s World Geo-Graphic Atlas and Information Design at Midcentury’

    From the publisher: ‘Between 1947 and 1953, the Austrian-born, Bauhaus-trained artist Herbert Bayer (1900–1985) oversaw the design and production of the World Geo-Graphic Atlas, a landmark work of graphic design and data visualization. Benjamin Benus tells the story behind this work’s creation. Benus’s account reconstructs the working methods and intellectual exchanges through which Bayer and his circle of scientific collaborators realized this remarkable work.

    Author: Benjamin Benus

    A review by Steven Heller in The Daily Heller (July 31, 2023)

    Published by: Rochester Institute of Technology, RIT Press.

  • Conference: Creating Effective Warnings for All

    This 3-day international conference aims to generate a better understanding of effective warnings. It will be held in person, with some virtual capacity, at UCL in London.

    This conference offers research knowledge and skills from within academia, alongside lessons from the many stakeholders we work with. We explore the creation and implementation of warnings, as well as how they can be effective, inclusive, sustainable and people-centred.

    We aim to help bridge research, action, and policy to help support the Early Warnings For All initiative alongside UN Sendai Target G, and the International pandemic agreement (WHO CA+).

    Dates: 11- 13 September 2023

    Programme: Preliminary version.

    Location: UCL Institute for Child Health, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH 

  • Book: ‘Information Design unbound’

    Sheila Pontis and Michael Babwahsingh wrote ‘Information Design Unbound. Key Concepts and Skills for Making Sense in a Changing World.’

    The publisher states: ‘Information Design Unbound helps beginning designers build the mindset and skillset to navigate visual communication challenges wherever they may arise.

    Written and designed with students’ needs in mind, this book brings information design fundamentals to life: exercises allow students to put lessons directly into practice, case studies demonstrate how information designers think and work, and generous illustrations clarify concepts in a visually engaging way.’

    More information on the website of Sheila Pontis.

    The book can be pre-ordered from Bloomsbury Publishers.

  • Katherine Gillieson
    Emily Carr University
    Vancouver, Canada

    Associate Dean, Master of Design and Associate Professor, Communication Design

    What is the motivation to work in information design?

    Information design is at the core of my interests as a design practitioner, researcher and educator. Encompassing principles of accessibility and clear communication alongside ethical and social motivations, I believe that information design techniques and approaches can be generatively applied in various work contexts and in daily life.

    What are you working on at the moment?

    I am currently managing the graduate programs in interdisciplinary and interaction design at Emily Carr, and working on future program development. I am also working on a number of design and publication projects through the Occasional Press, a publishing research initiative at Emily Carr

    What is a project you consider a great example of information design?

    I appreciate a good taxonomy or meta-representation of collections or systems relevant to the practice of design itself, for example for types of diagrams (datavizproject,  and for example), or cognitive biases.

    The work of Studio Joost Grootens.

    What is your dream project?
    • Any project involving multiple modalities (publication, UX, exhibition, etc) for a project in education, the cultural sector, climate justice and allied fields, in which I would be involved as a designer from the very beginning. 
    • Some time to study the archives, notebooks and other documents of the creator of the Sankey diagram, M.H.P.R. Sankey (who was my great-great-grandfather). 
  • IIID Conversation with Sigitas Gužauskas, 6 July 2023, 15:00 UTC

    Data humanisation

    To enhance clarity, information design often simplifies complex real-world phenomena into basic visual representations.

    While these graphics are clear, they may not always have the impact needed. Data often contains intriguing narratives and stories that, when uncovered, can be used to create a more engaging and versatile information experience for the audience.

    By adding an experiential layer to the dry data, designers can aim to captivate a wider audience and offer a broader range of interpretations.

    Introducing Sigitas Gužauskas

    Sigitas is a practicing visual communication designer, a researcher, a lecturer and a member of the Lithuanian Design Association. Recently, he completed his doctoral thesis “Explanatory Strategies in Information Design” at Vilnius Academy of Arts.

    His research interests focus mainly on information design, exploring images that explain. He designs packaging, exhibitions and infographics, and experiments with information, and data visualizing objects.

    Sigitas’ most recent projects are exhibition design for the Energy and Technology Museum (2022), and the Museum of Applied Arts and Design (2023) in Vilnius, Lithuania. He publishes articles on design issues and participates in local and international exhibitions such as the art and designs biennial ‘Travelling Letters’, and the ENTER media festival in Lithuania.

    Register here for the IIID Conversation

  • Live lectures: Swiss Center for Design and Health

    The Swiss Center for Design and Health AG (SCDH) will hold a working symposium, and offers the opportunity to link digitally to five lectures on July 10 and 11.
    If you are interested in having access to the lectures in real time, please notify Yvonne Uhlig

    The 2023 Symposium aims at creating recommendations to the SCDH for their programs of action and research, and also to help health officials, managers, designers, and front-line healthcare personnel improve current practices in both health promotion and healthcare.

    The lectures
    Three keynote in-person lectures and two online interviews will be focused on opening discussions, pose questions, and use case studies to illustrate the integration of design and health, demonstrating the benefit that this integration had brought and can bring to both health and design. They will be followed by 20/30 minutes of Q&A and comments by the audience.

    Monday, July 10

    Daniel Wahl, PhD
    Regenerative Design for Human and Planetary Health
    11:00 to 12:15

    Arch. Angela Mazzi
    Improving Our Environment: Exploring the design/health axis

    13:40 to 14:40

    Guillermina Noël, PhD
    Make you magic: Can designers foster caring between patients and healthcare providers?

    14:40 to 15:40

    Dr. Thomas Zeltner
    Love is in the Center of Health Care

    18:00 to 19:00

    Tuesday, July 11

    Dr. Juan P. Brito
    Designers and health practitioners’ collaboration at the Mayo Clinic,
    Rochester, USA.

    16:00 to 16:40

    The Swiss Center for Design and Health AG (SCDH) ( is the national center in Switzerland at the interface between design and health.
    Funded in 2019 and operational in Nidau/Biel-Bienne since the beginning of 2022, the SCDH brings together healthcare practitioners and designers from several fields to foster collaboration and the improvement of health and healthcare. It carries out research to develop new knowledge and working methods.

  • ISO Plain Language standard

    On June 21, ISO published standard 24495-1: 2023: Plain Language – Part 1: Governing principles and guidelines.

    The standard aims to: ‘help authors develop documents that communicate effectively with their intended readers’. It explains how four governing principles – relevance, findability, understanding, and usability – can be achieved. The first part of the standard is available for free. The main part needs to be purchased.

    IIID participated as a liaison organisation in the writing of this standard.

    More information about the background: International Plain Language Federation (IPLF)

    Available from: The ISO website.

  • Webinar June 21: DataViz in Healthcare

    Join us for DataViz in Healthcare, featuring a panel of expert speakers including:

    • Melissa Pluke (SwitchRCM’s Co-Founder and developer),
    • Martha Hernandez Garcia (North Georgia Healthcare Systems’ BI Architect),
    • Ro Alvarez (AdviseInc’s Data Engineer),
    • Michal Nochumson (Snowflake’s Data Cloud Transformation Leader).

    During this 45-minute webinar our speakers will share their invaluable experiences working in data viz within the healthcare industry, look back on their professional journeys, and showcase the game changing tools, mentors, and lessons that have revolutionized their careers!

    Registration on: Zoom

  • Visualizing Knowledge conference 2023 – Visualizing Uncertainty

    16 June 2023, Aalto University, Finland – livestream available

    Visualizing Knowledge, a conference, a showcase and workshops, invites you to discuss and explore uncertainty in a new light. Let’s find prevalent questions and explanations through information design and Data visualization to unravel the complexity.

    We’re going through uncertain times. In a complicated world where it seems that everything we encounter brings doubt and unpredictability, it is easy to forget that this can be a positive thing. Uncertainty makes way for possibility and opportunity. In pursuit of understanding and visualising the complexity that surrounds us, we can point out new perspectives and approaches that can bring a hopeful and optimistic future which hasn’t been set yet.

    Join us to explore the role of information design in decision making in the context of the growing influence of AI. We’ll meet in Helsinki for talks and workshops with experts, researchers, educators, innovators, and enthusiasts to share profound knowledge through research, practice based design research, projects, questions and ideas to showcase what’s inside the black box.

    How do we visualise the complexity of the world we’re living in? We are inviting experts and new talent alike to explore the unknown in everything between developing energy transitions, the growing presence of AI tools, ethical considerations in crisis reporting and the future of access to open science.

    More information and registration

  • On Data and Design #24 – Data and Design

    Data and Maps:

    Thu, 22 Jun 2023 18:00 – 19:00 CEST

    On Data And Design is an evening lecture series initiated by Darjan Hil in 2018. The goal is to connect design, data science, coding, and many other disciplines at the intersection of data visualization. The talks are all available online for free.

    Join the 24th edition of On Data And Design about the world of “Data and Maps”. This online event will take place on June 22, 2023, at 6:00 pm CET (Mitteleuropäische Sommerzeit). An expert panel will discuss the latest trends and techniques in data visualization and mapping. Discover how to effectively communicate complex data through beautiful and informative maps. This event is perfect for data analysts, designers, and anyone interested in the intersection of data and design. Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to learn from the best in the field.

    Register now to secure your spot!

  • IIID Conversation with Rui Caminha, 1 June 2023, 15:00 UTC

    Legal Design for Legal Efficiency

    Images of legal documents

    Villa is the leading company in Latin America specializing in Visual Law and Legal Design, recognized as the largest and most awarded in this field. Our main goal is to enhance legal communication, making it more efficient for the public and for businesses seeking transparent and accessible relationships with their consumers.

    In this presentation, we are delighted to share two of the most iconic projects that mark our journey. We will explore the complete process of ideation, development, and the results achieved. The first project is the “Easy Contract for TIM,” a mobile telecommunications adhesion contract designed to transform store customer experience. We will discuss how we implemented Visual Law and Legal Design techniques in this contract, simplifying the legal content and making it more understandable and user-friendly for TIM’s customers.

    The second project we will present is the “Visual Law and Plain Language Handbook,” created for the Court of Justice of Mato Grosso. This handbook was developed with the aim of teaching Brazilian judges the methodology of project creation using Visual Law and clear language. In addition to explaining how the handbook was developed, we will highlight how the implementation of these practices can encourage more effective communication between magistrates and the public, especially in complex legal cases.

    During the presentation, we will explore the challenges faced during the development of these projects, as well as the benefits and results achieved. We will share valuable insights on how Visual Law and Legal Design can revolutionize legal communication, making it more accessible, understandable, and, above all, efficient.

    Rui Caminha

    Introducing Rui Caminha: Lawyer, digital entrepreneur, graduate from the University of São Paulo, currently pursuing a master’s degree at FGV-SP. Founder and CEO of Juristec+, co-founder, and director of Villa – Visual Law Studio. Legal Design lecturer, international presenter, with over 15 years dedicated to legal innovation, and pioneer in the development of technologies and solutions in legal data analytics, legal AI, analytics, and Visual Law.

    Register here for the IIID Conversation

  • Call for presentations: Information+ conference 2023

    22nd – 24th November 2023
    Edinburgh, UK

    The conference invites three types of contributions: Presentations, Workshops & Activities, and Exhibition Pieces. Proposals from all relevant fields and areas of professional practice, research, and pedagogy are welcome.

    Information+ is an interdisciplinary conference that brings together researchers, educators, and practitioners in information design and data visualization to discuss common questions and challenges in these rapidly changing fields. Information+ seeks to foster productive exchanges amongst the variety of people involved in the theories, practices and pedagogies of analyzing and communicating information.

    Submission deadline: May 31st, 2023

    Information and submissions

  • Visualizing Complexity Science Workshop

    Paul Kahn and Liuhuaying Yang offer a 5-day workshop on Visualising Complexity Science.

    The Visualizing Complexity Science Workshop brings together multiple perspectives in information design and data visualization to create complexity science visualizations. Teams will combine researchers together with data visualization designers, data journalists, and data artists engaged in advanced visualization projects.

    The program is designed to be diverse, creative and inspiring, offering a mix of lectures by the hosts, invited guest speakers from the international data journalism and visualization community, group discussions, and hands-on working sessions engaging with complexity science research datasets.

    Location: Complexity Science Hub, Vienna, Austria

    Dates: Monday August 28 – Friday September 1, 2023

    Registration deadline: May 20, 2023

    More details and registration: Visualizing Complexity Science Workshop Website

  • IIID Conversation with Sheila Pontis, 4 May 2023, 15:00 UTC

    A human-centered research clinic for information designers

    Information designers know that they should create solutions that address users’ needs. We accept the need for human-centered research, and we promote it to our clients. But while some of us claim to do it all the time, in reality many find it hard to integrate this way of working into our daily practice – to find participants, to design studies, to identify what to ask, to interpret results.

    Sheila Pontis, one of the foremost experts on human-centered research for information design, will introduce her own work, and answer your questions on how to bring research into practice. The session will be a dialogue, structured around your questions submitted in advance.

    For example, you might ask: I’ve to create a visual explanation about quantum computing for children – how can I know where I should focus on or what concepts are harder for them to understand? I’ve developed icons for a multicultural venue – how can I be sure they’ll be understood? I’m working on information about a medical treatment but can’t get access to real patients – how can I work around this? How many people do I need to recruit to test a new app I’ve designed?

    Originally from Argentina, Dr Sheila Pontis has degrees from the University of Buenos Aires (BA), the University of Barcelona (MA, MPhil), and London College of Communication, University of the Arts London (PhD). She is now based in the USA, where she teaches and researches at MIT, and is a partner at Sense Information Design, New York. Her research bridges and contributes to several domains, including creativity and well-being, information science, human-computer interaction, information design, sensemaking and cognitive science. She is also active as reviewer of several journals and conferences.

    Sheila is the author of three books: Making Sense of Field Research: A Practical Guide for Information Designers (Routledge, 2018), Communicating Knowledge Visually: Will Burtin’s Scientific Approach to Information Design (RIT Press, 2021, co-authored with R. Roger Remington), and Information Design Unbound: Key Concepts and Skills for Making Sense in a Changing World (Bloomsbury, November 2023, co-authored with Michael Babwahsingh).

    Register here for the IIID Conversation

  • IIID Visionplus conference

    25-26 May 2023

    The 19th Visionplus conference focuses on healthcare, prevention, and well-being:

    Information Design for Healthcare

    Visionplus 19 Logo



    Finding a way through healthcare systems, healthcare buildings, and healthcare finances is often a challenge, even when we’re healthy and wealthy. Information is crucial to enable people to act appropriately.

    The focus of the conference is on questions like:

    • How do information design principles relate to patients and their health?
    • Could information design be beneficial for the outcomes of treatments, care, and well-being?
    • Do patients really notice and appreciate information design?
    • What kinds of evidence and reasoning is required to show the relevance of information design in health contexts?
    • Can information design bridge the communication gap between patients and care-professionals?
    • Could information design really alleviate some of the pressures on healthcare systems?
    • How to visualise information about risks and benefits?

    Please direct any questions to:

  • Summer School preview, 14 March 14:00 UTC

    Thinking of coming to the Information Design Summer School this May? To help you decide, join our free taster session on 14 March at 1400 (UTC time zone).

    The preview session will include a short introduction to the summer school programme, and a demonstration exercise – we will critique some real life examples of good and bad design, to show how we use design theory and design patterns to diagnose problems and find solutions. The tutors will all be there to introduce themselves and answer your questions. You will be able to feel the atmosphere of the summer school and understand the approach we take.

    The Information Design Summer School will be held face-to-face, 22-24 May in Vienna. It’s organised by the Simplification Centre in partnership with IIID. You can find out more at

    Registration for Summer School preview

  • IIID Conversation with Karel van der Waarde, 6 April 2023, 15:00 UTC

    Medicines information: Are we really enabling patients to take medicines?

    Taking medicines is a stressful activity. Opening a cardboard box, reading a leaflet, handling tiny pills, checking the dosage and the time, and considering potential side-effects require the capacities of a strong, astute, and healthy adult. Several of these activities are fairly difficult, especially when our dexterity, eye-sight, and mental flexibility decreases.

    Karel van der Waarde will show examples of medical information design in context. He will question their use and provide reasons from both industry and regulations why these situations change so slowly.

    Karel van der Waarde

    Karel van der Waarde studied graphic design in the Netherlands (The Design Academy, Eindhoven), and the UK (De Montfort University (Leicester), and Reading University).
    He started in 1995 a design- research consultancy in Belgium. The company develops and tests patient information leaflets, instructions, forms, and protocols in both digital and analogue formats. Most of the projects are related to information about medicines for patients, doctors and pharmacists. (
    In 2023 he teaches at BA, MA, and PhD level at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Switzerland), and University of Hasselt (Belgium).
    He is a board member of International Institute for Information Design (IIID, Vienna, Austria) and the International Plain Language Federation (IPLF), and editorial board member of Information Design Journal, Hyphen, She Ji, and Visible Language.

    Register here for the IIID Conversation

  • IIID Visionplus conference Vienna, 25-26 May 2023

    Visionplus is back, even more importantly, it’s back in Vienna, Austria 🙂

    The 19th Visionplus conference focuses on healthcare, prevention, and well-being:

    Information Design for Healthcare

    Finding a way through healthcare systems, healthcare buildings, and healthcare finances is often a challenge, even when we’re healthy and wealthy. Information is crucial to enable people to act appropriately.

    The focus of the conference is on questions like:

    • How do information design principles relate to patients and their health?
    • Could information design be beneficial for the outcomes of treatments, care, and well-being?
    • Do patients really notice and appreciate information design?
    • What kinds of evidence and reasoning is required to show the relevance of information design in health contexts?
    • Can information design bridge the communication gap between patients and care-professionals?
    • Could information design really alleviate some of the pressures on healthcare systems?
    • How to visualise information about risks and benefits?


    We welcome presentations on topics such as signage, instructions, forms, maps, diagrams, symbols, in both digital and analogue situations. These could be based on research, education, professional practice as well as and historical perspectives.
    The conference language is English.
    Presentation format: 20 minutes plus 10 minutes discussion
    Abstracts should contain between 200 and 400 words, a full paper submission is not required.
    By submitting your abstract, you guarantee that you have the right to present and submit the content.

    Submission deadline is February 28th, 2023
    Please submit all contributions to the conference platform.

    Contributions will be reviewed anonymously by at least four experts. The core review team are:

    • Prof. Jorge Frascara
    • Prof. Claudine Jaenichen
    • Prof. Dr. Guillermina Noel
    • Prof. Dr. Clive Richards
    • Prof. Dr. Rob Waller
    • Prof. Dr. Karel van der Waarde

    Submissions will be reviewed until March 18th at the latest.

    Author(s) of the accepted contribution must register for the conference by March 31st, 2023, they benefit from a 50% discount on the conference fee.

    Please direct any questions to:

    Details on registration, venue, etc. will be published shortly.

  • IIID Conversation with Stefania Passera, 2 March 2023, 15:00 UTC

    Legal Information Design: Towards user-friendly contracts

    “I have read and understood the terms and conditions” is the biggest lie on the internet – no one reads, and definitely no one understands (except the lawyers).

    When most of us hear “contracts”, we think of impenetrable walls of legalese envisioned to protect a party at the expense of the other. But there’s another way. Through information design, contracts can be transformed into tools that work better for business, for people, and ultimately for society.

    Stefania Passera, a pioneer of contract design, will show examples of her work and discuss the impact of this new, multidisciplinary approach to contracts. Legal information design is a fast-growing marketplace for information design skills and this talk will introduce IIID members to one of its leading figures.

    Stefania, founder of Passera Design, is an information designer specialized in contract design and simplification based in Helsinki, Finland. With 10+ years of experience in the field, she is considered a true legal design pioneer. She collaborates with World Commerce & Contracting as Contract Designer in Residence and as curator of the Contract Design Pattern Library.

    She has served as an Assistant Professor at the University of Vaasa, Department of Business Law (Finland), and earned her doctoral degree from Aalto University (Espoo, Finland). Her research has been published internationally, and she is an in-demand speaker and lecturer on contract and legal design. Her impact as a legal design pioneer has been recognized with a European Women of Legal Tech 2020 award and a WorldCC Fellowship.

    Register here for the IIID Conversation

  • IIIDaward 2023

    The IIIDawards are a showroom for professional information design with international exposure in many different categories of information design applications. In addition to receiving an award, all submissions are presented online. The best of each category are included in the IIIDaward book and will go on tour as part of the exhibition.

    Submissions until 25 March 2023