Canberra has declared that from next Monday all federal government departments must cease using infographics in reports and other communications.
The directive came from the Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull and is believed to be part of the government’s wider ‘war on information’, sparking reactions of both relief and frustration.
One observer was chuffed at the news, saying, “Finally we get rid of this meaningless drivel splattered across a page like a bits of carrot in vomit.”
A senior bureaucrat in the Department of Finance had a more philosophical view about the edict.
“It’s like a minor infection which started with pie charts and graphs got out of control with infographics taking over the whole body. We can’t see what’s underneath anymore,” she said.
Infographics have, however, been variously described in glowing terms such as ‘business-speak artwork’ through to a valuable alternative to deathly boring PowerPoint decks which according to Society of Graphic Designers president, Ms Mary Drawson provided valuable work for her members.
“The time to conceptualise then illustrate and redo through multiple iterations to get an infographic looking just right is a major effort for a professional designer so has become a valuable source of income which I think the government has just torpedoed,” she said.
It looks like the days of infographics are numbered, with one banking CEO echoing what many business leaders were saying on social media where they were afraid their clients would fall in line with the government, robbing them of the opportunity to convey ideas in colourful pictures.
“This will be a step back to the more contractually restrictive use of words during a time where we’ve come to rely on snazzy infographics to communicate to a new generation with a low attention span, no eye for detail and no desire to look under the hood to see what we’re really up to,” he said.