What is information design?

03 Mar 2023

Nowadays we receive more information impacts in a day than a person could receive 200 years ago in a lifetime. The world has changed, but we have not changed as much, which is why information design has become a key tool to build messages, ideas and data that really have an impact not only on people’s retinas but also in their minds.

But what is information design? Information design is the whole universe that surrounds the way we explain specific data, from the most superficial part, color, shape, materiality, style, to deeper elements such as context, interpretations or semantic interdependencies. Below, we explain what the figure of the information designer and Elisava’s Master in Data Design consist of.

What does an information designer do?

Because it is an emerging profession, jobs are becoming more and more specific. Due to the proliferation of digital projects there is a large job market in these areas closely linked to the start-up world and the development of digital applications and services. On the other hand, the need for good information design is becoming apparent in all major institutions, from the United Nations to cultural organizations that see in this a space to better explain the increasingly complex reality we face.


We can see great historical examples that have marked a before and after in the territory of information design, such as the case of Charles Minard’s Napoleon’s campaign in 1812 to journalistic projects that have served to disseminate and change perspectives such as ‘Million Dollar Blocks’ o ‘Life in the camps’ (Reuters, 2017).

Another example is the exhibition 730 hours of violence by Domestic Data Streamers, a collective formed by several Elisava Alumni, which uses data to analyse the hidden violence present in our society.

Where to study information design?

There are many options, but from my personal point of view, the Master’s Degree in Data Design that we have built at Elisava has many advantages in terms of teaching staff and a deeply critical approach to the use of information.

Pau Garcia Director of the Master’s Degree in Data Design