images vs. words: Neurath’s isotypes

July 4, 2009 § Leave a comment

Chris Mullen – collection ISOTYPE

“Words make division, pictures make connections…” Otto Neurath, ‘Museums of the Future’, Survey Graphic

Michael North in his Reading 1922 has a fascinating discussion on this 1920s idea, best exemplified by Neurath’s utopia to develop a visual language that would be universal. The idea permeated cinema discussions in the 1920s by projecting cinema (silent cinema, that is) as the Esperanto of the Eye – a utopia I’ve written about here.

Chris Mullen’s site from the university of Reading has galore visual examples of isotypes in (statistical) action. Enjoy !

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