June 24, 2024

We all know the old adage…

 ‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’

“A poet would be overcome by sleep and hunger before being able to describe with words what a painter is able to depict in an instant.”Leonardo da Vinci, a renowned artist, inventor, and philosopher ( 1452-1519)

This quote conveys Leonardo’s belief in the unique power of visual arts, specifically painting, over verbal arts like poetry.

In this post, I am going to share my findings about infographics, which is somehow way of visual communication which has been a fundamental part of human society for thousands of years, dating back to prehistoric times.


Early humans used visual symbols and signs to communicate, with cave paintings serving as one of the earliest examples of this form of communication.

Annotated photo highlighting a sequence of four dots on an aurochs (wild cattle) bull that was painted on the wall of Lascaux Cave (Dordogne, France) around 21,500 years ago. Photo: JoJan.
Annotated photo highlighting a sequence of four dots on an aurochs (wild cattle) bull that was painted on the wall of Lascaux Cave (Dordogne, France) around 21,500 years ago. Photo: JoJan.
An annotated version of an image showing three lines placed within an engraved salmon, Pindal cave (Asturias, Spain) around 17,000 years ago. Photo: Berenguer, M., 1994.

These paintings, which often depicted animals, were not just simple illustrations but were used to convey ideas, stories, and even track time.

For instance, an amateur archaeologist deciphered a cave art code used by Ice Age hunter-gatherers that tracked animal’s life cycles, suggesting that these early humans used a systematic calendar and had the ability to anticipate future events.

As civilizations developed, so did their methods of visual communication. The ancient Egyptians, for example, used hieroglyphs, a system that combined logographic, syllabic, and alphabetic elements to communicate.

Hieroglyphs from the tomb of Seti I – Egyptian hieroglyphs – Wikipedia

These hieroglyphs were used for various purposes, from recording historical events to telling stories and sending messages. The Greeks also developed a system of symbols that became the foundation of the modern alphabet.

In the modern era, visual communication has evolved significantly, particularly with the advent of digital technology.

The invention of the computer and graphic design software has made it possible to create and manipulate visual content in new and innovative ways.

Today, visual communication plays a vital role in various aspects of society, from advertising to global communications.

Simple graphic images, for example, are used worldwide to help travellers identify essential services like pharmacies, hospitals, and restrooms.

From cave paintings to hieroglyphs to modern graphic design, visual communication has evolved alongside human society, reflecting our innate desire to express ideas and share information visually.


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