A generation ago, in the time of early word processors, a research report was typically wall-to-wall text with one or two tables appended. That kind of analysis is not enough for a modern reader, for two reasons.
Firstly, very few people have the time or patience to read a text-heavy document. We have become used to articles and documents with more graphical content and our concentration spans have shortened.
Secondly, it’s become much easier for authors to create charts, graphs, tables and other visual aids, thanks to the proliferation of software packages – and many of these are free to use.
We know how a beautiful visual aid can tell a compelling story for your audience that holds their attention. It can be something as simple as an Excel graph or as impressive as an interactive map.
Design and layout of a four-page special insert
The Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research is an autonomous research centre at the University of Cape Town. The Centre wanted to know how Black South Africans felt about Jews and it commissioned a survey from Mthente Research and Consulting Services. Using a 60-question survey Mthente asked 800 people across three cities questions about themselves and their attitudes to Jews and Judaism.
Hlaziya Solutions was asked by the Kaplan Centre to design a special publication to visualise and interpret the results of the survey. We worked with Jupiter D’sign to create a four-page insert. (The first page of the insert can be found at the end of this case study.)
It is challenging to condense a large survey into four pages of pictures and we don’t shy away from a good challenge. We designed each section of the survey with a different visual theme but the main narrative of the survey is explicit: in comparison with other groups in South Africa, Jews were relatively unknown to Black South Africans.
Each visual element was designed to be easily understood, conceptually clear, and mathematically sound. The layout ensures that the report is comprehensive without feeling cluttered.
Our insert was included in a national community newspaper, reaching thousands of people across South Africa.