Weather permitting - BBC Weather Infographics - Maynard

Weather permitting – BBC Weather Infographics

In a broad sense what information graphics, or infographics as they are sometimes referred to, do is to condense information into a form where it will be more easily absorbed by the reader. When a complex piece of information needs to be described quickly, precisely and clearly, a graphic is often more suitable.

Most people don’t realise how much this graphic visual representation impacts on their daily lives, whether from the sign system helping them to navigate their way through a busy rail station to knowing how to wash their favourite fluffy jumper, hand wash only right? Infographics which are is perfectly simple, but simply perfect for getting the message across.

Given the recent wash-out-of-a-bank holiday we thought we’d take a look at probably one of the UK’s most iconic set of pictograms, the BBC weather symbols.

The BBC Weather Centre use a set of codes to represent various meteorological scenarios and is perhaps the most unique weather presentation in the world. For many years these were shown using the familiar ‘fluffy cloud’ style that so many of us can remember dearly.

These familiar icons were in fact designed by a 22 year old graphic design student from the Norwich School of Art called Mark Allen back in 1975. The style Mark developed has been copied time and time again. The symbols (over 36 of them) were rubber with a magnetic back and used by forecasters against steel boards.

They also became known for failing to stick and falling off the maps, unpredictable, a bit like our weather then! However, despite being phased out a while ago they are still very much in use online which is a testament to just how perfectly simple they are.

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