Research & Development

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Behind all our work is a solid foundation of research and development work. We draw on the existing research in communication and information design.
Our Corporate Members have generously allowed us to use their organisations as laboratories for testing our designs.
We share our research findings with our members and the wider public, for the common good.

Transitions in information design: a history

For me, information design is not a cumulative pluralist tradition in which, over the years, I have added a diversity of insights from multiple disciplines. On the contrary, at each transition I have reconstructed the notion of information design, fundamentally reshaping what I mean and understand by its practice; in other words, I have changed the philosophical assumptions underlying my understanding of practice.

Designing information for people

In 1990, after five years of research and innovation, CRI ran a symposium to showcase major advances in information design practice and theory. The resultant book is now a classic in the field. Previously available only in hardback, it is now available here to all our Members to read online.

Standard letters


Large information-intensive organisations, such as insurance companies, banks, utilities and government agencies, conduct a great deal of routine correspondence with individual citizens, customers, or clients using standard letters […]

Designing forms in large organisations

Form design in large organisations involves crafts at the micro level of document design, the customer experience level, and the management and politics level in an organisation. This seminal 1994 paper traverses all these levels. Below is a lightly edited version of the published paper. It also incorporates some content not available in the print version.

Communication Benchmarks

What are Communication Benchmarks?

  • measures of the communication practices used by business and government in their communication with the public
  • quantified data on the number and types of faults in […]

Quality medicine information design

With the support of our Donors, Members, and Volunteers from around the world, we are developing  new international guidelines and model templates for consumer medicine information and labelling. Join us.

Defining communication by its boundary

This is a paper about boundaries, edges, limits. It is a contribution to the ongoing debate about the status of communication. We explore the line between what is and what is not communication: the boundary of communication. It is part of a wider project to lay the foundations for communication as a discipline, to provide methodological coherence and rigour to the communication point of view.

Designing documents for people to use.

CRI has worked on over 200 public document design projects since it began as a small unit in 1985. CRI investigates practical methods and achievable standards for designing digital and paper public documents, including forms; workplace procedural notices; bills, letters, and emails sent by organizations; labels and instructions that accompany products and services; and legal and financial documents and contracts.

Credit card statements

The preliminary data, from places as far away as South America, India, Europe and Australia is very challenging and will be of interest to banks, consumers, and regulators everywhere.

Panadol Packaging 2002

This project started as a routine redesign of the packaging for a medicine that was available to consumers at both grocery and pharmacy outlets: what is known in the […]

Inside communication research

If you think that science is concerned with success in discovery, objectivity, and truth, you might be surprised to learn that the new science of communication, emerging from the wreckage of the old, is concerned with failure, subjectivity, and lying.

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