There has been a continuing shift towards responsive web design over the past few years with many people, myself included, drifting towards a responsive design because it is a “one time” design that works for desktops, tablets and phones. But, there is a price that is paid.
Search engines have pushed this change, stating websites that render well on phones will be given preferential treatment in search engine results. Some might consider this an adapt or die philosophy common to today’s world. It is totally appropriate for a restaurant, movie theater or other site where users are quite likely to be using a mobile device for menu, pricing, times and directions. Not quite so much for an informational site or one requiring the need to view a graphic with explanatory information surrounding the graphic.
The eventual solution is probably to develop three different layouts for the same information, one each for desktop, tablet and phones. It is three times the work, but is the only way to get a layout that fits the original design concept and doesn’t mash everything into that tiny little screen.