What are they?
Information graphics, or infographics, are graphic visual interpretations of information, data and statistics, a form of data visualization.
Over the last ten years, infographics have become one of the most popular ways to display information. As society and technology develop, our ways of finding information and communicating have become almost instant. In our fast-paced and rapidly moving society, we have become accustomed to the need for quick comprehensive information. And that’s where visualisation comes into the picture. Presenting otherwise complex ideas
or information visually allows anyone to gain a quick, detailed and easily comprehended idea of the subject at hand.
Where did the idea come from?
Believe it or not, infographics have existed since long before the Internet. Wikipedia even claims that the first examples of infographics can be traced back to prehistoric times as paintings found on the walls of caves. Early examples of maps, and explanatory drawings are also considered infographics.
However, the infographic as we know it now has become especially popular over the last ten years.
Why are they useful?
If you have done research or developed a project, publishing long articles may not catch the attention of a wide-spread audience. In other words, infographics are a great way to display information that may be a bit dry or text heavy.
Infographics are especially popular for traffic and search objectives. By creating an attractive and well-designed visualization, every time the infographic is shared on another site, it will generate more clicks. Often a well-made infographic will generate lots of traffic and search rankings
For the consumer, a well-designed, high-quality infographic will bring material that feeds the need for quick information. The presentation of complex data in an aesthetically pleasing and simplistic format helps the reader to understand more easily.
What is the recipe for a successful infographic?
If you are thinking of using data visualisation for an infographic of your own, there are a few key pointers to keep in mind:
1. Get Creative
Remember, infographics can really benefit business and strengthen marketing, but only if they are of high enough quality for lots of people to share them. To get the most out of an infographic, it really needs to stand out! Think of a layout, colour scheme and theme that looks great and will capture your audience’s attention.
2. Keep it Simple
Firstly, don’t try to cram too much information into one infographic. Choose the core statistics, numbers and information that you want to share, and present them simply. Remember: the entire point of creating an infographic is presenting your audience with data in a fun and simple way. Don’t include too many graphs and spread sheets or the purpose of the infographic will be lost.
3. Don’t tell, show!
Creating data visualization is just that: visual. You must transfer the message and information you are sharing in a visually pleasing and simple manner. Instead of inundating your infographic with stats and figures, translate the denser information into fun symbols and designs. Don’t write out your information! Show it! Tip: try designing the infographic first, without any writing on it. If you can still grasp the message of the infographic without any text, you’re on the right track!
4. Stay True to Your Brand
Sharing an infographic can be a great way of strengthening core branding. However, make sure that it stays true to your messaging and image. Stick to colours and images that represent your company, your audience and branding, but keep it fun!
5. Take Your Time
A rushed, poorly designed infographic could do more harm than good to your brand. Remember, to reap the rewards of your work, you must take the time to design and produce an inviting, engaging and informative infographic. If you take the time to do so, it is more than likely your infographic will be shared.
Infographics have become a very popular way of sharing information, and might continue until most of the statistics and data we see are visualised! Even infographic CVs have exploded over the last couple of years, becoming a viable source of information. (For example, check out these cool, creative CVs presented as data visualization)!
To search for good example infographics, check out Visually, which contains hundreds of infographics about any topic you can imagine!
If you missed our latest infographic showing our growth in emerging markets, check it out here.