What are infographics?
Infographics are images that provide information visually. Infographics are used for signs, maps and data presentation. A couple examples for data presentation are a pie graph or a bar graph. Daniel Adams defines them as “visual presentations of information that use the elements of design to display content. Infographics express complex messages to viewers in a way that enhances their comprehension.” There are several elements that make up infographics: visual elements, such as color coding and graphics; content elements, such as time frames and statistics; and knowledge elements (the facts).
There are also several types of infographics.
- Cause and effect infographics explain causal relationships between various physical or conceptual stages.
- Chronological infographics displays an event or process over time.
- Quantitative infographics give statistical data.
- Directional infographics guide readers through information.
- Product infographics combine images with data to make it easier to comprehend large amount of information in a small space; they are instructional in nature.
How could one be useful in a story for your client?
If an infographic is aesthetically pleasing, then it could help to draw the reader in to learning some important facts that he or she may otherwise overlook. Adams states, “Infographics communicate complex data quickly and clearly, and they are considered to be effective worldwide.”
How do infographics accomplish this task?
- They organize a lot of information in a neat and thought out fashion.
- They help to analyze data in order to discover cause-and-effect relationships.
How do you go about creating one?
“Some great tips for designing infographics:
- Keep it simple! Don’t try to do too much in one picture.
- Decide on a colour scheme.
- Research some great facts and statistics.
- Think of it as a visual essay: ensure your arguments hold and are relevant.
- Remember that it’s all about quickly conveying the meaning behind complex data.
- Draw conclusions.
- Reference your facts in the infographic.
- Include your URL so people can be sure who made it.
- Plan and research.
- If required, use free software to create simple graphs and visualisations of data.
- Use vector graphic software to bring these visualisations into the one graphic.”
Here is a list of a few different ‘create your own infographic’ sites that I found:
There is also free software out there like Tableau, GapMinder, and Inkscape. It is also possible to use software like photoshop to create your own. Photoshop is good way to incorporate typography and make your infographics look nice.
Although it isn’t yet available, Visual.ly seems to be a promising site for creating infographics. It will be interesting to see how easy it is to use. Here is a video on their take on infographics.
Here are some great tutorials on infographic creation:
- How to Create Outstanding Modern Infographics
- Infographic Designs: Overview, Examples and Best practices
- Tutorial: Create Cool Infographics
- 10 of my Favourite Infographics
- 40 Useful and Creative Infographics
- Seven and a Half Steps to Successful Infographics
- The Anatomy of an Infographic
- 10 Tips for Journalists Designing Infographics
Here is an interesting video I found on how infographics are being used with the iPad.
Have you created infographics yet? What do you use to create infographics? Where in media have you seen infographics being used?