As a graphic designer I have come to appreciate the necessity for and impact of infographics. People process images faster than they do text. A large block of written copy, particularly content containing a multitude of information, only ever engages somebody for so long. By default your subject will lose interest, a short attention span something most succumb to.
Any business then is better served presenting their message in visual form. Infographics, or Data Visualisations as they were formerly known, condense stats, making them both appealing but significantly, easier to understand.
Infographics are everywhere. News broadcasts, TV adverts, road maps and weather reports all rely on this technique. Believe it or not, they have also been incorporated into several music videos, see Autokratz’s Stay The Same and Royksopp’s Remind Me as case in points.
he graphics themselves can vary in scope. At its most simplistic, a bar chart, line graph or histogram can relay your key points. At Intergage I favour what is known as Hypergraphy, this the merger of text and visuals that are easier on the eye.
I try and add a degree of creativity to my Infographics, introducing different shapes, colours and typography that underline the point. Storytelling is also a popular tactic when it comes to delivering your topic. The following example is taken from our own website:
Though advantageous companies must resist the temptation to exhaust visuals, this to the detriment of information itself. To do that would be to fall into the Chartjunk trap, a no-go zone for any company. Decorate your infographics by all means but never lose sight of what you or your client are trying to present. Combine style with substance.
In 2014 most businesses use infographics as a tool to communicate with and attract new customers. If utilised correctly, they can form part of a content marketing strategy, producing material others can identify with and thus link to. This process will not only boost your online visibility but enhance your reputation tenfold. Social media and Information Design go hand-in-hand in this respect.
At the heart of every infographic is the inclusion of three key principles: Visual, Content and Knowledge.
Visual refers to two things; Theme Graphics and Reference Graphics. The former is the basic visual representation of your data, the latter the use of icons and pointers which highlight that data.
Content is obviously the delivery of any stats and facts you need to put across, while knowledge refers to any insight or original angle you provide within the infographic, this giving you a degree of authority on the subject. Adding an informative element will earn you customer loyalty.
Infographics can be created by hand but technological advancements mean the likes of Adobe, HTML5 and CSS3 are typically embraced when creating visual designs. Such illustrative software also allows for an interactive element, ideal for those hoping to tell a story.
So there you have it; a brief introduction to infographics and the role they play in a modern business world. Remember, give customers information that is condensed, engaging and easily absorbed. Only then will you gain (and maintain) their full attention.
Want your own infographic to promote a message for your company? Get in touch.
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