Infographics 101 - What is an Infographic?
We often hear the term, "a picture is worth a thousand words"
Even history tells us, pictures were used to tell stories from the past (just ask the caveman drawing the hieroglyphics). A picture seems to help us interpret information easier, so why not turn numbers and data into pictures in order to help us visualize what story the information is telling us.
An infographic is exactly that - a visual representation of complex information. To get more specific, these terms may be more familiar to you that fit under the "infographic umbrella" - Data Visualization, Information Design, Editorial Infographics. You may ask, how is this different than a pie chart? A bar graph? What about a organizational chart? Or a time line? It isn't different, it is all of that and more. An infographic uses several data sets to communicate complex ideas. It considers design and creative concepts. To me (and mind you I just came up with this analogy)... a brilliant infographic is the masterpiece of an expert statistician and a creative designer.
There has been a recent explosion of interest on this topic (according to Google Trends, infographic trending information wasn't even available pre-2009 and now there's 30,900,000 results returned). I personally believe it is due to the immense amount of data that is shared with us on a day to day basis, the millions of facts and figures that are thrown at us, and us trying to keep track of it all. There is a demand to represent all this information in a visually stimulating image but yet tell us a compelling story.
I have developed an interest in this topic in the last year - primarily due to my statistics background and the love I have for design. I've been blessed with the opportunity to create infographics for LOGiQ3. By no means am I an expert, therefore I lean on several web resources to assist me with expanding my knowledge in this area, I'd like to share a few notable ones with you.
Piktochart - simple infographic editor, web-based, very reasonably priced, and extremely easy to use in terms of functionality. For those who have limited budgets and limited access to graphic designers, this is the place to go.
Visual.ly - collection of infographics and data visualizations uploaded by the Visual.ly community. They also offer paid services to create an infographic for you.
Co.Design - Fast Company's Design website, it's Fast Company, what more can I say? I enjoy this article on 10 Steps To Designing An Amazing Infographic.
Cool Infographics - A collection of cool infographics! People are starting to use Infographics as resumes - 16 Infographic Resumes, A Visual Trend.
Ted Video - always a good source of videos on trending topics.
These are of course just a few favourites I'd like to share, there are tons of other resources to help you with your infographic journey (again if you search in Google, there are 30,900,000 results!).
Though tools and blogs are a great way to get you started, however, the key is to understand your data sets well, figure out what trends you want to present, and let your creative juices flow!
The next time you need to make a presentation or tell a story based from data sets, try creating an engaging infograph to help you get your message across.
To see some of LOGiQ3's infographs - click here.
If you have any thoughts on infographics, design, and data, please share them with me!
Thanks for reading!
You can reach Natalie Ho at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter @ho_natalie.