What is An Infographic
Infographic is defined as a visual representation of information or data. The term infographic itself came from the combination of “information” and “graphics”. It is a very valuable tool for visual communication.
Specifically, an infographic is a collection of imagery, data visualizations, and minimal text that allows an easy-to-understand overview of a topic. Infographics use striking and engaging visuals to convey information clearly, easily, and quickly.
Creating infographics might be a good strategy to bring out your products or services to stand out.
History of Infographic
Cave images, rock art, and maps are believed as the early versions of infographics by historians. Infographic’s history is believed to be started from the spray-shaped images at the Chauvet-Pont d’Arc in France at about 37,000 BC. These spray-shaped images supposedly depicted the eruption of a nearby volcano and spewing lava into the sky.
Later on, the origins of infographics are suggested from the rock art of Serra Da Capivara in Brazil from 36,000 years ago as proposed by several rock art specialists.
This founding is then followed by the discovery of the earliest-known map in the Czech Republic around 25,000 BC. After that, the earliest hieroglyphic writing was created in Egypt at around 3,000 BC. Afterward, in 600 BC, a symbolic representation of Babylonia or the Babylonian Map was created.
Scientists and scholars started to visualize knowledge and information in the 18th century. In 1764, a “Chart of Biography” was created by British polymath Joseph Priestley, which had been used to illustrate the lives of roughly 2,000 historical figures on a timeline.
In 1858, the founder of modern nursing Florence Nightingale combined text and visuals in the coxcomb chart to convince Queen Victoria to improve military hospital conditions and army hygiene. The graphic she created showed the number and causes of deaths during each month of the Crimean War, which were cholera, typhus, and dysentery.
Subsequently, by 1975, Edward Tufte and John Tukey developed a statistical graphics seminar. Tufte is then considered the father of data visualization and a pioneer in information design. He developed the concept of data-ink ratio.
These days, infographics remain a valuable tool to communicate and share information more easily and creatively. For example, healthcare infographics remain a practical tool to communicate and share medical information.
Why use Infographic?
One of the main purposes for using an infographic is to simplify complex information and help it to be easy to digest. Infographics are a good way to give someone a really quick rundown on something that may not be enough or hard to explain in words alone.
Visual communication tools like infographics are ideal to be used for spreading awareness about an issue. This idea is strengthened by the fact that 65% of the world’s population are proven as visual learners.
Infographics are flexible, which is the main reason why infographics are very commonly used in conveying information. You can use it in your blog post, use it as a snippet on your social media, or share it privately via email. So to conclude, infographics can be useful in pretty much any industry.
You can also use infographics to show changes or comparisons in data, time, place, statistics, maps, as well as hierarchies.
Besides all the general purposes of using infographics, here are some of the use of infographics in various sectors, such as marketing, consultants, education, small businesses and entrepreneurship, governmental, and nonprofits.
1. Infographic for Marketers
In marketing, infographics are very useful to build brand awareness and boost engagement about topics related to the company. Infographic can also act as a newsletter to deliver news, showcase your new product or services in a visually striking way.
2. Infographic for Consultants
Consultants need to create a project timeline in their client proposals. They also need to deliver their reports regarding the progress to their clients. This is where they need to use infographics to present their data in a fresh way and visualize the timelines they have built for their clients. Consultants often use timeline infographics to simplify new or industry-specific topics for their clients. The method of using infographics in data presentation is much more desirable than a pile of documents full of text.
3. Infographic for Educators and Trainers
Getting bored of reading a book full of text is a given for students. This is why teachers and educators or trainers need to make an effective way of learning to make their students learn things more easily. Infographics that consist of bright colors and appealing icons or illustrations will help educators and trainers to make their learning content more memorable and easy to understand for students and employees.
4. Infographic for Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Reaching new audiences and increasing brand awareness are the purposes of using infographics for small businesses and entrepreneurs. They can also use infographics to promote their business and create their brand style guide in a creative way.
5. Infographic for Government
In the governmental sector, statistics and census data are often being shared using infographics. Government officials need to share the data they gain from reports with the public so they may remain transparent. The use of infographics in data presentation does not only pique the publics’ interest with contrast colors and interesting illustrations but also helps to comprehend complex information.
6. Infographic for Nonprofit
Nonprofits use infographics to create easy-to-understand data and information about a given cause, for example, a social media campaign, newsletter, donation page, and more. Infographics also help nonprofits to promote their events and raise public awareness for their causes. They could also use infographics for their report, like highlighting the results in an annual report or showcase their events’ successes in an impact report.
Different Types of Infographic
Choosing the right type of infographic for your content is one of the key factors in creating a good infographic. Check out the types of infographics below.
1. Data Visualization
Basic charts and graphs are one of the most popular forms of data visualization. Data visualization translates your data into a visual language that is easier to understand.
Data visualization is so important these days. Today is the age of big data, where we need to be able to share the story of the numbers from the data as easily as possible.
The practice of data visualization is mostly based on the application of numbers. Most would describe this as a “true” infographic. Visual elements are used to
Data visualizations can be both beautiful and purposeful if it is properly executed and allows the viewer to define the data. Viewers may also be able to recognize trends while admiring the aesthetical beauty of data visualization.
Statistical infographics are an example of data visualization that focuses on highlighting the data. Some features of statistical infographics are graphs, charts, and so on. This type of infographic is made to help the audience understand the data presented by sharing enticing facts and figures. The statistical infographic also helps viewers to comprehend the data presented more easily as it condenses lengthy and complex information into refreshing figures, graphs, or charts.
2. Information Design
This category of infographics focuses on the display of information. Information design is a subset of graphic design that encompasses many functional design disciplines.
Information design is not the same as data visualization. Information design infographic is built by several concepts or other information, whilst data visualization is made from specific data. The goal of information design is to use design to convey a message that is both clear and universal in an efficient and effective way.
We may have encountered or seen information design in our daily life, perhaps in the form of flowcharts, organizational diagrams, timelines, diagrams of instructions, anatomical illustrations, etc.
3. Editorial Infographic
Editorial infographics refer to the infographics people use in their publications, such as newspapers, magazines, etc. Publications have been utilizing infographics for decades, as it has been a highly shareable content that helps publications to be able to engage their readers better.
As time passed by, there has been a shift in the style and type of visual content being produced by publications.
Editorial infographics were limited to simple bars, lines, and pie charts before. These days, the number of publications that replace those traditional editorial features into graphic content has been increasing dramatically.
The goal of editorial infographics is to provide interesting insight from uniquely informed sources.
4. Process infographic
This infographic type is used to show the different steps in a process. Process infographics help explain a hard-to-understand and complex process into simple and easy-to-understand steps.
The visuals of infographics also make the process of infographics look more interesting. These visuals help you break down each complex process into a simplified one.
5. Timeline infographic
Want to present the data of your events in a chronological order? Timeline infographic is the answer.
This type of infographic illustrates time-related data in chronological order. It will help you to visualize the history of events or show how long something will take. You can also use timeline infographics to highlight the changes that happen over time on an event, a place, or concept.
Timeline infographics allow its user to present their information in horizontal, vertical, or winding formats. Take your reader on a journey with timeline infographics, whether it is the journey of your company’s history, or more.
6. List infographic
List infographics is the type of infographic that presents information in a list format. Many audiences prefer this type of infographic as it enables them to gain information quickly and easily. List format in your infographic allows you to grab your audience’s attention. To make your example or information stand out more, you can replace bullet points and numbers with icons and images.
7. Informational Infographic
Informational infographics, also known as visual infographics, is the type of infographic where your text stands out more than the visuals. Informational infographics focus on your words or texts, while also pair these texts with engaging visuals to intrigue the readers. This type of infographic is more generalized and may contain information about any topic.
8. Comparison Infographic
Comparison infographic, also known as versus infographic, is used for comparing two options or concepts to help viewers see the similarities or differences between these options. Comparison infographics can help its audience to compare two products and show the pros and cons of the two options. This format of infographic also helps highlight how one option is better or superior than the other, or if it is inferior that the other.
9. Visual Resumes
Visual resumes or infographic resumes are visual Curriculum Vitae (CVs). This type of infographics helps job seekers to make their resumes stand out and get noticed during the recruitment process by representing impressive skills, employment history, and educational background with the power of eye-catching graphs, icons, illustrations, and colors.
One of the benefits of visual resumes is it will help you grab the attention of recruiters or hiring managers and get them to call you back for your good news.
10. Map Infographic
Presentation of data or information based on location is defined as map infographic. It is the ideal format for highlighting geographic trends.
Formats of Infographic Design Style
1. Static Infographics
Static infographics are defined as the simple infographics that don’t move. This format of infographic design is best used in blogs, articles, brochures, print, etc. Line art, illustration, papercraft, photography, icons, and more ways are often used to make this format of infographic design style visually interesting.
List infographic created by Superpixel to answer the initiative by the Singapore Government is one of the static infographic examples. This project was initiated to create visually engaging media informing every Singaporean about the various strategies and improved benefits within the different sectors of the economy.
2. Animated Infographics
Looking for something more engaging than a simple infographic? Animated infographics might be the answer for this question. This infographic format applies motion to plain infographics, either by adding animated objects to your infographic or animating your infographics, so they will stand out and ideal for use on social media. Animated infographics may be recognized as GIFs of infoGIFs.
Check out the Superpixel project for National Geographic & Dyson Factoids, where Superpixel created a video with infographic format using visually engaging icons and illustrations.