What is an infographic? What are the uses of an infographic? Why are infographics used?
This article will give you an overview of infographics, their amazing history, components, uses, and even examples and creation. We are about to answer all your queries.
1. What is an infographic?
If you look at the word “infographic” closely, you will notice that it has two words- “information” and “graphic.” This gives you a basic idea of what is an infographic. To put it simply, it is an illustrative form of any data.
Most of the dictionaries have defined an infographic as a visual representation of information or data. But infographics go beyond this. An infographic can be said to be a collection of images, charts, and captions (minimal texts).
I am sure that most of us have used infographics or some kind of graphs and figures to make a project or presentation. Ever since infographics have become a part of graphic design about a decade ago, they have been widely used at schools, work, and other places.
We all have seen and used pie charts, histograms, bar charts, or even line graphs. These are all typical examples of infographics. They are used for data representation.
2. When were infographics invented?
Very astonishingly, infographics were invented in 3000 B.C.! Ancient Egyptians carved images of animals and other things to narrate the story of life and religion. Since they are representing information visually, they can be said to be infographics.
We also cannot forget the Egyptian hieroglyphics that were used to portray some kind of information. You read about the modern history of infographics here.
3. Elements of an infographic
Every informational graphic has basic parts or elements that make it an infographic. There are six components involved that make this data visualization tool effective.
- An attractive title and equally appealing subtitles.
- Useful and informative statistics.
- A suitable yet catchy color scheme.
- Cool, impressive visual elements.
- And lastly, vital information arranged in a logical sequence.
4. Types of infographic
There are various types of information graphics based on the topic they represent.
A. Statistical – These informational graphics represent statistical and numerical data in a catchy manner.
B. Informational – These are used when we want to display a new or complicated concept or information.
C. Timeline – The timelines are extremely useful for understanding history or historical events chronologically.
D. Process – The process infographics simplify and summarize a process. For example, the process of making a cake.
E. Geographic – The geographic graphics are used to display location-based data. This can be used to represent population density across the world.
F. Hierarchical – This simplifies information by ranging it from biggest to smallest. An amazing example would be Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
G. Comparison – The comparison infographic is used to compare two or more things. For instance, comparing two models of laptops.
H. Biodata – You can now prepare an impressive resume using infographics.
I. Lists – These are great for listing out tips or sources or anything else.
5. Perks of information graphics
Now, let us address a very obvious and important question, why should we use infographics? The reasons are listed below.
A. They are catchy
Yes, this is a very important feature of infographics. They are attractive and catchy. Infographics grab attention quickly. And they are definitely more exciting than plain text or dull figures and graphs.
B. They are easy to understand
This is probably the biggest perk of infographics. Since we all know that visuals create a better and lasting impact on the human brain, it is smart to visualize information using infographics. The data gets simplified while visualizing and hence, it can deliver a lot more information at a glance.
Besides this, information perceived through infographics is likely to be memorized faster and you will remember it for a longer duration.
C. They are time-saving
Suppose if you are studying for a topic “Canadian wildlife” you can opt for watching some videos on it or even documentaries. This might take 30 minutes or even an hour.
But an infographic on Canadian Wildlife might just take a minute or two. This is a great method to revise something at the last minute.
D. Simplified information
One of the best features of infographics is that it can illustrate complex processes and information in a simplified manner. It can also display numerical data like survey findings or research statistics in a creative and easy way.
E. Summarize lengthy texts
Just like research data and statistics, long and complicated texts and articles can also be simplified by infographics.
F. Awareness campaigns
We discussed above that infographics are catchy and informative at the same time. And hence they are very useful in awareness campaigns.
To sum it all up, infographics are very handy when it comes to briefing a concept quickly and effectively.
6. Some common instances of the use of infographics
In addition to all the reasons stated earlier, infographics are widely used by marketers and other industries for varied reasons. You might have realized by now that an infographic is a handy tool in almost every industry.
Here is a quick rundown on some typical usage of infographics.
It is based on the awareness factor that we mentioned earlier. Infographics quickly catch the eye and deliver the right message in a few moments. This is why marketers use this tool for brand awareness and brand building as well.
Basically, the illustrations are used to display their achievements on their website or social media. They also send out informative visuals regarding their new products. They are also a great tool to drive interest traffic to their website.
They are largely used for content marketing.
Consultants use this widely in their presentations as infographics are engaging and impressive. It delivers precise information in a crisp manner. So, they are mostly used for timelines and progress reports.
It is very convenient to present data sets especially when there are several parameters involved. It is an effective tool for data visualization.
Businesspersons use this tool to display their brand style. They also use this to highlight their offers and services in brochures. They display their past achievements and future goals. Very often, you see a downloadable one-page flyer that has all the essential information.
The government departments mostly use infographics to put across census data and statistics. The government also uses such informative graphics to spread awareness about prevailing issues. For example, a graphical representation on preventing the spread of certain diseases.
The non-profits make use of informative depictions in newsletters, donation pages, awareness campaigns, reports, and even posters. They are useful in elaborating on the goals and importance of a cause.
Besides this, students, teachers, researchers, data analysts as well as several others use this incredible tool for presenting data.
7. How to create an infographic?
After understanding what is an infographic, it is crucial to know how to make one as well. Here are five quick steps.
Once you have decided upon a topic and information that you want to add, you can follow these steps.
Step 1 – Gathering data and information
Obviously, you will have to gather information like statistics or exact facts from authentic sources. Some of the original sources of data are government websites.
Then you need to trim down all the data down to the necessary information. Summarize all the information. It should be short and precise.
Step 2 – Visualize the data that you have collected
So you have data and you want to present it in graphs or pie diagrams. For instance, if you want to depict a trend over time, you might go for a line graph.
Make sure you use attractive colors for charts and graphs. The goal here is to draw attention towards the data findings.
If you want to add numbers or percentage figures, make sure you highlight them in a bold color.
Step 3 – Designing the layout and organizing data in a coherent manner
So, you have summarized information and visualized data. Now all you have to do is arrange all this in a very catchy yet logical order.
The aim here is to arrange the data coherently and in a way that appeals the eye. So pick a layout suitable to the information you are representing. For instance, if you are portraying a comparison between two laptops, a two-sectioned chart would be suitable.
Step 4 – Add some fun and color
Just like we mentioned earlier, selecting the ideal color scheme is important. Colors play a vital role in attracting eyes, highlighting necessary points and delivering the right message.
You might want to use contrasting colors like blue, red to depict the difference in trends in a line graph. Avoid using neon colors anywhere in the infographic.
Also, make sure to color the background in soothing or pastel colors. Making backgrounds gaudy or bright would drive attention away from the chief topic.
Similarly, you should avoid using light or pastel colors for text. Colors like yellow or cream makes the text less visible and difficult to read. Here’s how you can choose the right color scheme.
In addition to this, you can choose a font that suits your content. There’s a lot more to designing information graphics. And this is how you can add little details and reach perfection.
So this was an article on ‘What Is An Infographic?’ We hope this article was useful and informative. If you have more suggestions, feel free to use the comment section below.