Infographics, sometimes also called information graphics, data visualisations or just ‘data-viz’, are visual representations of instructions or sets of data, aimed at enabling the reader to quickly process and comprehend the information presented.
Familiar items such as warning signs, road signs, maps and charts are examples of traditional infographics. (More information about the history of infographics can be found on a separate post.)
Often used to communicate a large amount of statistics, the use of infographics reduces the cognitive load necessary to make sense of information. This is particularly true for visual learners, i.e. those who have a preference for receiving information in a visual way, responding better to pictures and graphics than to written information and numbers. For this group, infographics provide an accessible format for communication. Infographics also allow non-numerate people a simple way to understand important messages which would otherwise be complex and difficult to interpret.
In addition, infographics also provide context for data using supporting graphics. The use of graphics has extended into story-telling via infographics, often utilising a timeline with iconography or illustration to portray events milestones on a chronographic chart.
The rapid rise of the internet has led to a huge increase in the production of infographics. Often taking the form of tower graphics, businesses often commission infographics for marketing purposes. In addition to providing an innovative, popular way to illustrate complex industry issues and draw readers’ attention to potential solutions to business problems, infographics are extraordinarily popular, generating over four times the amount of viral sharing online than a text based blog post. An added benefit to this is the value of infographics for SEO – companies share graphics, leading to backlinks to the source website, and the more popular the infographic is, the more it is shared and the more backlinks are generated. If done properly, this can represent a hugely cost-effective marketing strategy as the bulk of the work in this case is carried out by members of the public.
Should you require any more information about infographics, we have a team dedicated to design, publication and research of infographics, so please get in touch and we will do all we can to help.