What is an “Infographic”?
By definition from Google: Infographic is a visual representation of information or data, e.g. as a chart or diagram.
Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.
Note: Any questions or you need some help with an infographic let me know firstname.lastname@example.org
Why Create Infographics?
Present complex information clearly.
Take a look at this. Web page infographic about infographics. Really well-done.
Good Examples of Infographics
- Top 10 Best Infographics of 2013
- customermagnetism.com examples
- The Best Infographics of 2014 (So Far)
- Edward Tufte (data presentation guru)
On the work of Megan Jaegerman who produced “some of the best news graphics ever while working at The New York Times from 1990 to 1998″.
- Gather data
- Find the narrative
Wireframe on paper. Never too early to start sketching out what you are thinking.
- Create a hierarchy / Sections
Find how the data can be chunked.
- Choose an information format
There are endless ways to represent information. The best approach might be with traditional charts and graphs (bar, line, pie charts). It might require a diagram or flowchart to explain a process. A map might be the best way to tell the story. Or perhaps simply showcasing the numbers is best. Whatever the case, this decision is guided by the data, which will lend itself to one or a combination of these formats.
- Determine a visual approach
There are two overarching visual approaches to determining the look and feel of an infographic. In one camp, there are those who prefer to make the raw data beautiful. These often take the form of charts and graphs, made visually exciting by their execution. The use of color, typography, and structure make the piece engaging.
Those in the second camp prefer to use illustration or metaphor. Here, the data is disguised, delivered to its audience in a visual narrative often bearing little resemblance to a chart or graph.
Creating a story from your data
- How to structure a good story for for your infographic
- 20 free data visualisation tools (tools and some suggestions)
- How to make infographics: a beginner’s guide to data visualisation
Keep in Mind
- Show don’t tell
- Focus on the narrative
- Clean, simple
- How to create awesome infographics (pretty much covers it)
- Best Infographic Tips
- Data Visualization Principles: Lessons from Tufte
- The Secrets Of A Memorable Infographic
“New research refutes a common perception about what makes infographics stick in your mind.”
- 10 steps to creating the perfect infographic
- The Potential Role for Infographics in Science Communication
Master’s Thesis paper
Tools to make Infographics
One or the other of the first two below should work. Intuitive, simple, templates to work off of. Free, or for more options, pretty reasonable.
Probably best. Very good. Pretty easy to use. Free limited use. $39/yr with educational pricing.
How to create an infographic in 5 minutes with Piktochart
Really good. Turn existing sets of big data into engaging infographics with this online app. Good for charts, data you might want to use on your papers.
Free to use (free version and free for students) public and open data platform for users that includes many many existing data sets to create data visualizations that you can export as an image or as embeddable live data for a website. Lots of data sets of all sorts including environmental issues.
Very good. Pretty easy to use. Free limited use. $24/yr for full.
Charts, live data. More with websites. Free limited use. $18/mo for semi-full.
Types of infographics
- Data visualization is a visual representation of data or the practice of visualizing data, according to the book Infographics: The Power of Visual Storytelling. Data visualizations enable people to detect trends, patterns, and outliers and could include word clouds, maps, and bar graphs. (Note that some people consider data visualizations to be a type of infographic, while other people consider infographics to be a type of data visualization.)
- Narrative infographics guide the viewer through a series of information—often in a chronological order—that tells a story. Inforgraphics that explore the history of a discipline is a common example.
- Information design is a type of infographic that focuses on the display of information efficiently and effectively, communicating a message clearly and universally. Examples include flowcharts, organizational diagrams, and anatomical illustrations.