Posted on May 14, 2012
We live in a digital age, where information moves faster than ever before through the use of social media channels, television, the internet and more. We are constantly bombarded by a fast, yet steady flow of an immense amount of information on a daily basis. But in all of this digital clutter, we as communicators have found great use for an eye-catching and powerful tool: the infographic.
Infographics (or information graphics) represent complex and intricate data, information or knowledge quickly and clearly. They can also serve as a great supplementary tool in our need for quick and accessible information. However, this is not necessarily a new concept. Humans have been using information graphics for thousands of years on visual aids such as public signage, statistical data shown in graphs and charts, and even road maps. In fact, the process of map-making was created well before the first forms of writing came to be. As these processes became more intricate, new graphic elements were added such as icons to record important information and records. Information graphics have also played a role in storytelling and retaining events and information to memory.
As we progress, fresh ideas, good communicators, and pioneering designers become more of a necessity. Producing easy-to-understand, aesthetically pleasing and easily accessible information is our modern day challenge. With the rapid growth of social media sites such as facebook, twitter, Google+, Pinterest and others – the need to stand out is becoming more vital to digitally driven companies. Infographics can support this by adding impact to a serious or pressing topic, creating an instantaneous emotional connection to an issue, reducing confusion by simplifying and illustrating a complex idea or concept, bridging generation and communication gaps, promoting a brand or message, and even accelerating a client or targeted audience’s decision making.
When used properly, infographics can connect the target audience and information or content on a more personal and relatable level. By visualizing the key messages and data points, the viewer is more likely to retain the information. For example, I have developed effective infographics for clients on issues ranging from education to maintaining affordable food prices. They were successful because of their striking statistics and recognizable graphics that had immediate impact on the target audiences. The key messages were also interesting, straightforward, and important to the reader.
Through the strategic use and consideration of color, structural layout, thoughtfully summarized content; infographics can stand on their own to convince, summarize and clarify what was once a daunting task.
by Kim Hirose, 2012 Spring Intern Class