The Infographic Defined
An infographic is a visual representation of information in the form of charts, pictures, graphs, etc. The goal is to present complex information in a clear way, but more specifically in a way that can be digested quickly by the reader. In fact, some studies show that infographics are 30 times more likely to be read than traditional text presentations.
Infographics are more interesting to look at and take less time to interpret than traditional text reports or presentations. They have been used for years to represent scientific or mathematical data, and only now are becoming more widespread in popular media. Because they are more dynamic and colorful, they seem to be more attractive to a culture that no longer has the patience to read long articles.
Infographics Are Everywhere
You can find infographics in your everyday life just by picking up a newspaper or book.
- The weather report in the newspaper is an infographic.
- Statistical graphs about societal trends are infographics.
- The diagram-based instruction manual for your new furniture is an infographic.
- The illustration in the marketing brochure you're looking at likely contains an infographic.
Take a look around. Any picture you see that conveys information and isn't there just for cosmetic purposes is likely an infographic.
I have pulled some images from Creative Commons to help you see infographics in action. The first one is from The Children's Museum of Indianapolis:
Creating Your Own Infographic
There are plenty of ways to create infographics. PowerPoint is a great tool for doing so, and most people already have the program installed on their PC. You can use it in conjunction with a powerful program like PhotoShop to create really beautiful graphics that catch the eye.
You can also use other desktop publishing tools like InDesign or Publisher, or use an online tool like Infogr.am. It might also be useful to purchase an editing tool like SnagIt so you can create a .jpg or .png from your PowerPoint deck or publishing program. Licenses are only about $50, and you can do a free trial that gives you full access to all of its functionality.