Well that’s just the point of Infographics. They provide instant, clear understanding of information, data or knowledge very quickly and precisely. They get to the point, cut to the chase and explain a topic in a nutshell. Imagery, charts and minimal text is displayed in one condensed form of shapes, colour and patterns in a highly visually attractive way. The main objective of Infographics is to “present complex data in an easy-to-understand manner. This data presentation is what defines an and sets it apart from another graphic or type of visualisation.”
Whilst these eye-catching information providers are taking the modern world and its media by storm, they are far from new in their development. So where did they come from? And why are they so popular?
Who invented Infographics?
Arguably the first Infographics were around in 30.000BC as cave paintings depicting animals, local resources and how man interacted and gathered these. They were visual representations of life presented in an easy format. The Egyptians also recorded these life events in the same way as hieroglyphics.
The modern start of Infographics really began in 1786 when William Playfair, who was an early innovator in statistical graphics, published The Commercial and Political Atlas which contained many visual displays such as bar charts, line graphs and histograms representing the UK economy at the time.
A little later Florence Nightingale is known to have used stacked bar and pie charts to present to Queen Victoria her findings in the spread of infection and disease and the need to improve conditions in military hospitals.
Fast forwarding to another key date, 1975* ‘the father of visualisation’, Edward Tufte developed a seminar on statistical graphics with a colleague and in 1982 self-published Visual Display, reinforcing his standing as infographics expert. By the 20th century infographics began to evolve into the design elements we use regularly today, first in print and latterly in digital form as blogs on websites or on social media.
What’s so good about Infographics?
Not only do they ‘tell a story’ but they make it interesting, show where application is needed and are therefore useful in growing a business. Top marketing influencer, Jeff Bullas explains the assets of infographic displays in the following way; “It is an efficient way of combining the best of text, images and design to represent complex data that begs to be shared.” There are strengths in both mediums of text and graphics, as well as limitations, but together they are highly effective and easier to understand.
Some compelling reasons to consider Infographics for your business:
- They are compelling and attractive
- They are easily scanned and viewed as the brain receives 90% of all information visually.
- They reach vast numbers of recipients through sharing on social media
- They provide global coverage that local print media could never do
- They are a powerful way to creating brand awareness
- They benefit Search Engine Optimisation
- They can position your business as a ‘thought leader’ or expert in your field
What makes a good infographic?
The Challenge lies in making your infographic stand out from all the others, so it gets noticed and consequently read. Another key objective is to ensure the balance of text and graphics is right. SEO expert, Neil Patel has come up with some useful tips when it comes to creating your own infographic design.
- Have your target market in mind when you decide on a subject for your infographic. What would they like to know?
- Keep it simple. If you include too many graphs, symbols, images and colours it could create visual overload for the reader.
- Keep it focused. Stick to one topic, not an amalgamation of everything you know about a subject.
- Show things visually. There should be a good mix of visual information with written information.
- Promote it. You need to do the leg work to get your infographic out there by requesting users and influential sources to share it.
- Make sure it’s easy to read. Sometimes the legibility of the infographic is lost when it is resized, so pay attention to the smaller fonts which can often become impossible to read.
- Make sure the length & size is manageable. (About 8,000 pixels)
- Add white space. This is important in any design feature.
- Come up with a great headline, question or statistic to grab attention.
- Make sure the content flows through the thought process and is not just a hotch potch conglomeration of information thrown at the reader.
- Check your facts and figures.
- Cite your sources.
When is it good to use Infographics?
Infographics differ in the way certain types of information are presented visually. Its up to you to choose which option best presents the information you wish to share.
Timelines are great for telling a story and the events that take place over time. As the information flows in a single direction these are particularly straight forward for readers to understand. Use timelines when explaining the history behind a particular service or the evolutionary process of a product.
Data Visualisations, such as pie charts, bar graphs or Venn diagrams, are quite flexible and are useful for sharing dense information with the audience more efficiently. The key is to choose the best method of visualisation that best demonstrates the results of an analysis of data.
If you need to explain a complicated product or some technical information, Anatomy breakdown is helpful. Each element is presented in diagrammatical form and explained to give insight into a ‘working’ whole.
Processes and How-to’s are effective in sharing instructions and are quickly understood if they are in simplified diagrams labelling each step of the process. Take a look at the infographic “How to Budget for a Trade Show” as a guide.
Comparison Infographics provide a clear and creative way to weigh up the elements, attributes or benefits between similar products, services or brands. Really useful for Buyers Guides assisting your customers with making a choice of product.
Lists make it easier for your audience to skim information quickly. The lists do not have to follow a specific order unless the items on the list are evaluated against certain criteria. Good for ‘quick tips’ and ‘top lists.’
When you need to present statistics, survey results and other demographic data, Maps are helpful in sharing information tied to geological locations and are not reliant on your own information gathering due to the abundance of public studies and surveys available.
Some good suggestions how to get your infographic noticed.
The stakes are high and competition fierce when it comes to getting your infographic in the limelight. Take notice of the best advice from Industry experts summarised below:
- Locate the right influencers (industry experts)
- Promote your infographics on Pinterest
- Submit an seo optimised press release
- Create a social media release
- Publish your infographic in a blog post
- Optimise your landing page and make it mobile friendly
- Make embedding easy
- Infographics directories
- Email long term subscribers and infographic contacts
- Publish the infographic on your own website
- Guest blogging
Get your infographic noticed the Roller Banners Way!
Why not have your infographic printed on a roller banner for maximum exposure at trade fairs, exhibitions, festivals and fetes and musical concerts. You could even set one up in the reception of your hotel, at the point of sale area of your store or in your car show room. They are highly visible, easy to read and are just the right shape for the rectangular infographics.
Check out the abundant choice of roller banner on offer online or give the Roller Banners Team a call on (02380) 700111 to discuss your requirements and design options.