What Are Infographics – A Detailed View
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Do you remember your first flight journey? Every air passenger on their first journey would be fascinated by the fact that they will fly above the sky and experience a breathtaking view of their city. At the same time, there are others who are just excited about the new luxurious travel. But amidst this fascination and excitement, there is also a moment of confusion when they announce to ‘fasten your seat belts.’ Many may find it clueless and difficult for the first time and would want a demonstration. A sigh of relief pops in only after the air hostess does a physical demonstration. That’s how easy it is for the brain to comprehend visuals. Along with the physical demonstrations, there would be a “how to fasten and loosen your seat belt” manual in the front of your seat. It shows the method simply explained with images and texts for easy understanding. This is what we call an infographic. To make complex information entertaining and, approachable infographics are used. Let’s check out in detail what are infographics.
What are Infographics?
To put it easily, infographics are visual representations of information or data. They are charts, images, and minimal content to make a complex topic easier to understand. The well-known fact is that 65% of the world’s population are visual learners, which is the main reason for implementing infographics in almost every marketing strategy by all sectors.
Be it eye-popping colors or illustrated characters or creative fonts; when all of these are combined, you get a perfect infographic. This lets you achieve the goal by being informative as well as engaging in a crisp yet creative form. Whether you are on the way to making a step-by-step gadget manual or research on any of the trending topics, an infographic is the best marketing collateral to exhibit your data in a way that pulls your target audience close to your brand.
Evolution of Infographics
With a boom in digital age and peaking trends of digital marketing, you already must know what an infographic looks like. But do you have any idea about when it all started? You would be surprised to know that it was there from the stone age! Let’s see when it all began:
When one thinks about infographics’ evolution, it goes back to the prehistoric cave paintings. If we look at all the cave paintings from the world, they all have one thing in common—visual representation of the first storytellers. A noted historian Yuval Norah has quoted that “Humans think in stories, and we try to make sense of the world by telling stories.” These artworks represent the tales of human civilization at that time, primitive alignments of stars and depiction of volcanic eruptions. These artworks serve as data for common men and women of that era and for the archaeologists and scientists who are to come.
Egyptian Hieroglyphics highlights that “images are universally understood” Egyptians used them to document their religious practices, livelihood, and work. Also, interestingly the Egyptian written language that evolved correlates sounds with symbols. Though it’s been quite long since the ancient Egyptian civilization flourished, it’s due to the Hieroglyphics; their information is still stored and deciphered.
It is an essential part of science for more than thousands of years. Maps are considered to be the first designed infographics that were created and circulated by our early ancestors. Be it a primitive map that portrayed the opening in a cave or the oldest map of Babylon or a 21st-century map of the earth. People have always been visually expressing themselves to navigate the globe.
Early Graphs and Charts
When we look back at the evolution of infographics, one thing that contrasts is that visualization of the data was limited compared to what we have today. It was because, during those days, the data itself was limited. But today, the emergence of technological advancements has led us to big data and analytics. This had made data available to everybody in a profound manner.
The pie charts, bar graphs, or line graphs which we predominantly use today were already in use by the end of the 18th century. William Playfai had published a ‘Commercial and Political Atlas’ in 1786, which marked the use of various infographics.
The Americans designed a map on slavery distribution with the 1860 census data, giving birth to political maps and diagrams across the world. Also, these maps have significantly influenced the shaping of public policies around the globe.
The 20th-century infographic
The storytelling which has evolved through visual representation has made one point clear—Infographics have become a universal language of its own. From advancements in computer languages to the boom in mass media and communication, infographics have become more vital than ever to analyze large amounts of data and enhance decision-making skills.
Today if you are a B2C/B2B marketer or a brand founder, it is impractical to avoid infographics as a communication tool. It not only accelerates your path to creativity but provides your target audience and potential customers with aesthetically pleasing content. If you want to describe why your product is the best or want to inform your audience about the new product you have launched, look no further than infographics. All those which history has taught us has worked and always remember that old is still gold.
Uses of Infographics?
Infographics have been gaining popularity for the past few years. They are majorly used among businesses and organizations in both the print and digital sectors. They are considered an artistic way to convey a message without using too many words. Its image format is the best way to capture the attention of the viewer. This makes them more immersed in the topic.
Ours is a fast-paced modern world where people’s attention span is reducing each second. The research found that the human brain can process images three times faster than text, and also, 40% of people respond better to visual information than text. While it is a tedious process to go through countless data, information, and statistics, infographics act as a powerful tool here to convey the information through the usage of visual elements, charts, and statistics. When the right combination of colors, proportions, and negative spacing is used, information can be transformed into eye-catching and persuasive graphics.
Increase your brand awareness
When an infographic is designed, it is a common practice to include relevant information such as the company’s logo, website, or even any other contact information. This is a great way to increase your brand awareness. If it’s done correctly, it can also increase traffic to your website. Infographics go well beyond telling people what your brand is— it shows them a visual content that is more effective than mere paragraphs.
Makes your content go viral
Research by MDG advertising found that content with visual elements like illustrations and graphics can generate 94% more views than the ones with just text. The main characteristic of infographics is it is visually appealing, so many would want to share it with their circle of influences. Since most people share them, there are chances for it to go viral.
Gets you more followers and subscribers
Take a glance at your Facebook News Feeds, You can see that well-curated posts with infographics get more likes and shares than textual content. This is an effective way of generating more subscribers and followers for your social media pages, and you can reach a broader audience every time your infographics get shared. This opens new doors to interact with your target audience, making people more aware of your brand. Research by Hubspot confirms that up to a 37% increase in targeted audience engagement can happen if the post includes visual elements like infographics.
Conveys in a nutshell
Infographics are the ideal medium to communicate heavy topics and complex issues. When you bring ideas to life graphically, it makes the audience easily interpret and remember the information. Also, research shows that 90% of the data which humans consume are visual. Since all the infographics are designed uniquely, a slight change in color or the type of font may help you instantly in understanding and recalling the information.
Improves your SEO
While you are creating your infographic, its authenticity plays an important role. When you are authentic, it will gradually increase your followers on social media platforms. When more people view, like and share your content linked to your website, Google’s algorithm automatically picks it up and places it at the top, which in turn increases the importance of your page given by the search engines.
Behind every successful design, there is a designer
The reach of your infographic depends on how it has been designed and how artistically alluring it is. An infographic may appear smooth and simple at first glance, but it isn’t. It is the result of the hard work of a talented designer who sits hours in front of the PC screen to bring his visual creativity to life. Make sure that you utilize their creative minds efficiently.
One of the critical reasons why infographics are essential is that it is adaptable. With plenty of social media platforms available to create marketing campaigns, a brand has no choice rather than mastering its social media game. Infographics can be easily shared on social media platforms like Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc. It is also easy to share it with blogs or online publication and industry-specific forums.
Bring out your expertise
Coming up with an infographic is not an easy task. The one who wishes to use an infographic has to do in-depth research to curate the desired content, which would have a memorable impact on the audience’s mind. The presentation of a well-researched content establishes its creator as an expert in that subject matter.
Who uses Infographics?
Infographics are utilized in every industry. Their visual natures give a natural understanding of otherwise complex topics, concepts, regardless of the viewer’s age or level of education. They are genuinely a universal mode of communication. Though infographics are used irrespective of the field or audience, different infographics may be more effective than others for specific domains. Here are a few examples of professions that regularly implement infographics:
A marketing person
Consumer information is curated based on research and data and is implemented in marketing strategies. This is usually done to organize and set audience characteristics, needs and goals. You can incorporate an infographic representation of your target audience and their traits. This will help your team picture your potential buyer or customers and make it easier to come up with marketing strategies specific to your target market.
As we had already discussed, oral illustrations are difficult to interpret. To make students understand and memorize complex concepts and theories, infographics is the best option. You can also use it to highlight the essential tips and points for quicker and easier understanding.
If you are a financial advisor, building a trustworthy relationship with your clients is necessary. For creating that trust, you have to be completely transparent with them. You can inculcate infographics to make your clients understand complicated processes by breaking it down into simple steps without overloading them with substantial information/data. Doing this will make your clients knowledgeable and aware of their decision and also lets you build your credibility in the field.
Showing your clients their health plans through visuals lets them see their success. Most people get overwhelmed while starting a health plan or a new fitness routine, so creating an infographic will simplify the instruction, giving them a step-by-step guide.
Real estate agents are widely known for their personalized customer service. So if they create an infographic representation about the new locality or city with an insight about the area, nearby amenities, population, etc., will make their clients get a sense of care and help build trustworthy relationships.
Cooking is not an easy process as it sounds. It varies recipe to recipe. For complicated recipes, a step-by-step method of preparation, along with some tips, can make your content easily understandable and engaging. If you have a passion for cooking, you can share your cooking infographic on your social media platforms.
An infographic will be a key player that lets you create a visual map of your brand. It also allows you to keep track of your clients, investors and employees. Having an infographic gives you a brief breakdown of products and services that your brand offers.
Which platform to use to display your infographics
Choosing the right platform to showcase your infographic depends on various factors such as
Target audience: To select the most effective platform to display your infographic, it is imperative to consider your target audience. For example, if your target audience are school children, you should probably display your infographics in teaching platforms, schools, and libraries. However, if you want to communicate with college-goers, the excellent place would be social media.
Infographic style: Different infographics will lend themselves to different platforms. If you are creating animated infographics, then they can go into online resources. It can also be posted on social media platforms, editorials, or even supplement resources in tutorial videos. Regardless, their animated nature will need a channel that supports this function, whereas if it is a static infographic, it can be displayed in a magazine or newspaper or billboards.
Type of information: The purpose and the information of infographics has a strong impact while choosing the right platform to display. For example, if the infographics contain information about technology-related topics, it is best to consider displaying it in a tech magazine or tech blog that daily carries such contents.
Types of infographics
Infographics are used in government, corporates, medicine, engineering, research and development, and many more sectors. Infographics can be divided into five categories based on their type and target audience.
Cause and Effect Infographics
These are graphs or charts explaining the relationship between certain physical and conceptual stages—for example, the causes of recession in the USA and its impact on the global economy.
It explains a process or an event that happens over time. Presenting information in the process of a timeline enables readers to understand the temporal relationship between the various stages of a process. A good example of this type of infographics is a chart showing growth in sales of a particular product or service.
These kinds of infographics provide users with statistical data for a quick and easy understanding. This includes all the charts, bar graphs, pie charts, lists and tables. They are also regarded as flow charts of an organizational structure that illustrates the hierarchy and responsibilities of various positions.
Infographics that navigate users through information are directional infographics. Numbers, symbols, tables, diagrams, graphs, arrows are conventionally used to communicate information. The traffic symbols, scale maps, and navigational aids on the streets and highways are common examples. Numbers are used for indicating distance whereas dots, arrows, and bullets are used as landmarks for directional assistance.
Product infographics are the ones seen on notice boards in factories or corporate offices, that conveys information to its employees and visitors. They are also used by dieticians and in cooking schools to demonstrate a procedure. Combining images with text makes it easy to grasp lots of information in a limited space. Understanding how to use your new dishwasher is simple if you look at the back of the box. Imagine how difficult it is to understand without images. Readers who lead a fast-paced lifestyle wouldn’t have much time to interpret data. So innovative ways of communicating must be explored. Infographics can disclose critical information quickly. They gather attention and maintain the focus of the readers. Infographics can also be classified on how they present the information to their readers. Visual infographics can be categorized as:
They represent information at once and in its complete form. These graphics are easily understood and have a significant impact on the reader. Examples of these infographics are newspaper/magazine graphics and product manuals.
They play a significant role in cinema and presentation. In this kind of infographics, information is presented sequentially and consistently. Examples are graphical animations and PowerPoint presentations.
They engage the audience and present the information according to the reader’s choice. An example is when a reader on the web might want to select what they want to view from a complex set of instructive and simulated information.
Tips to make your infographics stand out
They must be well-targeted: Before starting to create your infographics, you should figure out who your target audience are and then keep the entire focus on them. Without this primary criterion, there are chances for your infographics to get lost in the sea of information available online. Also, in some cases, it could turn off your potential reader. Your main aim should be creating an infographic content that reaches your target audience and not the entire population on this planet. It would help if you strictly stayed away from the elements that look populous as it might not reach your target audience. This is where it calls for extensive research and understanding. So it would take some time to design the right infographic. But it is absolutely worth it because of the advantages it offers.
Make the focal point stand out: The fundamental purpose of an infographic is to communicate complex information in a simple yet attractive way. The essential information must be easy to comprehend, and the reader should easily consume and benefit from it without any issues. A cluttering infographic with too much information might mislead the audience. A well-designed infographic is the one that can be easily read and understood at a glance because the focal point is clear.
Emphasize on a visual story: Layouts play an essential role while designing infographics. The perfect layout is the one that improves readability and visual appeal. Another main objective of infographics is that they should facilitate easy and faster reading. It should be able to tell a story instantaneously. Simple things like timeline or bullet points would be most effective in catching the attention span of readers. You could also add relevant images or GIFs to make it more alluring to your readers. However, while using videos, make sure it’s small and compatible.
Use contrasting color palette: Contrasting colors are the best choice when it comes to infographics. Similar colors make readability difficult. Moreover, if you have different types of content with images, it is always better to use contrasting colors. They make your infographics more appealing, attractive and effective. However, stay away from using too many colors, as it might be repulsive and distracting.
Incorporate intelligent methods of chart types: Representing all the figures and numbers using charts is extremely useful. However, you should use the right kind of charts that relate to your data. A comparison of a company’s sales growth over a period of time is best represented using a bar graph. Whereas if you want to represent employers’ contribution to complete a project, you can use pie-charts. Line charts are the best when you want to convey facts and figures over a period of time. There are many tools available for your assistance that you could make use of.
Infographics should suit the medium: There are certain infographics suitable only for the print medium. Using that for digital medium would not give you your desired results. These fonts for the print medium can be smaller in size, but uploading them for digital would be the worst thing to do. It is, therefore, better to have two different sets of infographics for print and digital usage.
Use the online tools: There are many tools available online to help you design the right infographic, keeping in mind your specific needs, requirements, and target audience. You should spend some quality time checking out the right infographic tools and make the best use of them.
Get to know more Tips on Infographics here!
Three important points to keep in mind
Keep it simple: For your infographic to be compelling, it should be simple in terms of looks and presentation. The design that you have come up with should help the viewer to navigate easily through the piece of information. There should be a smooth flow, and there mustn’t be any place for confusion. As the old proverb “less is more,” it is quite relevant to your infographic’ quantity. You must try to keep your textual content and colors to the minimal by creating designs that let human eyes easily identify the information.
Keep it unique: A new product launch or a political issue or some marketing content. Be it anything. The infographic you are designing should be original to be effective. Originality means not only the data and information but also the color combinations and design structure used.
Keep it universal: Your infographic design should be comprehensive, so there will be uniformity. The content, colors used, and the design shouldn’t be something vague. This could quickly put off your potential viewers. You must always assume that professional internet users only understand the complicated details. So your infographic, in general, should have a universal appeal and should be easily interpreted even by those who don’t possess adequate knowledge.
So, make your own infographics. Check out the live impressive examples of infographic design work by All Time Designs