05 May The power of infographics
Infographics make it easy for readers to interact with information. It offers a guide and hierarchy for our eyes, helping us to better process facts and figures.
Brands and businesses need to communicate important information to stand out amongst competitors. One way to capture attention is visual imagery, or infographics. This is because most people process visuals much faster than text.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and the same can be said when it comes to infographics. They are, in essence, visual representations of information, using a combination of pie charts, bar graphs, venn diagrams, illustrations, etc.
You can tell a story that people can understand, using only a few symbols and icons. Infographics offer an incredibly powerful tool, in this way, for transforming reams of text and data into something visually engaging, intuitive and digestible.
The benefits of infographics
- Infographics instantly grab attention because they stand out from the text.
- They provide a quick summary of key points and provide a window into a more detailed explanation.
- Infographics simplify vast complex concepts into digestible nuggets.
- They create brand awareness whilst communicating important information. Incorporate your brand’s visual identity (e.g. font, colour and iconography) into your infographics to elevate brand awareness.
- Infographics are more shareable on social media and have a longer life span than, for example, an article. Infographics could, in fact, circulate on social media for years if the information has relevancy beyond the current time period.
- They can communicate a large amount of information in a small space, which is particularly useful when space is limited.
Take the time to research and craft engaging graphics. Readers will, as a result, recognise the time you saved them and the value you created by sharing your knowledge and experience of the topic in such a succinct form. This creates trust and credibility, in turn, and establishes your brand as a leader in its field and industry.
Interactive vs Static infographics
Static infographics can be relatively easy to create and share on different online platforms and can be easily repurposed for print publications too.
We created this masonry-style graphic for the Urban Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) project, for example. We could easily rework it into social media posts and a printed document.
Interactive graphics go one step further by requiring the reader to engage actively. Readers may need to click their way through, make selections and hover over certain elements to reveal information.
Here is an interactive infographic we designed to show Stellenbosch University’s infrastructure and facilities across multiple campuses, as an example. Readers in this case need to hover over the dots on an illustrated image to reveal and learn information about each facility.
Interactive infographics offer fun and communicate information without readers realising it because they are stimulating in many more ways than simple text.
Brands increasingly use video, motion graphics and interactive infographics online to attract and engage readers. There are, however, some drawbacks to be aware of when it comes to interactive infographics:
- They take more time to create.
- The creation is more expensive.
- They can normally only be viewed and interacted with on a hosting platform (typically a website).
Custom infographics vs off-the-shelf templates
There are sites such as Canva, Freepik, Crello, to only name a few, that offer hundreds of ready-made, some even FREE infographic templates for you to use. Powerful infographics, however, require creative conceptualisation and execution to marry the design concept and the information in a fresh and clever way. This is very difficult to achieve if you use templates that millions of people have access to and that are not customised to your communication goals.
Templates will also not provide you with a consistent style and guide to use throughout your site or multi-page digital or printed document.
We recently created an entire book full of history, statistics and interesting facts about rugby. We spent hours finding the most relevant pictures, retouching them, and adding effects that gave the images a newspaper feel. This resonated with the historical and newsworthy nature of the book.
The client aimed to sell the book on Amazon, and needed a print-on-demand, mobile and e-pub version of the book. This was to make full use of Amazon’s features on offer for an international audience.
THIS is the type of design knowledge and service the use of templates will not provide.
There’s no limit to the type of information that infographics can communicate. Information can include:
- geographic data,
- statistics, you name it!
Online media needs to be visual and punchy, and infographics are ideal for getting ideas and data across to an audience.