Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly. They can improve cognition by utilizing graphics to enhance the human visual system’s ability to see patterns and trends. Similar pursuits are information visualization, data visualization, statistical graphics, information design, or information architecture. Infographics have evolved in recent years to be for mass communication, and thus are designed with fewer assumptions about the readers knowledge base than other types of visualizations. Isotypes are an early example of infographics conveying information quickly and easily to the masses.
Infographics have been used throughout history. The first known examples of infographics are hieroglyphics or cave paintings in ancient Egypt 5,000 years ago. Nicole d’Orseme (1352-82), Bishop of Lisieux, combined figures into groups and graphed them. Leonardo da Vinci combined graphics with text in his Treatise on Painting.
Infographics are used in many fields: government, the corporate sector, medicine, engineering, research and development and so on. Certain types of infographics are targeted to people with specialized knowledge or expertise. It is possible to classify infographics according to five categories.
Product infographics can be seen on notice boards at factories and corporate offices, conveying information to all employees and visitors. Product infographics are also used by dieticians and in cooking schools to convey key procedures. Combining images with data makes it easier to comprehend large amounts of information in a limited space. Understanding how to work your new food processor is simple if you look at the images on the back of the box. Imagine how difficult it would be without the images.
Chronological infographics explain an event or process as it happened in time. Presenting information on a timeline enables readers to analyze the temporal relationship between various stages of a process. For example, a bar chart that shows the growth in sales of a particular product over a period of time is a chronological infographic.
Quantitative infographics convey statistical data to readers quickly and clearly. These graphics include charts, bar graphs, tables and lists. Statistical tools such as pie charts also help summarize complex data. Quantitative infographics can be regarded as flow charts of an organizational structure that explain the hierarchy and responsibilities of different positions.
Cause and Effect Infographics
These graphs explain causal relationships between various physical or conceptual stages. This type is widely used in corporate sectors to show market trends.
So, when are you making your own inforgraphics?