Thursday, November 10, 2011

Incredible, Insightful, Intelligent & Interesting. INFOGRAPHICS!

OK, so I'm not gonna lie. I really love infographics. You know, the really good ones...i literally get mesmerized by them and just can't get enough. Infographics are one of the purest forms of graphic design—they're strictly visual representations of information and data. Data Visualization, or "data viz", as the "cool kids" are apparently calling them. (Guess I've exited the "cool kid" pool, because I just read about this terminology…[sigh] )

So, I'm going to assume that everyone has probably seen an infographic here or there, even if you didn't realize that's what you were looking at. Top brands like The New York Time, USA Today, and even The White House have been using infographics to deliver data. Whether you're a designer or  your company is thinking of hiring a designer to create "data viz" for your next project, please ask yourself 3 important questions first:

1. Why? What is it for? What is the goal? Will your data need to be visually represented? (please, no infographics, just for infographic sake). Determine whether you will be able to clearly tell your story or represent your information through visual graphics, or if tradition text and copy will work better.

2. How? How will you refine and organize your data to work in cohesive, informational graphic. What will be the visual metaphor you'll use?

3. Does it Work? Does it reach your goals? Is it easy to understand. Is the data represented in a clear and readable manner? Will it make sense to the viewer?

Here are some wonderful, additional resources for creating effective infographics:

The Do's and Don'ts of Inforgraphic Design
10 Tips For Designing Better Infographics
Infographic Designs: Overviews, Examples & Best Practices

And, of course, this blog post wouldn't be complete with examples of some of my favorite infographics! (just click on the image caption to view the full graphic)

U.S. Data Consumption in One Day

The Very Many Varieties of Beer

How the Internet Works
The Greening of America's Companies
Do you love inforgraphics too? What are some of your favorites?

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