My latest graphic design interests are swirling in the world of infographics.
This term refers to visual representations of information, data or knowledge. I think USA Today was one of the first newspapers to use these pictorial charts on a regular basis with a mass audience, which may have given these visual guides a bad rap actually. At that time there was a lot criticism of USA Today in particular for “dumbing” things down, and the simple graphics were cited as part of that.
But things have changed.
Flash-forward to today where infographics are sophisticated, respected and often interactive. They can capture and communicate conceptual relationships in a particular way that is often difficult in other formats. A recent example is this map (designed in HTML5) of the London Olympics where one can click on the various venues for the games:
In recent years, infographics have expanded exponentially and they have gained much respect. Infographics are used where complex information needs to be explained quickly and clearly, such as in signs, maps, journalism, technical writing and education.
These designs can serve to convey complicated information about our culture, economics, social trends, complicated politics and more to our very visual world. Complex ideas, comparisons and timelines can be better communicated and represented through a well-designed image.
Here are a few examples:
For more information, check out these links for tips and advice on designing these infographics as well as great examples of the variety in this genre of design. Enjoy!