Monday, June 18, 2012

The infographics revolution is well and truly upon us, and these days, you may have seen them popping up all over the place – on blogs, websites, and on social media.
But what exactly are these colourful creations, and where is their place in the digital sphere? We took a look at what are they being used for, and where to find some of the best ones.





So what are infographics, exactly? Simply put, information graphics are any type of visual representations designed to communicate data or information to a reader. Often, they are used to convey complex or weighty information in a manner which  can be processed quickly and clearly by the reader. Common examples include maps, charts, diagrams, the pedestrian “walk” and “don’t walk” visuals as well as other assorted illustrated graphics.


Why are infographics so popular? In the era of ‘soundbite’ journalism and news media, not only do we demand our information  straight away (most often  in real time), we also want it in  way which doesn’t  cause too much of a strain  on our faculties. Basically, it’s a nice way of saying we’ve come to be a bit more lazy– and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have become our enablers. Some critics would suggest that infographics actually contribute to the ‘dumbing’ down of often complex news stories. But infographics aren’t all bad. In fact, they are very useful and a necessary part of everyday living. From complex charts that map business forecasts to traffic signs, infographics have become part and parcel of how we communicate quickly and efficiently in today’s world.
 

How do I make an infographic? First, think carefully about the type of information you want to convey to the reader. What is it that you really want to get across? What is important and what parts could you do away with? Once you have a gist of what you want to say, start playing around on paper. Use a pencil and play around with icons, arrows, different typesets as well as graphs and charts. You may also find that you use more than one type of visual device. But be sure not to go overboard. The whole point of infographics is that they are simple, clear and clear. Try not to design an infographic that is too busy or overwhelming to look at for a reader – in this case, simple is best! If you need a faster computer to handle all the graphics processing required to create an infographic try out computer rental as an option before forking out thousands on a new model which might not suit your needs.




About the Author:
Missy Lee is a multi-media designer and currently works full time at an electronics and computer rental store.


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