Until a few years ago, the term Infographics was in the land of jargon, only recognized and understood by those in the ‘know’. But today, much like apps, almost any topic you think of, there’s an infographic for that. And there’s a good reason – in an era of shorter attention spans and social media where a majority of content is visual, and people are more likely to repost and share pictorial content, infographics are the perfect marketing tool. The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, did you know?
Let’s start with what exactly an infographic is. An infographic is as the word suggests, information represented in a graphical form – content explained using images. And more often than not, that content is in the form of facts and stats – and provide an easy way to read and connect with such detail. Data visualization is a common element in infographics, including time series, statistical and map data. An important facet of an infographic is that it is not just a presentation of facts and data, but rather, offers insight and explanation into what is being talked about, leaving the reader with a better understanding of the topic than they started with.
Infographics have been around for quite a while (The Sunday Times, a leading British newspaper, featured infographics in its editions right from the 1970s) but have only entered the collective consciousness in recent times. Beginning in the new millennium, television and companies wanting to educate about a topic or promote a product, popularized infographics. Just think about it, whatever the industry or topic, you are likely to find a handy dandy Infographic (or IG) on it. From baking tips to computing trends to action movies to watch, there are infographics to be found that render a mix of content and statistics in a cute and often colourful, visual. I remember last year, as the year closed out, there were series of infographics on every imaginable topic under the sun, doing year end, best of the year, worst of the year roundups.
At Prayag, creating infographics is something we do with great regularity, both for our own purposes as well as for numerous clients. From infographics that explain how a company’s product offering works to those that discuss quarterly results of some top tech firms, to those that map a tech trend or product lifecycle, we’ve done them all. What goes into creating an infographic is actually quite involved. Like with any other branding communication activity, it begins with the brainstorming of ideas. Then, presentation of the topic(s), followed by consensus on how to pursue it (for example, when showcasing a product or service, the industry-challenges-solution-benefits approach is best). Next, the content must be created – an infographic outline where the information, data and flow of the IG are written up, along with pointers on design elements and suggestions on how to represent certain data (graphs, pie charts, etc.). Then, the designer will turn this outline into a pleasing visual.
Depending on the number of points to be used and the level of detail of the information, an infographic can be quite short or really long. The challenge, of course, like with anything else, is keeping the audience’s attention. To this end, a catchy title, a clear, concise and organized flow of information, pleasing color scheme, eye-catching icons and images are all helpful. While creating an infographic is indeed, a process that involves multiple people, research, and thought and research, the output makes it a worthwhile exercise. IGs have become quite the go-to for companies wanting to showcase a product these days, and for anyone wishing to create appealing visual content. And in my experience, it is a rewarding exercise – every designer I have worked with enjoys the challenge, and the research and content outline process means that I have learned something or many things, new!