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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : September 06, 2013

Infographic info you need to know

The Internet is awash with infographics, but not all are as compelling and shareable as they could be. Read on to find out what it is that makes these data visualizations work, and what sets them apart from digital posters.

by Helen Leggatt

Humans have long used images to convey information. History gives us examples of cave paintings and Egyptian hieroglyphs and today we are confronted daily by visually represented data, such as weather maps and, of course, infographics. The first of today's modern format of infographic was produced in 1975 by Professor Edward Tufte at Princeton.

However, along with their popularity and shareability, infographics are getting a bad name due to over-use along with poorly planned and inaccurate creations that do little to convey an original message.

So, the guys at NowSourcing, with the help of Graphic Design Degree Hub, put together an infographic about what makes a good infographic.

Key takeouts from the infographic "The Anatomy of a Great Infographic" include:

- Data must be compelling and reliable;
- Key message must be quickly understood;
- A clean design ensures key information stands out;
- Sources must be reputable;
- Design must be pleasing to the eye;
- Creation should take into consideration key audience;
- Make embed codes available to increase shareability.

But, be warned. If you don't provide context, add dimension by use of metaphor and respect the data, you could end up simply producing a digital poster.

"Data is easy to love. It represents truth and clarity, and can inspire people to grab whatever living thing is nearest to them and insist it listen. It can move a person to join a protest, to shout a slogan, or even inspire someone to make a poster. Even a digital one," writes Kim Rees and Dino Citraro of visual design firm Periscopic in a guest post on

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: creative, data visualization, design, digital poster, infographic

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