Using infographics

Infographics are an effective way to convey information quickly to a general audience. Infographics can also help people remember facts and figures. People understand and recall information presented with images better than with text only.

Laptop on a table

Infographics come in many forms. They can be a simple visual display of data or an idea, or the can depict more complicated stories. See some examples below, or search the web to see many more.

What shape your infographic takes will depend on whether this is a single point (e.g. a fact or description of data), a narrative point (e.g. about the cause and effect of something), or about it about how a process works. What level of knowledge does your intended audience have about the subject? What are their interests, so what visual cues will help them to understand and remember your key points?

Many of the example you will see online are quite complex and have sophisticated graphs (and many are just not that good). Keep things simple. You do not need to have complicated graphics. Some of the most effective infographics are very simple.

The Visual Summary of the Bank of England Inflation Report is a good example.

Visual Summary Bank of England Inflation Report

This is a simple but effective infographic that describes the evolution of the music industry (from https://www.visualcapitalist.com/music-industry-sales/)

Infographic from the music industry

This is a more complicated but still effective infographic that shows how many minutes a minimum-wage worker has to work to earn enough to buy a Big Mac in 20 countries (from https://visual.ly/community/infographic/economy/minimum-wage-minutes-buy-big-mac).

Infographic showing how long you have to work to buy a Big Mac in different countries

There are a large number of guides, videos and other forms of advice online about how to make infographics. Many of these focus just on the visual aspects, others place more emphasis on the content and substance of the infographic. Some that we found useful include:

There are many many more sources of advice online, and if you are really interested in the subject see the Infographic Journal.

A funny article in the Guardian about some not so good infographics, 16 useless infographics.

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