The Smart State of Infographics
Data is hard to digest. Take it from someone who has failed many a math class that numbers are not fun on their own. Yet people – myself included – have an unfailing need to know why things are the way they are.
To have evidence for what they know to be true.
To compare themselves and other things.
Data can provide all of this. The problem is it’s heavy and hard to interpret. A page of numbers doesn’t exactly invite people to read on.
Infographics are the solution to these data doldrums.
Infographics are, in fact, data for the design-minded.
Infographics are a clash of cultures – a mashing of right brain and left brain into a beautiful, analytical visual that appeals to all sides.
Infographics are an exceptionally useful tool for the curious. They allow data to be presented in such a way as to give the viewer a lot of information in just a quick glance.
These days, it seems like infographics are everywhere – and why shouldn’t they be?
They are a powerful tool, capable of conveying messages in a way that sticks while providing a story and an appeal to data that alone would be confusing to the average person.
Journalism majors like myself flock to infographics because we love stories.
Infographics give us a reason to care about the numbers by giving them context, meaning, color, and icons – which makes interpreting the data more like pursuing a story than doing a math assignment.
As an advertising student, I have become an insatiable consumer of all things advertising, design, and culture. My goal of becoming an account planner has pushed me to cozy up to data in appreciation of its ability to explain people and trends in a way that is vital to many a campaign.
However, an appreciation for data does little to quell my anxiety when faced with rows of numbers – so the appeal of infographics to me is undeniable.
My go-to sites for my daily intake of this dolled-up data are GOOD Infographics and Daily Infographic – both of which are updated frequently and include a diverse set of topics, giving me a chance to look at Shoplifting Around the World and School Food vs Prison Food.
Or, when I am trying to be a more proactive and interested ad student, How Pinterest Hooks the Aspirational Housewife In All Of Us and Rock of Ages: Evolution of SXSW.
In my exploration of infographics, I also came across the clever Infographic of Infographics by freelance designer Ivan Cash – which compiled data on the visual and informational elements of a collection of infographics to show what the trends are in creating them.
It is an intelligent play on this ever-growing phenomenon.
Whatever the topic or data set, infographics make data more approachable. They allow those who are intimidated by numbers to become privy to the explanations that the data holds.
Infographics are becoming so popular because people will never fail to be curious.
And infographics provide answers for the consumers of trends, facts, and culture.
Consumers just like me.
- by AWSC
- posted at 5:00 am
- March 30, 2012