What would you do if you wanted to best present numbers in a way that would be easy for viewers to understand? If you want to depict a process and its different steps in the best way, what tools and devices do you use? If you were to compare two things and show the relationship between them, what would you do? Your answer is probably, “I get help from visualization. I draw diagrams and use different shapes.”
Humans have always used images and shapes to express their meaning. A large amount of information can be easily conveyed and explained to the viewer with illustrations. Illustrations come in many forms and are used in a variety of contexts, from academic articles and research to digital marketing reports. The important question is, what kind of imaging and visualization should be used to display information in any field? Somewhere, a simple photo or image may be enough and somewhere else an infographic is needed.
What is an infographic? How many types are there? What kind of information should be used to express each type of infographic? In this content, you will read the answers to the 3 proposed questions and you will get to know the types of infographics and their applications.
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The most useful types of infographics
Before introducing different types of infographics, two very important questions must be answered and then one important question: What is an infographic? And what points should be paid attention to in infographic design? What are the uses of each type of infographic? Of course, most of us probably know what an infographic is, but it’s better to start by defining an infographic. Maybe there is a new point in the definition that will be presented.
The word infographic means: visual presentation of information or data. Infographics are a subset of the broader fields of Data Visualization and Graphics or Design. Based on that literal definition, can it be said that any design or plan that provides information to the viewer (such as a map or roadmap) is also an infographic?
“It is a collection of attractive and catchy images, designs and visual elements along with a short piece of text that conveys all the necessary information about a topic to the viewer at a glance.”
Infographics have many uses in many different fields and areas, but they are all designed with a specific goal: to explain a lot of complex or difficult information to the viewer in the simplest and most attractive way.
What points should be paid attention to in infographic design?
Infographic design may seem simple. But this is not the case, and if you do not pay attention to some points in its design, the infographic will not reach its goal. In infographic design, not only the attractiveness of visual elements, but colors and design quality are important. In addition to the attractiveness of the infographic, the following points should also be noted:
- The first point in designing an infographic is to determine what kind of information the infographic is going to show the audience. What is its use? The use of infographics may be summarizing, presenting a report, showing the result of research or data analysis, teaching a topic and raising public awareness, or comparing several things and showing similarities and differences.
- The second point is who the audience of the infographic is and where and how the infographic is going to be published (online or printed). It is natural that the design of infographics for investors and business managers is different from the design of infographics that charity designs to show people its activities. The infographic may be designed for printing on a poster, or in a brochure and book, in which case its dimensions and quality are different from the infographic that is going to be published online and on social networks.
- The third point in infographic design is that when the type of information, application, audience and place of publication of the infographic are determined; the type of infographic, design details and text should be selected. Writing short texts that are supposed to be in infographics (according to the audience and application), is as important and sensitive as choosing the right colors and fonts. When it is known how much text is going to be presented in the infographic, you can choose the most appropriate option from the following useful infographics and start designing.
1. Informational Infographic
All infographics present some form of information. Basically, infographics are categorized by the type of data they display. If the type of information is numbers and statistics, the infographic becomes statistical. It is also possible to display several types of information together in one infographic (examples of these infographics are given below). To make the work easier, 4 similar types of infographics are introduced under the heading of informational infographics.
The information or data that is going to be shown in the infographic may be a summary of the most important information about a specific topic, work steps (process), chronological order of events or work steps, or a comparison of two or more things and their results. It became the first type.
Process infographics are used to show the steps of doing work or a process. Numbers are usually used to distinguish the steps. But in some process infographics, the different stages of the work are distinguished by color contrast or infographic segmentation. The design of this type of infographic and whether it is horizontal or vertical is determined by the number of steps.
When the information is of the date type, i.e. data is to be presented based on a specific year or time, the best choice is Tom Line Infographic. Like infographics, it is a process for differentiating the times and events that happened at each point in time. There are different ways that the most suitable way should be chosen according to the application and the audience of the infographic.
To compare two or more things, similarities or differences are usually shown. The conclusion of the comparison may not be expressed at all in the infographic, so that the viewer can draw the conclusion from the comparison. In the design of this type of infographic, showing distinctions and differences is much, much more important and key than other infographics. Because maybe only the differences should be highlighted and expressed. For this reason, color contrast is almost always used in the design of comparative infographics.
2. Statistical Infographic
Statistics are boring and hard to understand. But statistics are also useful and practical. So, they need to be presented in the best and most attractive way so that the viewer can understand them. When the statistics are few and there is no need to use the text next to them, all kinds of charts and graphs are enough. But when the statistics or numbers are supposed to convey a message to the viewer, it needs to be accompanied by text and icons, photos, graphs or any other visual element related to the application and the audience should be used in the infographic.
What should be used for each type of infographic?
In addition to the type of information, the answer to this question depends on the use of the infographic and its audience. There is no rule that statistical infographics must be used to present statistics. Maybe the designer will come to the conclusion of showing some kinds of statistics and figures that he should take help from List Infographic or list infographic, which is nothing but listing information. Perhaps the best option to show the stages of the work or process is a Hierarchical Infographic, something similar to Maslow’s pyramid.
Therefore, in each case, the infographic designer must decide which type of infographic is the best choice. Maybe several types of information are supposed to be shown together in one infographic, so combining several infographics or a consolidated infographic is the most suitable option. Maybe in a situation and a project, the designer comes to the conclusion that he has to design a new infographic himself that does not fit into any of those categories and divisions.