Don’t Kill the Infographic – Design Killer Ones Like These

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Only about a year ago, infographics were the darlings of the Web – favored by marketers, designers and content consumers alike. Today, however, you will see quite a bit of blogging and commenting from people calling for a virtual cease-fire: “Please, no more infographics!”

So, what happened?

Like most anything else Internet users place on a pedestal, infographics have almost been done to death – which would truly be a shame if it plays out that way. Originally used to represent important data and statistical information in a more visually pleasing and more easily consumable way than plain text, infographics have become an excuse for creating increasingly larger, less useful and oftentimes incomprehensible art projects.

Many marketers and designers have lost sight of the fact that infographics should be driven by the data they provide. Too often today, the statistical data (if any is included) takes a back seat to competing elements, making it more difficult if not impossible to extract any useful information. Others seem to mistakenly believe that the larger an infographic is, the better; as if shouting your message into someone’s ear is more effective than speaking in a normal tone.

A well-designed infographic that provides useful information still carries a lot of weight for any business. To preserve the integrity of infographics and to reap their full benefits, Web companies must be smart about when and how they use them, and designers must maintain their focus on delivering the message in a powerful but helpful way.

Some simple tips include trying to create something unique without losing the message in the translation; visualize the data you are trying to convey and then tell the story through your design; use the most readable fonts possible for numerical data, and save the fancy typography for eye-catching titles.

Below are some examples for inspiration:

60 Seconds on the Web by Shanghai Web Designers

 Facebook vs. Twitter by Digital Surgeons


The Content Grid by Eloqua



Optimal Email Times by Pure 360

 

Our Connected World by GigaOM
 

 

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6 comments

GroverG 11-17-2011 3:32 PM

Good, helpful piece. Well done.

RyanW 11-17-2011 4:03 PM

Informative. Where can I find a weblog that can supply me with infographics? Just curious...

Linc Wonham 11-17-2011 4:25 PM

Thanks for the comments, GroverG and RyanW.

A great and relatively new resource for infographics is Visual.ly, which has a library of nearly 5,000 "data visualizations", a community for designers to showcase their work, and a talented team to meet your specific needs.

Any other ideas for RyanW, readers?

KristinaH 11-17-2011 7:30 PM

Would love to get yout thoughts on this one we just promoted:

Happy Birthday, Holdon Log's Industry Deal! This month, we celebrate one year of huge Deals ALWAYS at 50%-95% OFF. In honor of our birthday, please enjoy this infographic that captures some of what we've learned about offering Daily Deals over the year.

holdonlog.mailerlite.com/f3s7m4

Daniel 11-17-2011 7:33 PM

Hi, really interesting stuff, nice article. Just a simple question, I visited visual.ly and couldn't find information about how can those infographics be used on personal and commercial websites.

I noticed that most have an <embed> option, however, I don't know if it's legal to embed them on my websites.

Any help out there?

RyanW 11-21-2011 10:41 AM

Thank you for responding to my comment Linc. Much appreciated. I'm about to check out Visual.ly....I'd like to find a good, clean, functioning RSS fed infographic widget that was free& user friendly. Although, I'm not opposed to paying for one. Just would like to accumulate some money first. In due time....in due time...

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