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Infographics

Infographics

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In this lesson, you will learn about information graphics

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Tutorial

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Hi, everyone. My name is Mario. And I'd like to welcome you to today's lesson on infographics.

So today we're going to learn about information graphics. As always, feel free to pause, fast forward, and rewind at your own pace. And when you're ready to go, let's jump it.

So let's begin with the definition of infographics. And infographics is a design practice that presents data visually. This may consist of simple ratio pie chart to condensing large amounts of complex data into visually digestible formats.

And in order to have successful infographics, a designer must utilize design elements and principles to convey information in a clear and very direct format. So here's an example of a basic pie chart with statistics. And you can see just how clear the information being presented is. And as data gets more complex, the ability to harness this information, individual knowledge becomes increasingly difficult.

An important figure in infographics is Edward Tufte. He was a Yale professor who pioneered the field of infographics. And he's given several design examples on complex infographics.

And there's a really great quote by him that reads, "There's no such thing as information overload, just bad design. If something is cluttered and/or confusing, fix your design." This is a great quote, because it really challenges designers and design, really, to be better adapted to presenting visual information to the viewer.

Another type of infographic is called a thematic graphic. And a thematic graphic is when the actual graphic presenting the data is labeled by color, shape, form, line, or dots. So this type of graphic helps identify information with what I mentioned-- color lines and shapes-- which is very common in maps, like this one.

And you can see there's a lot of information being represented visually through all these things. And by the way, I know this map is in French, but notice that good design transcends that language barrier, and the information being conveyed remains quite clear.

In addition to labeling things by color, shape, and the aforementioned, maps will use what's called a callout. And a callout is a small bit of text attached to a line or graphic that points to its referral. And you can see-- this is a good example-- with this map of the US that all the smaller East Coast states are using these callouts. And callouts can be used in many other ways as well. And in fact, for any of you with smartphones, you might have seen this already when you're using your navigation or a map application of choice to get around town.

Moving on, we have a referent graphic. And a referent graphic is an icon that refers to an element within the infographic, where the reader can easily surmise information by looking for a specific part of the data. So in this familiar example of Google Maps, you can see that even without the legend that I've placed here showing you the available icons or referent graphics, you're still able to find different elements around you.

And you can easily identify the information that you're looking for. So it's pretty obvious that A is where you are, that purple referent graphic would be bathrooms, the blue graphics are bus stops. And it continues with cafes, places to eat, and places to shop, and et cetera, et cetera.

Well, everyone, that ends our lesson for today. We'll finish up with our key terms-- "infographics", Edward Tufty, "thematic graphic", "referent graphic", and "callout." Hope you've enjoyed this lesson with me today. My name is Mario. And I'll see you next lesson.

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Callout

    A callout is a small bit of text attached to a line or graphic pointing to its referral.

  • Referent Graphic

    A referent graphic is an icon that refers to an element within the infographic, where the reader can easily surmise information by looking for a specific part of the data.

  • Thematic Graphic

    A thematic graphic is when the actual graphic presenting the data is labeled by color, shape, form, line, or dots.

  • Edward Tufte

    Edward Tufte is a Yale Professor who pioneered the field of infographics.

  • Infographics

    Information graphics is a design practice that presents data visually; this may consist of a simple ratio pie chart to condensing large amounts of complex data into visually digestible formats.