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Infographics

Infographics

Description:

In this lesson, you will learn about information graphics

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Tutorial

What's Covered

Welcome to today's lesson on infographics. Today you're going to learn about information graphics. Specifically, this lesson will cover:
  1. Infographics Overview
  2. Edward Tufte
  3. Thematic Graphic
  4. Referent Graphic

1. Infographics Overview

An infographic 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.

Term to Know

    • 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.

In order to have successful infographics, a designer must utilize design elements and principles to convey information in a clear and very direct format. Below is an example of a basic pie chart with statistics.


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.


2. Edward Tufte

An important figure in infographics is Edward Tufte. He was a Yale professor who pioneered the field of infographics.

Term to Know

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

He's given several design examples on complex infographics. 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 to be better adapted to presenting visual information to the viewer.


3. Thematic Graphic

Another type of infographic is called a thematic graphic. A thematic graphic is when the actual graphic presenting the data is labeled by color, shape, form, line, or dots.

Term to Know

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

This type of graphic helps identify information with what I mentioned-- color lines and shapes-- which is very common in maps, like the one below.

You can see there's a lot of information being represented visually through all these things. 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. A callout is a small bit of text attached to a line or graphic that points to its referral.

Term to Know

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

You can see this in the US map below, where all the smaller East Coast states are are using these callouts.

Callouts can be used in many other ways as well. 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.


4. Referent Graphic

Finally, you have a 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.

Term to Know

    • 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.

In the familiar example of Google Maps below, 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.


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. It continues with cafes, places to eat, and places to shop, and et cetera, et cetera.

Summary

Well, that ends today's lesson on infographics. This lesson looked at an overview of infographics, along with historical information about Edward Tufte. Finally, this lesson looked at thematic graphics and referent graphics.


Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: SOURCE: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR MARIO E. HERNANDEZ

TERMS TO KNOW
  • 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.

  • Edward Tufte

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

  • Thematic Graphic

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

  • 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.

  • Callout

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