Infographics in the age of the infovore [Updated for 2020]

Infographics are an essential part of an effective content marketing strategy. Whether used in digital or printed media, well-designed infographics can communicate your information in a creative and engaging way.

People are information hungry and time-poor. The desire to keep on top of trends, news, knowledge, facts and figures is prevalent, but sometimes making time to seek out and read entire articles can prove difficult if not impossible.

An infovore — a person who indulges information gathering — has countless ways to indulge: we consume hundreds of different pieces of content every day from social media, printed media, TV and other devices. Infographics can be the ideal way to deliver complex information in a simple, engaging and easy to understand way.

What is an infographic?

As the name suggests, an infographic is a blend of information and graphic. An infographic tells a story by using a visually pleasing combination of graphics, data, thoughtful typography and colour. Many different formats exist and unique infographic styles can be created to work within any brand.

Why are infographics effective?

Infographics are an invaluable way to quickly deliver complex information. Visual information is proven to be more memorable than the written word: people remember around 80% of what they see and what they do, compared with just 20% of what they read. Infographics can play a key role in brand strategy, weaving brand awareness and messaging into targeted social campaigns. Indeed, an infographic is three times more likely to be shared on social media than any other type of content.

At it’s best, an infographic can be a beautiful, engaging piece of artwork, bolstering or even elevating a brand’s position while at the same time creating a social media stir.

How do infographics differ from charts and graphs?

Before looking at the differences between infographics and charts, it’s important to look at the similarities. Both are effective methods of displaying data visually. Indeed charts and graphs often make up parts of an infographic.

So what are the differences? Charts and graphs are effective at efficiently showing numerical data. Little effort needs to be put into their design, with simple bar charts easy to create in spreadsheet programs in seconds.

Infographics on the other hand are designed to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Often they’ll tell a story, targeting a non-expert audience, guiding them through an often complex topic in a streamlined and focused way.

Whilst they incorporate charts and graphs, often these are presented in the simplest way possible. It’s not unusual to see bar graphs with the axis lines removed, or information delivered through the medium of pictograms (small icons which visualise simple data in a compelling way).

When did infographics become popular?

Originally seen as cave paintings, Infographics have existed in one form or another for over 30,000 years. It is unsurprising then that infographics in their current form are still as popular as ever.