Infographics: What’s all the fuss?
Infographics have been around for ages. But over the last ten years I’ve seen their popularity grow. Not just as secondary style content in the middle of branded communications. But also at a top level on primary surfaces to articulate major campaign messaging. In fact, I previously worked on a blue chip account that insisted on the visual creative for all B2B campaigns being designed around them. Which drove many involved nuts.
So what exactly is an infographic?
An infographic, as the name suggests, is quite simply a graphical way of presenting information or data in an imaginative way. So if you’ve never had any information or data to convey, you’ve probably never felt the need to create an infographic. “But isn’t all communication based on information?” I hear you say. Which takes me on to my next point.
They’re not the ‘be all and end all’
I’m sure you could tackle any advertising or design campaign with a series of infographics. But ask yourself this question: Will everyone appreciate them? And this one: Is there a better way of conveying that information without using a chart or diagram? My point is, infographics can be powerful, but there may be a more powerful tool in your creative toolbox to get those particular messages across. And if you plan to create lots of them, you might want to focus on my next point as well.
They can get a bit monotonous
You’ve probably heard the saying “if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all”. Well, infographics can be like that. So make sure no X and Y coordinates, Venn diagram, or pie chart look the same. Or your audience might just switch off.
Don’t ‘lift and shift’
I’m sure you’ve seen them in design catalogues online. But if you can’t create your own, in your own style, colour, font, etc, and you simply copy and paste someone else’s creative design work from a library, your communications just won’t look original. And more importantly, you could be diluting your brand. Because introducing a style that isn’t in tandem with your current look and feel, and all that you stand for, could be counterproductive.
Don’t be a fashion victim
Whether you feel infographics are in vogue or not, be mindful that regularly following trends can potentially mark your organisation as chameleon-like. And that might not be the way you want to set your stall out in business. So consider the implications of adopting any style that could potentially become too popular or too niche for your brand.
Infographics can work a treat with the right brand, in the right context, and if you use them in the right way. Done well, they’re a memorable and shorthand way for an audience to assimilate information. Done poorly, they can be seen as contrived, off-brand, or an unnecessary overload.
For more info on infographics, drop me a line.About the author:
Phil Armstrong is an award-winning Art Director and Designer with over 25 years experience in brand design, marketing and advertising. He works directly or through design and advertising agencies for clients and brands throughout the world and can be reached or commissioned by clicking here.