Infographics are fast becoming a leading factor in advertising campaigns. Information graphics, or infographics as they are familiarly known, are representations in graphic visual form of complex information, data or knowledge. Presented in graphic form, they are quickly and clearly interpreted, such as can be seen in signs, maps, journalism, technical writing, and education formats. Using infographics, computer scientists, mathematicians, and statisticians develop and communicate concepts using a single symbol to process information. But infographics themselves are not new.

Before a written language became standard in a culture, graphics were used to depict information. We can see this as early as cave drawings in ancient ruins. Infographics displayed head of cattle, or the best feeding or hunting grounds, areas of danger to following settlers on land, and, used in nautical maps, showed sailors areas of danger on sea, and safe ports. Legends and icons were used on early charts drawn by Florence Nightingale showing the number of deaths in hospitals in 19th Century England during the Crimean War. Any type of graphic that is used to depict more complex information can be used as an infographic, so long as a “legend” or key is made clear.

Today, infographics can be more complex than their primitive predecessors thanks to the use of computer technology. A graphic artist can use a pre-existing graphic or create his/her own to indicate a specific type of information and display it not only in a static format, but in custom videos as well. Many times in animated graphics, we see charts overlaid on one another showing progression of a trend or changing status of growth. Pie charts and bar graphs are some of the most rudimentary forms of infographics, but still are widely used because of their versatility and ease of interpretation. Organizational charts are also used with ease as portrayers of information in this sense as you can see the flow of information and responsibility throughout an organization using infographics.

When using infographics in your advertising or media, you must remember that in order to be properly interpreted, there must be clear meaning to the graphic. If using bar graphs or pie charts it is imperative that a legend be displayed as well so the viewers will know to what the chart is referring. Icons can be used and very effectively so, but must also be clearly defined as well. Using construction blueprints as an example, there are standard symbols that most lay-persons would recognize that represent toilets and sinks, but not necessarily so for telephone outlets and light switches. A clear key must be included in the drawing so the ordinary person can decipher the code. The same is true in advertising.

Because of the potential complexity of using infographics, it is recommended that a professional be hired to develop the advertising message in a clear concise way. Illustrate IT can be the addition to the team that you need to portray your marketing in a catchy, trendy way using infographics.

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