What Is an Infographic?

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Posted by Chelsea Yang |

Part 1: What is an Infographic

Infographics are a very marketing tool that has become the go-to tool in the last decade. Infographics closely relate to the concepts of data visualization and visual content. To clarify it a bit, an infographic is a combination of information and graphics. Popular dictionaries define it as a diagram or illustration that provides information in a visually appealing way. The information can be arranged in the form of charts or graphics to make it easier to read and understand. With engaging visuals, minimal text, and many imageries, infographics are a powerful tool to communicate information very clearly.

What is an Infographic

Part 2: History of Infographics

History of Infographics-1

The earliest infographics were in the form of rock art and cave images. One of the oldest ones comes from France from 37,000 BC. These images were said to depict volcano eruptions from that period. Then around 36,000 BC, some rock art was found in Brazil by rock specialists.

In 25,000 BC, the oldest known maps were found that showed parts of the land and the sky. It wasn’t until 649 and 684 A.D. that the earliest version of graphics was found in the form of Dunhuang star atlas.

From the 18th century and onwards, scientists started visualizing information and making charts. During this time, we were introduced to a chart that showed the prices of wheat against labor costs designed by William Playfair, shown in the image below.

History of Infographics-2

The chart was so brilliant that Playfair was named the father of modern-day infographics as he introduced people to bar graphs, pie charts, and statistics. After that, many people created charts and maps that allowed the design to grow and enhance.

In 1979, the British graphic designer Nigel holmes made drawings similar to that of modern infographics. After the 90s, the terms infographic and information graphics were used popularly to covey information and data visualization.

Part 3: Why are Infographics Used

Research has proven that visual aids significantly enhance learning and make it easier to commit things to memory. Infographics are very helpful in digesting complex information and give a quick overview of complicated topics. With a combination of images and information, people find it easier to go through infographics than full reports or files.

Infographics are usually used in data analytics to interpret data easier, spot trends, and explain how variables and metrics are related.

Part 4: How Infographics Are Used Across Multiple Fields

Infographics are being used in multiple fields today and are quite advantageous for businesses, schools, and marketing firms.


Infographics can be very beneficial to students who would like to memorize certain events or processes accurately. Students can use an infographic to better grasp their concepts and link together multiple of those.


Small and Large Businesses

Other than studies, it can be a very important tool for advertising your business. Especially while conducting market researches or surveys, the tool is very helpful in data visualization and making it easier to interpret. It can also be used to compare and contrast multiple options products or services.

Infographics will help develop a brand image and showcase your progress to your stakeholders. The complex annual data in reports can be summarized and condensed into infographics to be easier to analyze, and quick action can be taken. Additionally, infographics will make your newsletters, reports, presentations, and posters much more attractive and demonstrate your leadership in a new light.

Small and Large Businesses

Social Work and Awareness

Apart from that, for NGOs and Social work, infographics can help spread awareness among people and inform them about current social issues or vital causes. Infographics will make it very easy for them to understand the cause and donate. They can be inserted in newsletters, posters, social media campaigns, and more. Moreover, they help showcase the milestones achieved by the organization, communicate various problems and entice people to join fundraisers.

Marketing Tool

As mentioned earlier, infographics have become one of the primary marketing tools. They are visually striking, which makes it easier to catch the attention of people on social media. They can be used to showcase a business’s strong points and attract people to what you have to offer. Often bloggers and influencers use infographics to communicate dry topics relating to economics, politics, history, etc.

Small and Large Businesses


Consultancies make a lot of infographics to make their clients understand complex data analytics more thoroughly. They can be added in presentations to show how the numbers change annually. With timelines drawn using infographics, it would be far easier for the client to understand what is going on.


Part 5: Main elements of Infographics

To create a successful infographic, you must ensure certain elements are present in your infographic. We have listed below a few main ones to get you started:


As Infographics are visual tools, they must center around a story to catch the reader’s attention. Just the pictures and information is not enough; you must captivate the audience with a narrative too.


Data plays a vital role in determining the authenticity and accuracy of your infographic. Referring to statistics, numbers, and multiple journals will increase people’s belief in your presenting and brand information. You can highlight important percentages and numbers and add charts and diagrams to your infographic to support your point.


Considering it is an infographic, design is integral in enticing people to read the infographic. Your data and story won’t be alluring enough if the design doesn’t work in its favor. Ensure that the fonts complement each other and headers are stylized. By using multiple graphics, shapes, and borders, you can make your infographic more interesting.

Other than these, multiple other elements include an infographic, but these are the main ones that will help you get a basic know-how of how to do things.

Part 6: How to Create an Infographic

If you are interested in creating an infographic for your business or just want to try how it works, here is a step by step guide of doing that:

1. Creating an Outline

The key to infographics is not diving headfirst into the design. First, you need to contemplate all the content you want to incorporate into the infographic and create a content brief. It will allow you to enlist all the ideas and find the perfect layout and arrangement for them. Brainstorm all the ideas and specify headings, subheadings, and bullet points. Next, shape them in the form of paragraphs and include any notes for designs.

2. Browse a Template

Your next task is to select a template that suits your information. This is very significant as the type of infographic will directly affect how the reader interprets your information. Make sure you pay attention to the colors, fonts, length, and style, and it all aligns with what you have planned.

Create Drafts

Unlike a brochure or an advertisement, an annual report cannot be written in one go since it needs to include a message from directors, reports from auditors, comments from the finance team, a review from management, and much more.

Before writing the report, start collecting all the drafts from the respective people. Make rough drafts and see how you would arrange all the content. The layout of the data and stats should be well arranged and complementing each other.

3. Font Styles

Select the font styles according to the importance of the text. You can differentiate the text with multiple font sizes and using the largest one for the most important ones. Also, ensure the font range sits well with your entire infographic and is neither too big nor too small. The headings should be largest and most stylized, and the body should not be stylized at all with the minimum font size.

4. Add Images, Graphics, and set a Proper Layout.

Grouping the images and graphics in a specific layout will impact how the reader interprets the information. Using additional tools like lines, borders, and shapes will distribute the data into small sections making it very easy to digest. The layout will link multiple concepts showing the focus points and additional information. Add impressive graphics to catch the attention of people and make it engaging.


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Part 7: Types of Infographics with Examples

Infographics are mainly divided into three categories:

  1. Information design
  2. Data visualization
  3. Editorial infographics

Each one of these has its unique purpose that will directly affect your storytelling technique. If you use these smartly according to the type of information you want to give, it will double the impact on the reader.

Information Design Infographics

You might have encountered a lot of information design infographics from your daily life without really knowing it. Information design infographics usually represent processes, hierarchy, or organizational charts. They can be in the form of timelines, diagrams, or flowcharts using images more than text to show how the concepts are linked together. Information design communicates the goals and concepts.

Information Design Infographics

Data Visualization Infographics

We are in an age of big data and surrounded by all these numbers, and it can become complex and overwhelming after a while. Data visualizations make it easier for us to comprehend the numbers and recall when needed. Using charts, graphs, and diagrams, people give large data sets a more meaningful conclusion. Data visualization needs to be simple yet informative, so data points can be understood by anyone who reads it.

Data Visualization Infographics

Editorial Infographics

Infographics have been part of the news for writing medium for a while now, but recently, they have picked up a trend because they are easier to read and understand than basic information. Also, infographics are easier to share on social media and engage readers more.

Infographics may be a powerful marketing tool, but they are most powerful when bringing out a unique narrative from commendable sources.

Editorial Infographics

Part 8: Design Tips for Creating a captivating Infographic

Here are a few design tips for you to improve your infographic drastically:

Contrasting Colours

A good tip while constructing infographics is to select a color that will nicely contrast against all other colors in your infographic. Then use that color to highlight all the important information or focus words that you want your audience to remember.

Selection of Colours

While selecting the colors for your infographic, choose no more than 2 to 3 colors. Make sure the colors correctly convey the mood of the infographic. You can research a bit about colors and psychology for a more powerful impact. If you are making one for your company, keep the company colors in mind and watch out for the white space.

Size Must be Right

Lastly, a great tip for you is to keep the size in mind. Your infographic must be big enough to hold in all the information and the shapes and the graphics. But, it must not be too big that there is too much white space all over.

Part 9: Conclusion

Now you know all about infographics you are ready to make unique and creative ones for your business or class. You can start with templates and slowly upgrade your infographics or even start from scratch. Best of Luck!

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