We think of an infographic in three levels depending on the goals of the specific campaign.
Some images need to add context to data or factoids through associated visuals/graphics. For instance, this ROC infographic presents key findings from a report they were releasing, in a format that is easily sharable via social media and provides a clear reference through the image, as to what the information they are sharing is in relation to.
The second model is where we use visuals to both provide context (through the image selection) and to “drive home” a message through visual representations of scale or time. Since raw numbers often don’t mean much to the general public, visual representations of those numbers and how they relate to each other can make a point better than statements. In this OilChange International infographic, we drive home the point that the “petcoke” alone, generated by keystone XL would be an enormous environmental problem:
Another example is this “scandal” infographic we did for Friends of the Earth, detailing the web of conflicts of interest behind a so called environmental impact report that not surprisingly was favorable to it’s industry backers. One of the key elements of both these infographics is the “at a glance” ability they have to present the core message. Those who are interested in the actual numbers or being able to articulate the actual sequence of events, are able to get that information from the infographic. But for the broader audience, the key point can be ascertained from a scan of the overall infographic:
Finally, there is the full scale infographic that combines data visualization with a narrative structure that can both tell a full story, using “at a glance” visuals that drive the main message home. These are generally the most involved, as they are in essence multiple data visualizations presented in a format that ties them all together through a “story” arc. This one we did for United for a Fair Economy takes a complex idea–that the housing crisis is a racially weighted issue–and breaks down why:
Blog post written by Inno. Illustrations and designs by Inno.