The Google Plus logo

So what is an infographic anyway?

This post was written by Elly Davies and first appeared on the Epic blog on 20th June 2013.

infographic 1Following my blog post earlier this year ‘Infographics: hype or help‘, I’ve been discussing infographics with both online and offline communities to further my thinking.

I started with the basics: what is an infographic? If it’s more than a ‘decorated chart’, then what exactly is it? And where do data visualisations fit in? Opinions on what counts as an infographic and what doesn’t are strongly divided. Some people insist they must be static images to be a true infographic, whereas others (myself included) count both animations and interactive versions as part of the medium. Some people, such as software artist Jer Thorp, are even making revelatory art installations from datasets.

My second key question is what makes an effective infographic? Because if we want to use them as learning tools, we must maximise their educational value.

As part of my ongoing exploration, I’m collecting examples of infographics. I’d love to see what you think works and what doesn’t. Post a link and comment here or email me.

We need to find consensus in a meaningful definition. So, in response to these questions, graphic designer Brigitte Sutherland and I have created a new infographic of our own. Take a look.