Chapter 10: Infographics

Maximum Information in Minimum Space

Infographics | White Space is Not your Enemy Chapter 10

Chapter Outline

  • A terse history of infographics
  • You might need an infographic if…
  • Types of infographics
  • Where do infographics come from?
  • Multimedia infographics
  • Graphics packages
  • Charts can lie: infographic ethics
  • Designing infographics
  • Try this

Keywords | Vocabulary

  • Byline
  • Callouts
  • Chatter/Explainer
  • Compass
  • Graphics package
  • Infographic
  • Inset
  • Key
  • Pointer box
  • Reference points
  • Scale
  • Source line

Related Unit Assignment

Think of our terse chapter as a “heads up” introduction to infographics.

Key Student Takeaways

  1. Infographics are not just for news design.
  2. Consider using an infographic if:
  • You need to communicate quickly.
  • A verbal or written account is too complicated.
  • Your audience will have difficulty comprehending a written
    or oral account.
  1. When possible take advantage of multimedia capabilities when concepting infographic designs.
  2. Graphics packages literally bundle content into a packages of multiple informational images and visuals, although they take serious planning and coordination with a team of experts.
  3. The ethics of infographics require respecting copyrights, sticking with the facts and using statistical data responsibly.
  4. Tips for designing infographics:
  • Design them to stand alone as freestanding content.
  • Don’t skimp on research.
  • Use a grid.
  • Group things together (i.e. think clustering and proximity).
  • If you can’t use color, then make sure your grays contrast by at least 20 percent.
  • Attribute everything.
  • Minimize ornamentation.
  • Write tightly.
  1. Maps require a grid, a scale, a legend and a compass.
  2. Make sure your pie chart represents a whole pie, that is 100 percent, and label what 100 percent represents.
  3. On fever charts the y-axis rise going up represents what you’re measuring, and the x-axis run represents time going left to right.
  4. On bar charts stick with horizontal bars unless you’re dealing with time, then revert to vertical bars with time running horizontally left to right.
  5. Limit timelines to about 10–20 items, and keep your timeline to scale/proportional.

Quiz Questions

The 5-minute Motivation to Read Quiz

Share three things you learned from the reading. Be specific.

Short Answer Quiz Questions

Define a graphics package and briefly describe the production challenges associated with producing a graphics package.

Discuss some of the ethical issues associated with designing infographics.

Multiple Choice Quiz Questions

When it comes to designing infographics, which of the following
is not true?

  1. Design them as freestanding content
  2. Remember to brush up on slope as rise over run to keep the scale correct
  3. Keep a 20 percent differential between grays on your grayscale
  4. Minimize ornamentation and attribute everything

When designing a timeline

  1. Limit items to 10–20, and keep the scale proportional
  2. Label the whole as 100 percent
  3. Include a compass
  4. Account for rise over run trajectories