Emotion, information, and movement. These elements are the entire basis for what we will discuss here in this article. Infographics have one clear objective: to present contents, from the simplest to the most complex, in an attractive, practical, and dynamic way.
Theoretically, and according to the Oxford English Dictionary, an infographic is “a visual representation of information or data.” We know that this definition, although correct, does not do justice to the complexity and importance of this kind of work.
For this reason, we produced this article based on the knowledge and cooperation of the esteemed Mr. Vladimir Barros, a very talented designer and a partner of Fastdezine.
Keep reading, and you will understand why infographics are such a powerful art, an ideal tool for communicating on various topics, especially those involving greater complexity.
A long way from the big bang to the present, and a long way from the caves and their rock art to graphic design
The primitive man, more than 6,000 years ago, left recorded, in the cave wall paintings, vivid images of his hunting activities.
Around 6,200 BC, the map of the ancient city of Çatal Hüyük, in Turkey, was sculpted, validating the existence of a complex civilization.
The art leaves a message: “we were here, we lived like this, see it!”
Over the course of many millennia, natural evolution has occurred in the way human beings tell and pass on stories, facts and ideas.
For example, Christopher Scheiner’s Rosa Ursina Sive Sol, 1626, produced a diagram to show his research on the Sun, a landmark for Astronomy.
But, what do we mean by all these examples?
Visual records have followed human evolution, from cave paintings to the most technological advances in graphic design today. And infographics have always been present, in one way or another, in these records.
It is a form of expression and, like all of them, we can analyze, characterize and study it as a true science.
Infographics: a science based on our perception of the world
The logic of working with infographics is based precisely on the fact that we are visual beings and interpret the symbols from our perception of the world.
Let us return to Semiotics classes (the field that studies the construction of meanings) for a moment. A symbol indicates a sign that, according to Charles Sanders Pierce, is something that represents something else, usually something abstract.
Consider an example: “where there is smoke, there is fire”.
In this relation, smoke indicates the presence of fire; fire smoke is the index. Something burning is the logical relationship that has been experienced by human beings, for millennia. Have you noticed that? It is a relationship of cause and consequence!
However, we can go further in this analysis.
We know that the fire is hot and that we cannot touch it, because we may burn ourselves; that smoke comes out of it; that it is yellow, orange, red and, sometimes, blue, like in a stovetop.
Thus, when we see smoke, we immediately think: “something is burning”. And when we think of fire, all these elements (colors, shapes, textures, and temperatures) automatically come to mind and, with them, everything they represent:
There are also secondary associations of people and things that have to do with fire, such as:
● Fire extinguisher;
But, after all, why are we talking about all these concepts?
We know that the symbol is the basis for understanding how we human beings interpret things, and that is essential for infographics, which deals with visual narratives, and seeks to transform complex ideas and a large amount of content into something easy to understand.
For now, this brief conceptual presentation is enough to warm up the next step in our conversation.
Mr. Barros did a remarkable job organizing his knowledge of infographics. According to his analysis, the main visual resources are:
● Graphic composition;
Now, we will get to know each one of them a little more.
Graphic composition refers to all the visual elements used to build the infographic and ensure that the desired message is communicated to the reader correctly.
In this perspective, we can mention typography, that is, the study of the application of character styles, so that words have a visual arrangement in line with the content proposal.
Another relevant element for the graphic composition is the visual components, such as the style of vectors and icons, which must be in tune with the whole. Color is also an essential element, as it gives meaning to images.
When we refer to colors, we can divide them into warm colors and cool colors.
The cool color hues (from blue to violet) are related to ice, wind, the sea, and other elements of nature found commonly in the northern hemisphere of the Planet. They are also related to feelings like sobriety, calm, peace, sadness, and melancholy,
In turn, the warm colors (from green to red) can suggest elements such as fire, sun, blood, heat, and feelings such as joy, health and appetite.
In an infographic, data ceases to be static and gains speed. This means that there is a visual dynamic that gives movement, urgency and logic to the design.
And why is this important?
Well, think like the audiences of the new generations: they have access to a huge amount of content each day, so they are increasingly demanding in relation to what they consume.
In this way, creative marketing has never been more necessary.
As it has been shown, at the beginning of this article, the science of infographics is constantly evolving, and always following technologies.
Nowadays, the use of interactive infographics is a great idea for those who want to produce an engaging graphic design, following the trend of humanized marketing, as it gives the public a sense of autonomy, which can be freely explored in every detail.
These are some examples of how these three pillars work in infographics. But how does it manifest itself in practical terms? We will discuss this shortly.
3 types of infographics
Considering that infographics translate data and texts in order to be, at the same time, visual, intuitive and attractive, they can be used for different purposes.
Here are some applications!
1. Infographic in journalism
The application in materials of a journalistic nature is excellent for creating visual narratives, which can be in the background, due to the structural limitations of the text composition.
The symbiosis between these two areas has the ability to represent information in an objective and attractive way. This enhances the reader’s experience and contributes to improving their understanding of the subject being addressed.
2. Digital infographic
The digital space is possibly where we see infographics being used most.
The technologies allow accommodating a vast amount of content without visually polluting the project since the material can be displayed as the cursor moves or the zoom is applied.
3. Business infographic
Finally, this tool is great for synthesizing data in an intuitive way as well as showing concepts relevant to the context, optimizing the exchange of information and ensuring that your idea is effectively passed through this material.
Market and applications
Infographics represent a new language, developed to meet the demands of a society that increasingly values visual communication.
Nowadays, any content can go viral in a matter of minutes, producing bold, attractive and concise pieces is one of the ideal ways for those who want to communicate efficiently. And the applications in this field are almost endless.
An example of the versatility of infographics is the Samba Cast project, created by Mr. Vladimir Barros and his colleagues. It is very worthwhile to check Samba Cast’s Instagram. There, they present stories, curiosities and data about such musical style in a very creative way.
It is also important to note that there is a space in the market where infographics are very much welcomed.
It is the great difficulty of companies in being able to present technical data in a plural way so that they are easily understood.
The infographic is a very useful tool that can make it easier to understand important information in corporations.
Graphic design has many aspects, and infographics are among the most prominent of them, especially when we think about creativity that serves a practical purpose.
Here in our company, Fastdezine, we have the opportunity to work with professionals of the most diverse styles, levels of knowledge and characteristics. This makes our team complete and able to meet the diverse needs of the market.