Visualising information through infographics

by Darren Lyttle MCSD

I’m sure you have noticed over the past number of years infographics are becoming prevalent in what were previously the ‘pinstripe suited’ annual reports as well as online graphics, interpretive displays and corporate brochures. I remember years ago when I was working on annual reports it would make me nearly catatonic; pages upon pages of boring text finished off with a mind-numbing financial section at the back, all beautifully laid out like visual lettuce.

Thankfully those days are slipping past faster than Wayne Rooney’s hair transplant.

In this modern age we have an appetite for fast consumption of information and picture-led graphics is the solution to ‘eat up’ that information.

Here I will outline a number of different ways we have converted different types of text, tables or data into eye candy to feed the soul:

1) The Simple Statistic – Stranmillis University College Prospectus

If you have a number of key statistics or pieces of data that are very important or you would like to draw attention to, creating simple eye popping infographics will do the job. This is your entrance into the infographic world. Big text, simple outline illustration, extremely effective.

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2) Take me on a journey – Hillstown Brewery Interpretive Exhibition

If you’ve got a process/storyline to appear in a brochure or a piece of interpretive design that you need to visualise, the best creative solution is a step-by-step/roadmap style layout. These infographic formats are great for making anything list-based, more readable and visual. The format for this is usually a series of points broken up with iconography or numbered points, guiding the reader’s eyes down the information. This is one of the easier infographic layouts you can use and also one of the most common.

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3) Multi-Info Pictograph – DTNI

Statistical and multi-chart infographic layouts are often made up of varying information data styles. In order to make the data visualisation process a lot of more pleasing on the eye you can create a pictograph. Seamlessly drawing the eye through the information whilst creating a fluid, cohesive graphic.

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4) The Mandatory Table – Sport NI

I think we can all agree the staple of any report is the mandatory table. This can put shivers up our spines and let’s be honest it doesn’t look the sexiest on a presentation of any kind. A solution is to look at the context of the table and develop a graphic that integrates the information in a more free-flowing, conceptual way.

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5) Say What You See – National Children’s Bureau

It has been reported that we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text alone, so making a clear visual link between the figures/data and subject matter creates engagement. If you have mainly text-based information and you’re trying to educate your audience or inform them of a definition or concept, an informational layout would be a good fit. These are infographics that are usually formatted with a main header block and a sequence of information following it. Usually icons or illustrations are used to add more context to the information and help the audience get a better idea of what the content represents.

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All designs illustrated were created by Darren Lyttle MCSD, Circle Creative Communications – or

If you would like to discuss your corporate report requirements, we’d love to hear from you (tel: 02890 473747)