An infographic paints a thousand words?

“A picture paints a thousand words” or so the proverb goes and the current Infographics trend is certainly relying on this still being true!

Now I’ll be honest when I first learnt of Infographics, I thought what a waste of time. Who has 4 hours to spare and while it away on Photoshop attempting to design a glossy image when you can just put the information into a table/graph and be done with it. However after the obligatory Google of Infographics I’m not ashamed to say that my viewpoint did change.

When an Infographic is done well, it can be a great tool to get your information across and have the reader actually take it in. There are hundreds of great examples of Infographics one that I found entertaining is the below:

I like it because it’s engaging, funny and it does what it sets out to do, which in my humble opinion is the point of an Infographic. Graphs, tables and endless streams of text can be boring, so why not have some fun with the information you need to get across. Obviously the average Joe will look at the Twitter Infographic and see it as a bit of a laugh, but social profiling like the above is great tool for PR. It is also a good way for organisations to produce important but dry information in a way that their employees or consumers can really understand.

So I thought I’d have a go, there must be an Infographic generator out there that can save me spending a day getting frustrated on Photoshop. Well there isn’t, or more accurately there are lots of generators out there that say they’ll give me a personalised Infographic and after signing up for most of them, 99% of the time they’re just long winded graph producers. There are a couple companies out there on the cusp of creating an a genuine Inforgaphic generator, visual.ly say they will be launching there’s soon and Google have nearly got the idea! But essentially you need to be proficient in Photoshop or run the risk of ending up with something like this:

It’s meant to demonstrate the the top 3 reasons why American Facebook users ‘Like’ brands pages. Yes I know it’s crap, after all the searching and signing up I resigned myself to Excel and found the SmartArt tab. Which is my point, to create useful and effective Infographics you need to be able to use Photoshop. I have no doubt that there will soon be an online generator, but I think that would take the creativity out of the image. Infographics to me are so impressive because you know that someone has spent the time designing and creating the image around the information. By taking this away I think the novelty of the Infographic would be quickly lost, which would be a shame as they have potential to develop further. Maybe in the future we’ll see interactive Infographics, animated Infographics or even instant Infographics that chart your daily web use, the possibilities as they say are endless.

So yes I have once again changed my mind (it is a women’s prerogative after all) Infographics may be a novelty but in actual fact they’re a pretty useful novelty, but in hindsight it’s probably best to leave it to a Photoshop Pro!

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