Thursday, July 29, 2010

INFOGRAPHICS - from dry data to dazzling design

I find information graphics a very interesting area of graphic design. Infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge that present complex information quickly and clearly, such as in signs, maps, and technical writing. For graphic designers, the challenge of infographics lies in the transformation of dry data and statistics into something that is both informative and visually appealing.

My chosen case study relates to infographics and politics - firstly because our Australian federal election looms, and second because political data can be extremely dry and uninspiring, hence providing a challenge for even the most experienced graphic designer. The case I've chosen provides a visual history of the american presidency, and it does so with an sense of style that I find very inspiring.

Designed by Nathaniel Pearlman and Frank Hamilton in 2009, this piece of work is like nothing else available on the topic. It places each president in historical context, visualising a remarkable range of political, social and economic measures to succinctly tell the story of the presidency. The data presented includes population figures, election data, the cabinet during presidency and the federal budget and debt. It also illustrates the time period of each president, approval ratings, population growth, unemployment and so much more.

An additional example which relates to the above case study is a poster which details closure of retail stores across America, after the global financial crisis. Again, very dry information and statistics have been communicated with excellent use of colour and images, creating something that catches the eye and engages the reader.

Clever infographics abound once you begin to search and I would also like to provide one last relevant example. This short YouTube video promotes a competition for the creation of, among other things, data visualisation and infographics relating to the American government. The video itself is a wonderful example of how basic information can be presented in a way that engages and inspires.


  1. click on the last link to see the YouTube video - i wasn't clever enough to link it in to the blog properly...

  2. Check out Edward Tufte,
    he is the info graphics guru and has written several interesting books on the topic.

  3. Mish, hearing you talk about info graphics lately has really inspired me ... I'm realising that I really like info graphics to! I like he examples you chose for this.

  4. making information so visually exciting is a great way to learn!