Infographics: Keep it Simple People!

This week we are learning about infographics.  Our text Presentation Zen Design:  A Simple Visual Approach to Presenting in Today’s World is fabulous at explaining the pros and cons of different techniques.  I would strongly recommend this text to anyone interested in learning about visual/spatial literacy and how to present information effectively. We also explored web 2.0 tools that can help one create an infographic.  Two that I spent some time playing with included:

I chose these two creation tools because several colleagues are using them at work.  They ended up being quite similar but easel.ly was a little bit easier to use with intuitive drop and drag features.  I will definitely return to this link that Dr. Kimmel posted because there are several other infographic tools that look just as good.

8 Infographic Creation Tools

At the end of my exploration, I decided to create an infographic that my school library might use as an annual report snapshot.  I met with Jack Jouett Middle School’s Media Specialist, Lin Hill.  Lin is an amazing librarian with several years of experience.  As I prepare to enter Libraryland, I consider her my personal mentor and library “go to” person.  Lin pulled some raw data from the Alexandria  Library Automation System.  We focused on fiction stats, grade level stats, and a few comparisons between last year and this year.  This is my first stab at an infographic.  In terms of presentation, I tried to include the school colors of gold and green.  I didn’t want the colors to appear harsh so I reduced the saturation.  I selected some of the original template colors that seemed to complement this scheme and also reduced the saturation.  This allowed me to use varying shades that were all connected to the original template color scheme.  I left the background white and only used two fonts – Helvetica and Delicious.  I would love feedback on areas that I could improve for the end user.  I probably could have added more visuals to tell a story, but after crunching numbers, changing fonts, and learning easel.ly, I was ready to wrap it up.  Therefore, I stuck to arrows that visually emphasized the idea of increase and an image of books that reflected the overall topic.

In a nutshell, I learned:

  • Keep it simple!
  • Try to not to use multiple fonts or distracting fonts.
  • Keep colors in the same family by adjusting saturation or selecting complementary colors from the color wheel.
  • Include white space; don’t clutter.
  • Use images to tell a story or create an emotion in the end-user/audience.
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5 responses to “Infographics: Keep it Simple People!

  1. From fooling around with easel.ly, I definitely agree that simple is key. Your infographic looks great. I am learning that I prefer sticking with one font, though perhaps in varying sizes. And my eyes prefer lots of white space and breaking up info into sections, shapes, or boxes. It’s interesting what you learn about your own design tastes when you really dig in.

  2. This is awesome, awesome, awesome! I’ve been struggling with which data to include and this is a great approach. What a great quick visual to share with your principal (or hers!). I think you achieved simplicity. 🙂

  3. Wow! I am blown away! That is awesome that you have such a great person to work with.

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