Infographics – something that is talked about so much today, it’s a bit crazy. However, after surfing the web for a few minutes looking at some of these, you quickly come to the conclusion that most of them suck.
Sure, they all have interesting information and graphics (most people wrongly think that information + graphics = infographics) but most of the graphics out there lack what Francesco Franchi calls “Infographic Thinking”. A note to anyone thinking about their next infographic project – you should read this next bit carefully. The Italian Art Director of IL Intelligence in Lifestyle, the monthly magazine of Il Sole 24 ORE, one of Italy’s top financial newspapers, defines infographic thinking as the ability to maintain the narrative throughout the graphic. A bit abstract I know, however if you take a few minutes and look at some graphics with this in mind you’ll quickly realize what he means. Franchi further explains his thoughts on “infographic thinking” in an interview from Gestalten:
He brings up a lot of ideas we’ve all heard before, “if we don’t have content, we can’t have design” infographics have to be both informative and entertaining to the reader etc.. but what I particularly enjoyed was listening to his thoughts on the nonlinear aspect of reading an infographic. I liked how he explained that reading an infographic is more than a means to understand data, reading them should be more of an experience drawing a connection with the reader. Whether its Nicolas Feltron or Francesco Franchi, even a simple static graphic can seem to take on a whole new immersive experience.
What do you think constitutes a good infographic?