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Infographics and Visual Communication: Home

Need to communicate an idea through an onslaught of data? An infographic might be the way to go.

PowerPoint from 11/11/2015 class

What's an Infographic?

Infographics are "graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly." (wikipedia).

Infographics include a lot of things, from individual charts, plots, and maps to presentations that combine these data visualizations with additional visuals and language to tell a story. Today we'll use a tool that helps with the latter.

Tools for Creating Infographics

Designing Infographics

Layout

Infographics should be laid out in such a way that important data points are highlighted, explained briefly, and flow into the next visual element.

Remember these guidelines:

  • Space out elements to keep the design less cluttered (remember to leave "whitespace")
  • Use only essential text; keep it visual!

Know your Limits

  • Limit your color palette to a few key colors
  • Limit your use of fonts to a few, and keep them consistent for text of the same type (e.g., headings and body text)

Ideas

  • Style up your graphs to communicate visually -- why is your pie chart not a pie?

PowerPoint Tips

Here's a selection of very important functions in Powerpoint for designing posters and infographics.

  • Insert Menu has almost anything you could need:
    • Text Box
      Insert these to add your text, obviously.
    • Shapes
      Your bread and butter. Make circles and rectangles behind your text to pop it out from the background and provide organized sections.
    • Smart Art
      LOTS of diagrams and visualizations -- get your point across without reinventing the wheel
    • Pictures
      Load a picture you took, or one you found
    • Online Pictures
      Search for pictures that are licensed for reuse through Creative Commons
  • Design Menu:
    • Format Background to change up the background colors. Use gradients to go from light to dark
    • Choose a Variant to select a color theme
  • Drawing Tools Menu appears after you've inserted a shape and selected it with your mouse:
    • Send Backward/Forward
      Control what displays in front of something else
    • Rotate
      Spin or flip something you've inserted
    • Shape Fill
      The color inside a shape
    • Shape Outline
      The color and width (or weight) of the shape border (or, if it's a line, the color of the line)