Every day, a rising tide of information threatens to engulf us.

Information pours in from electronic, print and broadcast media, competing for our time and raising the same question: how do we decide where to focus our attention?

We’re told that feeling overwhelmed is a result of “filter failure” – and thus our own fault – so more and more of us disengage in an effort to feel more in control of our lives.

The question for communicators remains: how do we ensure our message reaches its audience?

The Rise of Visual Communication

Communication has become visually richer since email and SMS text messaging first appeared.

Improvements in mobile communication technology and the quality and usability of social platforms means most people have access to at least one device capable of displaying high quality images.

The emergence of smartphones and tablets and the ease of sharing digitally has led to the proliferation of emojis, gifs, video clips, infographics and data visualisations, meaning we can share anything from a simple emotional reaction to a complex narrative incorporating multiple data instantly.

What are infographics?

Infographics (“information” + “graphics”) combine text and visual representations of information to communicate a specific narrative.

Infographics use visual charting to communicate information more quickly than tables of numbers thanks to our ability to interpret meaning in visual patterns.

Why are infographics popular?

The use of infographics in mass communication has exploded in recent years.

Their visual nature makes it easier to transcend traditional language and cultural barriers, while the combination of text and imagery makes it easy to present specific narratives. Modern infographics are designed to appeal to a broader range of people than more specialist types of data visualisation.

Online social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter – and particularly Pinterest and Instagram – have made it easy for people to share infographics. Similarly, new tools continue to emerge which reduce the need for specialist design expertise.

How are infographics used?

Beyond simple data visualisations, successful infographics weave multiple data into compelling stories and narratives – perfect when you have a more complicated story to tell.

Why doesn’t this page have any infographics on it?

Hold on… they’re coming.