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The true potential of an infographic

Our senior designer Dolf recently attended the IC17 in Zeist. The Infographics Conference is an annual event held in the Netherlands.

Some of the best designers in the world gather here to share their thoughts on the craftsmanship known as data visualization. Dolf joined them to hear and learn from some of these experts. He created a Prezi Next infographic to share his experience with the Mr.Prezident team.  

What is an Infographic?

As a society, we have not only become more accustomed to vast amounts of data, but also to visuals. We use visuals to understand and quickly explain almost everything these days. An infographic is more than just a story with a nice image. Experience tells us that it takes significant research and understanding of a topic to really grasp and convey crucial information in a visualized manner. A well illustrated infographic can attract and engage its audience.

An infographic we designed for IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative.

Conference format

At IC17, eleven notable speakers gathered to share new ideas for infographics and data visualization. The common myths and misunderstandings were a key topic. Overall, the presenters also closely examined the purpose of telling stories through infographics and similar data visualization methods.

The do’s and don't's to designing good Infographics

Do

- Understand your message. If you can explain it to a 5-year-old you can clarify it visually.

- Visualize the elements that would otherwise be invisible.

- Mention your sources. Keep it credible.


Don’t

- Simplify the message by deleting crucial or supporting parts.

- Pimp or spice up your infographic by adding too much unnecessary elements. They will distract from the main message.

Two infographics we created for colleges of Amsterdam (left) and Delft (right). 

Conference take away

Infographics have a real purpose if used correctly. They can make a huge difference in simplifying complex information and they can provide useful insights into subjects often considered ‘dry’. It can make data sexy again. One must be aware of the thin line between oversimplifying content and overcomplicating it. Striking that balance will determine the usefulness of the graphic. It also helps to add some element of emotion to bring the data to life and let it speak for itself.

Questions for Dolf

We asked Dolf why he created a prezi. Dolf: “I wanted to share my experience with the team in a simple manner that could visually summarize the entire day in an easy way. For me, it was an exercise that I had mastered during the day. The Prezi overview is an infographic that shows my expectations of the event (in blue) vs. what I got out of it (in orange).”

View the prezi here.

What was the inspiration for the Prezi/design?

“I think the work of Joe Crisman at CleverFranke.”

Who left the biggest impression

“Fabian Valkenburg - His agency came up with an idea to make cooking recipes a lot quicker to understand. They visualized the cooking process as one timeline with different branches in the form of a cactus. By simply following the visual from top to bottom you see directly when you need to start boiling water or start cutting bell peppers. Ingredients, cooking time and the sequence of steps you need to take are all embodied in one graphic.”

View Cooktus on instagram.

“But also Joe Chrisman - He explained how to used data visualization in order to create an unforgettable experience for visitors of Amsterdam Dance Event. How they did it? It’s all in the wristband. By tracking your personal ID, location, motion, temperature and even your surrounding decibel. All this personal data was live visualized on big screens during the event. For each person a unique artistic visual, which they also received at the end of the night.”     

View their case here

If you need to visually present your data, Mr.Prezident and our sister agency Fresqo would love to help you out!