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If you landed on this page for the infographic example, please scroll down to the last section.

Infographics employ microcopy. At the heart of the infographic is the data and/or the information that, in unison with the design, makes the graphic informative.

The figures, percentages, and other numerical data, and the information must be accurate and the designer of the graphic must not take any liberty with them, they must reflect the same numbers that were in the source material.

You must put special care in not haphazardly using graphics to represent data. If you do use graphics of different sizes or proportions to represent data, then each of said proportions has to be correctly scaled from the, and correlative with the other, percentages.

Second to the information and/or data in importance is the design.

Infographics must be planned with typography, background, color palette, and other brand media in mind. All of this context must match the content and your brand media guidelines.

An Infographic Conveys…

1. Statistics
2. Knowledge
3. Information
4. Data

The space for content in an infographic is a scarce commodity because of the real estate taken up by the graphics and the microcopy.

If in doubt about the amount of space in the graphic to allot to each element, simply follow this rule: the more hard data or accurate information, and the less design, the better the infographic.

A professional infographic is a visual communication of data conveyed through a seamless representation that doesn’t call attention to itself. You mustn’t create a work of art.

It’s all about balancing the graphical and design elements, with the statistical and informative ones.

Infographics Need More Data, Less Design

They must be accurately integrated with the taxonomy and statistics of the data set they represent.

An infographic must have a concise motive

1. Tabulative
2. Explorative
3. Aggregative
4. Decorative
5. Descriptive

In this day and age, it’s very easy to create an integrated infographic that incorporates two or more motives, but to do this efficiently, it has to be a long graphic with different sections, each section being an infographic on itself that, if taken out of the context of the whole integrated graphic, will make sense and convey useful meaning on its own. 

Some of The Elements of An Infographic

1. Area chart
2. Legends
3. Images
4. Graphs
5. Histograms
6. Bar charts
7. Indexes
8. Stacker bars
9. Scales
10. Line graphs
11. Icons
12. Symbols
13 .Photographs
14. Isotypes
15. Timelines
16. Shared frames
17. Diagrams
18. Data visualizations 

Infographic Example and Guidelines

Infographics are a killer application in this age of attention span deficits. There are some guidelines for designing an infographic, and writing its copy, that isn't that obvious. The following one is a very simple infographic example.

The objective of infographics is to make the essential facts of something stand out. Infographics preoccupy themselves with being an attractive diagram that will attract the reader and make him or her read it through the end. This is because the copy on an infographic is telegraphic and devoid of everything superfluous to the topic at hand.

Still, to create a real infographic, things aren’t as simple as I laid them out in the previous two paragraphs. It has to have more numbers than words. Always favor hard data over useless art. It also has to have good typesetting and high-resolution graphics.

If you’re going to use charts or any other graphics that will exemplify quantity through differences in the size of graphics, then the proportions can’t be arbitrarily made.

The proportions of any quantity/percentage visualizations made through sizing graphical elements must have a direct correlation to the numbers. This means that you have to do calculations to get the size of the images exactly proportional to the numerical percentages and each other.

Infographic Example: Micro-copy

Hollywood (Change)

infographic: industrial model of representation


Average Budget: 100 Million Dollars

Hollywood Production Values

    Big Budget
    Special Effects
    Star System
    Private Finance
    Guns for Hire

Hollywood Techniques

    Single Protagonist
    Positive Endings
    Cliched/Forced Action
    External Conflict
    Classical Form
    Consistent Reality
    Linear Time

Arthouse (Stasis)



Average Budget: 3 Million Dollars

Arthouse Production Values

    Low Budget
    Photographic Composition
    Ensemble Acting
    Government Grants

Arthouse Techniques

    Multiple Protagonists
    Open Endings
    Internalized Passivity
    Inner Conflict
    Sensory Stimulation
    Inconsistent Realities
    Non-linear Time

Sources: 1 Wikipedia, 2 Tufte, Edward R. (1982). The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press.
Photo Credit: Fred Romero

© Martin Wensley, 2020-2022 — Industrial Model of Representation: Infographic Example