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That’s right, there’s more to infographics than a scrolling image full of facts and figures. Different types of infographics are consumed differently.

The right kind of infographic should match your data to your narrative and ensure that people take away your message after reading it.

While infographics may not come in that many shapes or sizes (600 x 1,800 pixels is the norm), that doesn’t mean there’s a stock standard infographic for you.  

Use the flowchart below to help you decide which infographic is right for you...

Here is a more detailed look at the different types of infographics you can choose from.

1. Visualised article

 1 visualised article

The storyteller’s favourite, a visualised article is like reading a strolling picture book. Perfect for times when numbers aren’t as important, this infographic is eye catching and emotive by relying on the images to speak.

Perfect to use when your topic can be supported by imagery, this type of infographic should be avoided when visuals don’t particularly relate (such as business themed infographics).

2: Flow chart

Flowcharts solve problems, from the practicalirrelevant to spiritual. When done right, they can make people linger longer on your infographic to explore the different paths they can take.

The most popular flowcharts tend to be humorous. They’re ideal for when the answer is simple and solves a relevant problem to the viewer. This infographic is best avoided when the question posed is too niche to explore, or there are limited avenues for an answer.

3: The timeline

 timeline infographic

A timeline takes people on a journey. Instead of just static information, people can see the progress and changes that have taken place and adds a sense of worldly relevance to data. After all, who doesn’t like history?

The trick with timelines is to ensure that the information’s history is worthy enough to be mapped out chronologically. Best used for when the data’s origins have had an impact on the data today.

4: Useful bait

 useful bait infographic

Useful baits are just that, useful. They don’t necessarily tell you anything new, but are the perfect reference tool. These are the types of infographics you want printed out and pinned on your wall, if not just pinned on Pinterest.

Useful Baits tend not to have time sensitive information; so they’re ideal for when you have something classic you just want shared.

5: Versus infographic

 versus infographic

Comparing and contrasting ideas are processes we use everyday to make sense of things around us. By putting two similar or new ideas up against each other, you can easily spot the similarities and differences and better understand it.

The side by side layout of a Versus Infographic also ensures the information is retained in the mind, as readers compare sections against each other individually, as opposed to reading down a chunk of information related to one side then doing the same for the other section.

6: Number porn

 data porn infographic

Perfect for when data is key, but there’s no need to depict tracking trends, number porn is the way to go. Be careful though as unlike real porn, numbers ought to keep it real.

Impressive numbers can make the seasoned infographic viewer wary of the data and sometimes present a biased slant.

7: Photo infographic

photo infographic

Photo infographics suggest an air of professionalism and seriousness that cartoonish infographics struggle to achieve. The bulk of infographics around the web today tend to be vector art based, so when choosing a photo infographic you’ll automatically stick out from the crowd.

When using photographs in an infographic, it’s best to use clear and clean lines to avoid a too busy looking graphic.

8: Data vis

 data viz infographic

This is the classic infographic. Data is turned into charts and graphs, and when put together, a beautiful narrative unfolds. In this infographic, the experienced designer will use the right element to best represent the data and when done correctly, the power of data will do all the talking.

No matter what kind of infographic you end up with, be sure to have the right data and narrative in mind. The final type of infographic you choose will hopefully give logic to this, and readers will take away your message with ease. 

Fullsize version of the infographic: http://neomam.com/which-infographic-should-you-use-flowchart/

Danny Ashton

Published 2 April, 2013 by Danny Ashton

Danny Ashton is Outreach Director at infographic agency Neo Mammalian Studios and a contributor to Econsultancy.  He can be found on Twitter and Google+.

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Comments (1)


Mary Clark

This is great information for students! Digital and information literacy are critical skills. I've been encouraging my students to think about how they present information, and your article does a perfect job in showing just that. (Except maybe "number porn", but I'll forgive you for that--I know we're not your intended audience!)

over 3 years ago

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