We see in pictures – infographics and how they have captured our imagination

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Everywhere you look, in newspapers and magazines, and online in websites and social media you will see infographics – basically a cool way to combine statistics and art and allow people to read in pictures.  They really appeal to me probably because I am an arty person with a flip side that likes techie science things.

Statistics are fascinating – how many, how much, what percentage – they tell a story, but a story that isn’t often read.  Statistics can be considered boring –the realm of dry researchers.  But, now infographics has made them interesting and accessible.  Statistics are now trendy.

As a regular user of the social media site Pintrest I have become a bit of an infographic stalker.  Some are amazingly creative and works of art themselves.  Others are simply a slightly fancy version of something that can be created in Excel – just a posh pie chart really.

What is an infographic?

Infographics are poster-like images  - but basically they are charts –presenting data in visual form.  I saw this cool  quote o Forbes.com  ‘Think of an infographic as Microsoft PowerPoint on steroids, but without the constant droning of a speaker who doesn’t know you’ve tuned out of his or her slide presentation.’

So in my quest to get my head around infographics and why they have mushroomed  ….

Humans are visual creatures. We read with the visual side of our brain and according to the Social Science Research Network, 65% of us are visual learners.

Since social media exploded into our lives, we have a bizarre need to share – almost everything from when we are opening the wine bottle to the health of our pets, but on a more serious front, we want to share what we know and share what we have learnt.  A quick search on YouTube for tutorials will bring up thousands (and possibly millions) of tutorials on almost anything.  An infographic is a way of showing what we have learnt from research – but showing it in a visually appealing form – an infographic.

The exciting thing about infographics is that the right infographic can quickly go viral – sending statistics spiraling across cyberspace. Basically megasharing.

social gaming

How is this for a cool infographic which at a glance provides some interesting statistics on social gaming.  It comes from a cool site called  infographicjournal which is only one of many sites which collate infographics.  Don’t run off now but when you fancy a wander visit http://visual.ly/ and type infographics into the search. Visit www.pinterest.com for some great inspiration.

Make one yourself. 

You can go the expensive route and hire designers and statisticians to convert your information into this form, but this is the era of Google and accessibility to everyone.

A quick Google search will lead you to a site promising to make infographics – some are great, some are more limiting.  There are costs involved, but there are also sites which are free for casual users, but charge a fee to take it a step further. Try Piktochart ,

Last, if you need inspiration, check out Creative Bloqs list of 50 Brilliant Infographics.