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Why have infographics become so popular?

Infographics Interpretation and Creation






Background Infographics are everywhere you turn: A Google Search of “Infographics” on 4.28.18 yielded 58,500,000 results. Why have infographics become so popular?


According to a report conducted by Infographic World, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are known to improve learning and retention by 400%. Some of the reasons for this dynamic include the following:


• Progressively shorter attention spans, thanks to smartphones;


• The fact that humans absorb information faster with corresponding graphics (we may forget what we’ve read, but remember what we’ve seen); and


• Viewers tend to be triggered emotionally by images. Source: Forbes Magazine


An infographic is a claim expressed through a visual metaphor, conveying the fresh understanding of relationships, expressed through a judicious selection and arrangement of visuals, evidence, and text acquired during inquiry research within a discipline.” (Abilock & Williams 2014)


Topics range from the mundane:




Figure 4 – Analysis of the Beatles, via Tableau






To the most serious & consequential:


 Figure 7 – Maternal Healthcare Crisis, via Amnesty International


 Figure 8 – Tornado Tracks, John Nelson, via IDV Solutions


Why Infographics?


Visual literacy is one of the acquired competencies that 21st-century learners (Rychen & Salganik 2005) should have in order to be able to communicate more instantly and universally which can be realized with visuals (Metros 2008). Due to a ‘pictorial turn’ (Felton, 2008), visuals became more substantial for communication and meaning making, which emphasizes the inevitableness of being visually literate.” (Kibar & Akkoyunlu 2017) (Emphasis added)


Visit the Visual Literacy Initiative webpage to learn more about the Visual Literacy Initiative at


The University of Toledo.


“Currently, with the integration of various digital tools and learning mediums, a shift in ‘roles of students from consumers to creators has become necessary in education’ (Johnson, Adams, Becker, Estrada, & Freeman 2015). This trend has inspired the use of digital tools and


mobile technologies in class to encourage students to create their own content or knowledge


rather than simply consume content. Methods of learning tasks and environments that foster student creativity are therefore needed.” (Kibar & Akkoyunlu 2017) (Emphasis added)


The ability to use Infographics is becoming an important skill for many professions


Infographics aid marketing and business development. The state of communications is increasingly visual. At this point, nearly three-quarters of marketers rely on visuals in their social media messaging. Of those who’ve used infographics in the past year, nearly all have found them effective.


• 74% of marketers rely on visuals in their social media messaging


• 56% of companies queried use infographics.


• 84% who’ve used them consider the medium effective




Figure 9 – Infographic of Infographics, via Threestory Studio


The use of Infographics is not limited to the business world


Infographics are helpful in any field where:


• You need to visually represent survey data in a compelling and easily understood format


• You need to simplify a complex concept or issue


• You want to make a comparison between two ideas


• You want to organize a series of interesting facts


• You want to raise awareness about an important way that grabs your viewer’s attention


• You want your message to be remembered by viewers/readers


For a deeper dive into the specific applications of infographics and for example of good infographic design please read “10 Ways to Use Infographics”


Infographic Assignment


(Guidelines are adapted from: )


In this assignment, we use Piktochart, but you may use another platform such as, Canva, etc).


What is an infographic? Infographics are visual presentations that summarize complex topics in short phrases, charts and icons. Unlike a slideshow, an infographic should be able to “speak for itself,” and should present all the relevant information in a concise format. Infographics are particularly valuable for projects that summarize facts, provide evidence, persuade an audience or teach others something new.


Outline of steps for creating an infographic:


Watch the brief tutorial on YouTube:


1. Research and gather information that is relevant to your topic:


· For the purposes of this assignment, your infographic will focus on anything Hospitality Related


· Review some examples of successful infographics related to your topic area (in this case, Hospitality organizations). I find Google images to be a good resource for this review process.


· Study the use of space, the relationship between text and images, color and layout. Note aspects that you find particularly effective, as you might want to use the layout in your own infographic.


2. Draft your information/data into concise statements (Infographics should never contain long statements)


3. Select images or icons that support your information or data


4. Plan an organizational scheme that makes sense of the conceptual relationships of information/data.


5. Go to (or other platform) or other infographic software ( you can find a concise summary of best available programs here: )


6. Be sure to cite sources for images and information (we recommend limiting yourself to images that are available on Creative Commons , or other platforms that offers only public domain images)


7. Arrange elements in Piktochart


8. Once you are satisfied with your design, download the infographic as JPEG or PNG.


9. Upload your image to your final project proposal (when appropriate)


Some General Tips for Using Piktochart:


1. Be sure that text in infographic is brief, clear and formatted in a way that effectively conveys (and not detracts) from your message.


2. Be sure that all images have a consistent style throughout the infographic


The Rules by Amy Balliett, “Learning Infographic Design” (


1. Always remember “con-text”


2. Prioritize your goals


3. People care less than a goldfish


4. Good content is 50% of a successful infographic


5. Use correct visualization throughout


6. Be a storyteller!


Grading Criteria:


1. Does the infographic show evidence of careful planning? (see step 5)


2. Are the ideas clearly communicated? (see steps 3 and 4)


3. Are the images and facts cited properly? (see step 7)


4. Is the information based on high caliber resources?









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