An Introduction to Infographics

ImageAn infographic is a marketing tool that has become quite popular in recent years. Research reports are not always the most captivating thing to read, so marketing and design companies have figured out a way to visually represent data that may previously have been too complex for mass consumption. Because research and data are so crucial to education and literacy programs, we’re here today to share some information we’ve found useful to get you started.

What is an infographic? According to Mashable.com, an infographic is a “graphic visual representation of information, data or knowledge. These graphics present complex information quickly and clearly, such as in signs, maps, journalism, technical wiring, and education” (http://mashable.com/category/infographics/). Basically, it’s a way to add a visual element to data that can help call out your most important pieces of information.

Why infographics? One reason an infographic is a great tool is it allows you to visually highlight an important piece of data that might have gotten lost on a traditional research report. Another reason to use an infographic is that it’s a great way to quickly make a point with data. Educators are very busy people, so having a way to quickly make an impact can make all the difference.

And don’t be discouraged by some of the infographics you’ve seen out there. You can get extremely involved in the graphic design aspect of an infographic, but the resources here will make it easy to integrate some visual data into your research without having any background in graphic design.

Below are some examples of infographics, as well as some resources for you to create your own. Good luck and have fun!

Infographic Examples
http://issuu.com/literacy_for_all/docs/rr-i3_research_highlights_1_ (This infographic was created by The Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative and is a good example of having a  balance between text and visuals.)
http://www.coolinfographics.com/
http://visual.ly/education-infographics
http://rossieronline.usc.edu/special-education-infographic/

Resources for Creating Your Own
http://visual.ly/
http://piktochart.com/
http://www.easel.ly/
(One thing to keep in mind is that some of the websites that allow you to create infographics require that your infographic be made open to the public.)

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