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How To Make A Good Infographic

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“The influx of information presented to us daily needs to be consumed and processed, requiring new methods of communication. Infographics, in many different forms, are at the forefront of this new way of thinking. The visualization of information is enabling us to gain insight and understanding quickly and efficiently, utilizing the incredible power of the human visual system.”—Jason Lankow, Josh Ritchie and Ross Crooks, Founders of Column Five.

In the fast-paced environment that we live in today, distractions are abundant, information is overwhelming and time is of essence—thus, we need to learn to communicate information in a concise and engaging way.

An effective medium that can be used to easily and visually convey data is “infographics”, an abbreviation of “information graphics”. It taps on the human visual system to communicate information, so that viewers can process, understand and retain details quickly.

But what makes a good infographic? And how do we make one that’s as impactful as it is attractive?

To help designers and those who have interest in infographics alike, founders of Column Five —a creative agency that specializes in infographic design and data visualization—Jason Lankow, Josh Ritchie and Ross Crooks have broken down the complex concepts of the medium for it to be easily digested, in their latest book ‘INFOGRAPHICS: The Power of Visual Storytelling’.

Having worked with a broad range of clients over the years, such as GE, Microsoft and eBay to name a few, taught information visualization courses at Columbia University, and given talks on infographics; the trio channel their unique knowledge and experiences to give an insightful perspective on the topic. Column Five’s works have also been featured in renowned publications including TIME, Forbes, Wall Street Journal and the Atlantic.

Their book INFOGRAPHICS gives tips and strategies on how to transform boring data into captivating content: learn how to find stories in data, craft a compelling and entertaining narrative, and explain using strong illustration to capture interest and provide clarity.

It covers topics from why we love infographics, to the dos and don’ts of information design, choosing the best way and right format to communicate data, the design elements that make a good infographic, how to broadcast an infographic, and what the future holds for the medium.

As there is never a one-size-fits-all solution to the many problems of today, infographics should therefore be uniquely catered to the specific problem it addresses. With this in mind, the book has been structured in a way to help readers learn and consume information that is relevant to their needs—with the freedom to leave out sections they do not need to apply.

The book serves as a guide to applications when it comes to designing visual information, and is one of those books that comes in handy and should be kept on the shelves (instead of being thrown out) for readers to go back and refer to.


All in all, INFOGRAPHICS gives readers a broader understanding on the human visual system, and on how to communicate via visual data.

For those who have a soft spot for infographics or are keen on being visual information designers themselves, this book is for you.

INFOGRAPHICS is available on Amazon at US$29.95.

Excerpted with permission of the publisher, Wiley, from Infographics: The Power of Visual Storytelling by Jason Lankow, Josh Ritchie, Ross Crooks. Copyright (c) 2012 by Column Five Media. This book is available at all bookstores and online booksellers.

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