November 22, 2011

Design Change

An Infographic for All Occasions

Authors: Kevin Budelmann, Yang Kim

Topics: Layouts, Random, Studio Secrets

I have to confess: I love infographics.

I recently saw a HOW Interactive Design article about Infographics that was quite interesting.

For me, infographics remain the quickest way to allow your audience to scan a large amount of dense information easily. Not only that, but if you did them well, they could become works of art. And like art, infographics often were a labor of love. You didn't do them to stay within the budget. You did them because making the complex simple was an obsession.

All of that said, I wonder if the age of infographics as high art might be over. As the HOW article suggests, infographics have become ubiquitous, and I agree. It seems like there's an infographic for everything. Fast Company posts an infographic of the day. (Although a recent post about the redesign of Bloomberg's website by Frog is a brilliant example of how data visualization can still be done in way that's bold and original.)

As with anything, infographics risk becoming a commodity. By commoditizing them, I wonder if we're also zapping their power. How long before the time comes when the beautiful visualization of hard data stops being a beacon of truth, and just looks like one more confusing muddle, passed off to make some company look smart?