It has been shown that infographics are the most effective method to present information in a memorable way. In my J452 class we were asked to create an infographic relating to our topic and I was absolutely thrilled. I have taken a few design classes and really enjoy expanding my knowledge of inDesign. I believe it is a strong advantage to any student aspiring to work in public relations to be able to create an eye-catching infographic. If you are able to display information in an organized and striking format, you can engage your audience more powerfully than your competitors.
For my topic, I chose to compare the representations of gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation in the film industry. I analyzed the Academy Awards film nominations from 2010-2014 and nominations of the 2012-2013 Cannes Festivals. In the four years of the Academy Awards there were 36 films and in two years, 41 films at the Festival de Cannes, amounting to 152 roles in total, 76 roles in each category. There were no preexisting statistics relating to this comparison, so I calculated the statistics myself. This really helped me understand more about my material and how to organize the categories.
During my experience constructing infographics, I have invented a few helpful strategies to help smooth the process.
- Map, Sketch, Repeat. Our professor, Kathryn Kuttis, had us sketch out our blueprint of our infographic. I had never done this before and it made a huge difference. I was able to organize my graphics efficiently and focus on the essential details. This also allowed me to have an opportunity to analyze and calculate the correct statistics.
- Don’t be a Chatty Kathy. 90% of information is processed visually. Don’t drown out an infographic with words! The graphics should speak for themselves without large amounts of text. It’s important to use an aesthetically pleasing color scheme that allows the viewer to digest the information in less than 5 seconds.
- Use Grids & Limit Fonts. InDesign can be incredibly overwhelming so it’s important to break your document down into smaller bites. By using grids, you can better display your information in halves or thirds. Fonts are your friends! When selecting a font palette, you want to only stick to two or three in order to not create “font soup” or a messy presentation. Fonts and grids can be used to add a hierarchy to your piece, differentiating your most important information from the lesser details.
- Edit, Edit, Edit. This infographic took me 4 different formats and 3 weeks to complete. Even with adequate planning and work time, infographics take a long time. The more opinions you can get from friends, professors or even better, strangers, the better. The clarity of your piece relies on your color schemes, fonts, and formats. Remember, you are creating your infographic for other people, not for yourself.