I fell in love with Graphic Design somewhere between my Senior year of high school and my Freshman year of college. Growing up, I had always loved art- but Design was something different… and I loved the challenges that came with it. With art, a creator could throw anything on a canvas and call it artwork. It’s beautiful… in a completely non-measurable, unregulated, lawless sort of freedom that drove me insane.
"I needed art- but art with rules".
I needed to know the building blocks that would lead to visual success. I needed to master the components that would not only make my audience use the piece; but love it, digest it, to remember it. When I discovered design, my life changed.
Fast-forward approximately a year into college, when design basics had been tamed and we were encouraged as young design students to explore our niche of design. For some, this was photography; interior design, web design, game design, graphic design, animation… the list goes on and on. But for me, I fell in love with Graphic Design, and more specifically, Infographics. Creating an infographic is content visualization; marrying together high-quality visual content with ‘simple’ facts, numbers, and icons that captures attention, enhances comprehension, and encourages sharing with other viewers. By taking large, complex data and presenting it in a visually pleasing, easily-digestible composition, an infographic could not only be a beautiful masterpiece but also a functional tool. Art… but with a mission!
Infographics, having been around since the 1970s, have most likely been a part of your daily life without you even knowing it. Examples of these would be pie charts, line graphs, timelines, and even flow charts. But in the last decade, thanks to the popular platform Pinterest, beautifully artistic infographics have been on the rise. Instead of taking an unembellished, information-based approach to infographics, designers began to make Infographics into a more creative, unique approach. These infographics took on their own “style”, conveying a different mood depending on the information presented, with detailed illustrations, vibrant colors, styled icons, and strong photography.
So how do Graphic Design and Infographics tie into each other? As I mentioned earlier, graphic design is an overarching, broad category of design. Each sub-category of graphic design required specific skills, knowledge, and specialties. An infographic utilizes the rules of graphic design to achieve a visual representation of information and data. As an infographic designer, it is your responsibility to grasp graphic design elements such as line, color, space, icons, typography (etc.) and use them to organize information key points that convey a clear message but also help the reader retain the information presented to them. Strong information with high-quality visual content creates a piece that will not only be visually satisfying but achieve its “mission” in helping the audience understand and remember the piece.