- Did you know that pairing short form text with symbols increases comprehension by 89%? Or that 90% of the information we retain is visual? And a popular study of visuals versus text shows that the brain registers visual information 60,000 times faster than any other form of communication. It's clear that visual communication is an extremely powerful method of getting information to the masses, but why do we respond to it universally in the same way? Possibly the best way to answer this question is through a simple test.
When I say the word "dog", what pops into your head? Was it this? It's highly unlikely that the letters -D-O- and -G- appeared in your head, and more likely something like this appeared instead. We don't think in text, because we are innately visual creatures. We have been communicating visually since the beginning of time. At birth, children learn stories by their visuals, before ever learning how to read, and even the text that we read is a series of symbols strung together to create meaning.
The difference though, is that those symbols, at least in the English language, don't depict any specific visual. So it's not as natural for us to quickly discern meaning from text in the way that we naturally do from symbols and imagery. When designing with visual communication in mind, let the visuals tell your story, and not the text. It's important to keep the innate science of visual communication in mind when designing. Ask yourself: If this were designed in a different language, would I still understand it on at least a high level? In this example, even though it's in a different language, it's clear that the infographic is about a specific type of whale.
By using visuals to tell the story, you're designing for people's innate senses, which is why visual communication is so powerful in the first place. While this course focuses on infographic designs specifically, it's important to note that there are many forms of visual communication. In fact, a common misconception is that infographics are the "end-all be-all" of visual communication. Visual communication though, is an over-arching genre, with infographics being just one specific aspect of it.
Other forms of visual communication include motion graphics and interactive content, to name just a few. There are also different forms of infographics. One can even argue that first type of visual communication to ever exist came in the form of cave paintings on walls. They told the story successfully, with visuals before text was even in existence. Before moving on to the next chapter, I encourage you to spend the day observing all of the visual communication in your environment.
You'll likely find that things you've always taken for granted, are innately visual messages. By focusing on visuals in your daily environment, you'll start to see what works and what doesn't. When faced with a design roadblock in the future, you can pull from this experience, and choose symbols that are commonly found in your surroundings.
In this course, Amy Balliett, CEO of Killer Infographics, shows members how to create engaging and successful infographics that will stand out from the crowd. She explains the science behind good visual communication, reviews the different types of infographics, and introduces design principles and techniques that will help you build engaging and successful infographics.
- Why visual communication matters
- Types of infographics
- Focusing on message and accuracy
- Researching the infographic
- Building a wireframe design
- Working in Adobe Illustrator
- Publishing and marketing your infographic