Infographics or information graphics are visual devices intended to convey quickly and clearly complex information, knowledge and data in a compelling way. They were first used about 40,000 years in cave drawings. In modern times, we have been using them for various purposes. For example, the schematic map representing the London Underground System was created in 1908. In 1857, English nurse Florence Nightingale used infographics to persuade Queen Victoria to improve conditions in military hospitals – using stacked bars and pie charts depicting the number and causes of deaths each month of the Crimean War.
From the Vitruvian Man to bananas
One of the most iconic infographics is Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man shown in the featured picture. This drawing, which has become a cultural icon, is based on the correlations of ideal human proportion with geometry described by the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius. Today infographics cover any topic – from the benefits of a banana to complex global issues. A Google search yields a fascinating array of infographics.
Infographics are exploding as a medium for marketing especially in social media. Check out the video below. I am developing infographics for Sage Vita and plan to share it soon.