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The Art of Data Visualizations

Briana Campbell is the newest addition to the Zemoga team, and she’s giving us an artist’s perspective on the importance of data visualizations. By Briana Campbell (@MsMatchGirl) OK.  So infographics are everywhere.  Road signs, weather maps, statistical data, subway maps – infographics is a suddenly trendy term for something that’s been around forever. (Literally, forever Read more

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Briana Campbell is the newest addition to the Zemoga team, and she’s giving us an artist’s perspective on the importance of data visualizations.

By Briana Campbell (@MsMatchGirl)

OK.  So infographics are everywhere.  Road signs, weather maps, statistical data, subway maps – infographics is a suddenly trendy term for something that’s been around forever. (Literally, forever – the first infographics are easily prehistoric petroglyphs and cave paintings).  Human beings are visual creatures, able to quickly take in a lot of data at a glance.  With everyone constantly on the go, with the 24-hour news cycle and a constant barrage of information, using media from newspapers to televisions to laptops and iPhones, infographics is the most surefire way to convey a message.

And everybody’s using them.

Phil Gyford, a London–based designer pokes at fun at our current obsession with infographics in the clever illustration above, using infographics to demonstrate that they’re not always as necessary as they seem.  Whether you agree with this sentiment or not, the fact of the matter is, infographics – as we know and use them now – are integral to the way that we relay and process information in our modern age.

Infographics are a way to tell an old story in a new manner.  They are a useful tool to present dry data with a twist.  While their use may be nothing new, from histograms to Venn diagrams, they’re being used in new and exciting ways on new media platforms.  With knowledge condensed into quick and easy to comprehend bits, it’s easier to spread your message across over a variety of platforms when you use images instead of just words.

If you take a peek at this graphic on Good on the currently very hot topic of sustainable fishing, you will see, at a glance, which fish, crustaceans and mollusks that are the ones that are appropriate for you, depending on which state of the union you’re in.  While the information on this chart comes from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Site, you would have to click through a lot of pages and siphon through tons of information just to garner the same knowledge that you find at a glance through the infographic.

With people spending so much time getting their news and information on smart phones and iPads these days, it seems only logical that you would want to put your message forth in the way that’s not only the most attention grabbing, but easiest to absorb at a glance.

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