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Design opinion

Once upon an infographic...

A Psychology Professor needed a creative approach to capture the attention of some visibly bored people who had been forced to attend her class by their boss. It was clear from the minute she entered that none of them were interested, with some reading newspapers and magazines hardly acknowledging her presence. So, she cleared her throat and said in a strong voice, "Let me tell you a story." They all looked up, attentive, wanting to hear the story.

© serkorkin - Fotolia.com
Capturing attention

The storytelling concept has been adapted by marketers in various ways in an attempt to capture the attention of an audience with very short attention spans, too much information to process and very little time to do it in. Marketers have found infographics to be a winning formula in doing just that in a way that not only brings the idea across, but are visually appealing to look at too. Infographics have been around for a very long time, but have started trending over the last couple of years.

Natalie Coetzee, creative director at CREACHA, a through the line agency, says infographics have the magnificent power of creating order out of the chaos of superfluous information, making data or information easy to comprehend. "They break down complex subject matter into bite-sized chunks that are easier to grasp. It can make something as boring as statistics fun to read, understand and potentially easier to remember."

This is essentially what every marketer wants to achieve. Writing large amounts of copy is all well and good, but unless it's extremely important no one is interested in wading through volumes of information.

The pictorial qualities of an infographic makes the adage 'a picture is worth 1000 words' even truer. It presents seemingly complicated information in a story-like pattern that is visual and pictorial. Scientists have long argued that humans receive, interpret and process information better through vision and images than any other way. Marketers thus find the use of infographics extremely valuable.

Using infographics effectively

That being said, creating an infographic takes a lot of skill, time and patience. "The best infographics are definitely created by designers with a special skill set. They have to be somewhat centre-brain inclined since infographics are not just about creating pretty pictures. It's not about just showing a bunch of statistics or data. There needs to be a very fine balance between the two in order for it to be successful," says Coetzee.

Because of their wide success, infographics have become a bit overused and creating one that stands out has become increasingly difficult. But, if you know how to do them, and you do them well, they can be the difference between your message making a real impact or being chucked into the dustbins of your audiences' minds.

We all have a story to tell, but the ones that are told in a captivating and enchanting way are the ones easily committed to memory. And when your story is remembered, you have won the hearts of your audience.

How are you telling your story?

About Laura Chiweshe

Laura Chiweshe is a Content Manager at CREACHA - a full service Agency, where, with the rest of the CREACHAs, they have embarked on a journey to creatively change the world.
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