Infographics vs Charts vs Digital Posters: The Difference is in the Data

Infographics vs Charts vs Digital Posters: The Difference is in the Data

Way back in 2013, Kim Rees and Dino Citraro of Periscopic posted a fantastic article called "What Makes an Infographic Cool?" in which they plainly explain the differences between the types of information and data visualization... including this wonderful little sketch comparison:

"The illustration on the left represents the way this information would be presented in a Digital Poster. The illustration on the right shows the same information as an Infographic. Both of these start the same information, but the Infographic allows the viewer to glean a deeper understanding through the addition of context."  —Kim Dees of Periscopic

"The illustration on the left represents the way this information would be presented in a Digital Poster. The illustration on the right shows the same information as an Infographic. Both of these start the same information, but the Infographic allows the viewer to glean a deeper understanding through the addition of context."  —Kim Dees of Periscopic

I'm not here to restate the salient points of Kim's article. I am, however, going to point out that in my personal experience, nearly 4 years later, anytime someone requests any form of “long, scrollable JPEGs with a lot of numbers and text and clever art”(1) they still refer to it as an infographic. 

I'm not sure if this is because of social media's fascination with the concept of infographics. The price point associated with infographic creation. Or if this is just the new GIF vs JIF debate. There is clearly value in all types of information visualization, and an application for each of these formats. But I wonder how much confusion has been created by the blanket infographic moniker. 

I'd like to hear about your experiences with requests for this type of work, so comments for this post are ON.

And in the meantime, I'll post some examples I've created for discussion reference.

 
 
  1. John Pavlus, “The Difference Between Infographics And Their Simpler Cousins,” 2 Minute Read (Infographic of the Day), Fast Company Design, August 6th, 2013, URL.

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