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As Infographics Become Prevalent, How to Apply Them Is More Important Than Ever Before

WILEY (Businesswire) - 06 September 2012

As Infographics Become Prevalent, How to Apply Them Is More Important Than Ever Before

Column Five cofounders Jason Lankow, Josh Ritchie, and Ross Crooks provide insight into effective infographic creation in their new book, Infographics: The Power of Visual Storytelling

The influx of information presented to us daily needs to be consumed and processed, requiring new methods of communication. Infographics, in many different forms, are at the forefront of this new way of thinking. The visualization of information is enabling us to gain insight and understanding quickly and efficiently, utilizing the incredible power of the human visual system. – Authors of INFOGRAPHICS

HOBOKEN, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The popularity of infographics (an abbreviation of “information graphics”) has boomed in recent years as brands seek to communicate in a concise, engaging, and visual way. Information design and data visualization are now employed for everything from interactive interfaces to content marketing. By understanding the many applications of this medium, a brand can harness the power of infographics and transform into a truly visual company.

In the new book, INFOGRAPHICS: The Power of Visual Storytelling (WILEY; ISBN: 978118314043; Paperback & E-Book; September 2012; $29.95), Column Five cofoundersJason Lankow, Josh Ritchie, and Ross Crooks provide insight into effective infographic creation. With DIY functionality, INFOGRAPHICS teaches readers how to find stories in data, craft a compelling narrative, and represent it visually for any audience.

INFOGRAPHICS delves into the power of visualization, examining why it is so effective in aiding in the comprehension and retention of complex information. Those wishing to communicate effectively will learn about the variety of applications of infographics, such as internal presentations, interface design, editorial and marketing purposes, and more.

The book also outlines the unique best practices for the development of each type of application, and its helpful dos and don’ts enable everyone from marketers to data analysts to individual designers to avoid some of the common pitfalls in getting started. INFOGRAPHICS also looks at the future of the medium and how visual storytelling will evolve in the coming years.

The design of information is nothing new—but the way we apply this type of design today is. INFOGRAPHICS: The Power of Visual Storytelling provides readers a modern framework for how to use visual communication to attract, inform, and ultimately entertain an audience.

About the Authors:

Lankow, Crooks, and Ritchie are the three cofounders of Column Five, a leading creative agency specializing in infographic design, data visualization, and digital PR. They have worked with hundreds of clients representing a range of industries, such as GE, Intuit, Microsoft, Sony, eBay, and the World Bank. Their work has been featured in Fast Company,The Atlantic, TIME, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, and GOOD magazine. They speak on the subject of infographics frequently, including recent talks at the Federal Reserve and the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), and teach a course on Visualization of Information at Columbia University. Visit

Q&A with the Authors of INFOGRAPHICS

  • Why did you decide to write a book on infographics?
    • In working with hundreds of clients in many different industries, we have seen an incredibly diverse set of applications for the use of infographics, all of which can be very valuable if done well. Many companies understand the appeal of visualization but are unclear on how it can best be applied to meet their objectives. Their scope is often very narrow, so we encourage our clients to take a more holistic view in implementing visual communication throughout their organization. We wanted to share the knowledge and insights we have gained over the years to help others identify these opportunities, and advise them on the best way to execute this practice.
  • What makes a good infographic?
    • In the book, we employ the Vitruvian principles of utility, soundness, and beauty as the standards by which the quality of an infographic can be assessed. A good infographic should be useful in communicating information clearly and concisely. The information should be valid, and the visualization technique should represent it accurately. Finally, the design of an infographic should appeal to the viewer.
  • Why have infographics become so appealing?
    • As a society, we have access to more information and data than ever before, which can be quite overwhelming. Infographics are a tool to distill and present this information in a way that can be quickly processed, understood, and retained.
  • How important are best practices when it comes to infographic design?
    • Accurate data representation is essential. An individual experimenting with infographics can afford to make mistakes, but the stakes are much higher for a global brand with an audience in the millions. Whether an inaccurate visualization is intentional or not, “lying” with your data is something that must be avoided. As a wider audience becomes more visually literate and a framework for assessing quality continues to develop, inaccuracies will come under increased scrutiny.
  • Where do you see the future of visual storytelling in 10 years?
    • Over the next decade, visual communication will become ubiquitous, as we develop a broader understanding of the human visual system’s power in communication, which is currently underutilized. The greatest opportunity will be in visualizing data, which will be used to inform our daily decisions. We will continue to mature in our ability to track, extract, and visualize meaningful data that will provide a level of insight currently unimaginable.

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Heather Condon, Publicist