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Sprinkling a little infographic magic

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You’ve probably heard the saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ almost as many times, but did you know that there’s plenty of research into the power of the image? From Edgar Dale’s finding that people generally remember 10% of what they read but 30% of what they see, to Massachusetts Institute of Technology neuroscientists’ report that the brain can identify images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds.  

So what of the image’s close relative, the infographic?  At Filigree we’re experts in visual as well as verbal storytelling, and in our latest blog we explore why infographics are such a handy communication tool, plus share a couple of recent examples...

Why infographics?

Infographics are simply a visual way of representing information and data.  So why are they a popular and effective means of communicating?

  • Infographics are particularly useful when you have a lot of data which would take a long time to read, or complicated data that is difficult to convey simply.

  • They attract the eye with visual impact, plus contain supporting text information, so offer a great way of both capturing and holding attention.

  • Using infographics is great for engaging with your audience, as their visual and simple nature encourages people to think, understand and join up the dots.

  • Plus, an eye-catching infographic enables you to across a lot of information quickly and clearly but is easy and popular to share.

How we’ve used infographics

Filigree is one of a number of local specialists that makes up Team Catford, leading on community engagement and placemaking on behalf of Lewisham Council. The council is developing a masterplan to guide how Catford town centre will evolve into the 2030s.  As this is being developed in collaboration with Catford’s passionate and diverse local community, it’s been essential to listen to their views over the last couple of years.

Through hundreds of hours of community engagement events, meetings and activities as well as our online engagement platform, Commonplace, we’ve gathered key insights from local people.   The response has been HUGE, and the Council needed a way to present and summarise the large volume of information that we’d gathered and analysed - 1,628 entries to the platform (to the end of June 2018).  These included 20 different categories of response - from pollution to retail and business, to the locally-renowned Catford Cat! We worked with design agency partner 2150 to transform the data graphs and narrative we’d produced into an easily digestible, visual form.  The resulting infographic has been used at community events, in newsletters and online to continue the conversation with the local community and show how their feedback so far has been heard and captured.   

Similarly, our recent infographic for Catford Cornucopia was developed as a visual way of highlighting the local focus of the unique creative and entrepreneurial suppliers contributing their products to this pop up shop.  The icons also summarised some of its key successes in the past six months - including that for every £1 spent, 63p stays in the local economy compared to 40p in a larger business. The shop has also been an invaluable space for hundreds of Team Catford conversations about the emerging vision for the neighbourhood.

Our tips on what makes a good infographic?

  • Think about how you’re going to use the infographic - on digital channels, in presentations etc.

  • Make sure that your infographic is on brand, as this is a great way of visually reinforcing brand awareness.

  • Don’t use infographics for the sake of it, use them to present complicated or large volumes of data or where they can add immediate visual impact.

  • Keep it simple, stupid!

To find out more or if you’d like to work with Filigree on your communications project, you can get in touch with director Sam Holgate here.

About the author: Ali Birtwell works with Filigree as a social media executive. She is a freelance communications specialist with almost 20 years experience in the voluntary, public and private sectors.