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What are infographics?

Infographics or information graphics are visual representations of information, data or knowledge.

By presenting information in a compact and creative format, infographics are able to quickly convey knowledge and engage its viewers.

What Are Infographics
Infographics are visual presentations intended to communicate complex information quickly and clearly. The devices include, according to Doug Newsom (2004), charts, diagrams, graphs, tables, maps and lists. The basic material of an infographic is the data, information, or knowledge that the graphic presents.

Most Infographics are fun to read and provide valuable information.

History of Infographics goes back to the prehistoric age

In prehistory, early humans created the first information graphics (later know as infographics): cave paintings and later maps. Map-making began several millennia before writing, and the map at Çatalhöyük dates from around 7500 BCE. Later icons Pie chart from Playfair's Statistical Breviary (1801) - What are infographics?were used to keep records of cattle and stock. The Indians of Mesoamerica used imagery to depict the journeys of past generations. Illegible on their own, they served as a supportive element to memory and storytelling.

3000 BC
Ancient Egyptians use heiroglyphic symbols to tell stories of life, work and religion.

William Playfair published the first data graphs in his book The Commercial and Political Atlas. The book is filled with statistical graphs, bar charts, line graphs and histograms, that represent the economy of 18th century England.

Playfair introduced the first area chart and pie chart in Statistical Breviary.

First edition of Harry Beck's Underground map, 1933 - What are infographics?1933
1st tube map in London showing only lines to depict public transit routes and stations.

Munich Olympics were the venue for Otl Aicher to introduce a new set of pictograms that proved to be extremely popular, and influenced the ubiquitous modern stick figures used in public signs.

1970 – 1990’s
Infographics widely used in publications to present information in a more comprehensive manner.

2000 – Now
Web based infographics become more interactive, adding animation, user interaction to convey information.

How Do I Create An Infographic?
Read more on our Do-It-Yourself Guide to Infographics.

The Infographics Archive is a digital library offering links to the worlds best Infographics on the web. If you are visiting this page because you are interested in submitting an infographic to our infographic archive please follow this link to our submission page.