#ADT2015 Session: Make Powerful Infographics Fast

#ADT2015 Session: Make Powerful Infographics Fast

Mike Parkinson, founder of Billion Dollar Graphics, gave a highly informative presentation on creating infographics.  Since I am not artistically inclined, I will have difficulty putting this into action, but I do understand enough to help guide a graphic artist. During his presentation, he addressed two important elements to consider while putting together an infographic. He also shared free or cheap resources to make it happen.

Through a couple quick demonstrations Parkinson showed us why what we see trumps what we hear. He then moved on to the two main elements necessary for creating an infographic:

  • 50% Conceptualizing
  • 50% Rendering


Parkinson explained that we process graphics 100x faster, they are 86 % more memorable, lead to 400% improved learning, and have a 43% likelihood of success. Naturally, he showed this with graphics.

A concept should address these elements:

  • Audience
  • Message – can audience arrive at the message by the graphic
  • Explain or prove

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. ~ Albert Einstein

The resulting concept should show a message with a benefit, method, and proof. It is not what you want to say, it’s what you want to cause. What is it? How does it work?


Parkinson showed how to take a message and transform it into an infographic. Begin by first chunk info into small elements. Next assemble the chunks into a logical flow. Reassemble to tell a story. He noted “facts tell, stories sell.” Finally, visualize it by selecting an appropriate graphic for each element. If you can not give a reason for an element, it comes out.

Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever. ~ Indian quote

When creating a visual representation, Parkinson shared these three:

  • Quantitative graph
  • Substitution method
  • Literals

Free or cheap resources

Finally, Parkinson shared a number of resources with us to include:

As I noted, this was a very informative presentation. It was fascinating to watch him transform a concept into a rendered graphic.