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:
- 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
Free or cheap resources
Finally, Parkinson shared a number of resources with us to include:
- 10 free tools for creating infographics
- Book: Jelly Effect
- Book: Do-It-Yourself Billion Dollar Graphics
As I noted, this was a very informative presentation. It was fascinating to watch him transform a concept into a rendered graphic.