Callum is full stack developer at Lean Labs, with strong ties to web and graphical based design. He lives in the North East of Scotland and is a huge Football (Soccer) supporter. In his spare time, Callum enjoys reading up on the latest web trends and visiting art museums and galleries.
Trends: they're not just exclusive to fashion. In fact the Internet and all of the ideas that have come along as its offspring are the true trends of our generation. As we’ve spoken about in previous blog posts, one of the latest sub trends of the Internet are infographics, with their search volume rising 800% in the last two years alone!
Like so many others, you're probably trying to take advantage of this huge surge in popularity in infographics (and you should be). Its important that you know where the infographic trend is going and how to execute well when the opportunity is in front of you. Ask any surfer, it is much better to predict the wave and ride it, than to be caught off guard and watch the wave pass you by.
Infographic "Trend Watching" 101
To understand any trend, you need data, and lots of it. The best place to start with infographics is to become a student of what's being published, forming your own personal collection of the newest and greatest infographics. A pretty easy start, right? Plus, there's a few hot spots where infographic creators and marketers are collectively storing and sharing their infographics. Pinterest and Visual.ly are two such trendy hangouts.
Pinterest is a great way to curate your collection of inspiring infographics, in fact you'll find you can simply follow the boards of others who have already pinned fantastic infographics for you.
Visua.ly is a service in which you can contact infographic specific graphic designers and commission them to create infographics, based on the data you provide them. As a result, visua.ly also incorporates a gallery of the work produced through their service as well as those submitted by others, and we highly recommend it as a place to follow infographic trends.
For this blog post, we did exactly that and pulled together some examples of infographics to display what we feel are currently hots trends and to demonstrate up & coming trends with infographics.
Infographic Image Backgrounds
We have seen a few infographics which are designed upon a background image, which sums up the basis of the infographic. In most of the examples we have found, these infographics have been based around a specific location with the image acting as a representative of said place. Here a few examples of this style:
These are visually powerful infographics, with content that could easily quickly be utilized by tourism boards in the near future. So, look out for a potential rise in this style due to its effectiveness and relevance to tourism.
Maps in Infographics
A map is the obvious solution for location-based infographic data. Everyone knows what a map looks like, and therefore infographics using a map as a basis are very quick and easy to read. They also add an additional visual relevance to the data they are representing so it is a win all round. Here’s a few examples of map infographics at work:
Unique Chart for Infographics
The traditional infographic is normally built using a top-down reading process with graphical icons representing data and stats in a clear and uniformed process. A great example of this is our “The Infographic Blast Off: 10 Tips to Launch Your Infographic into Cyber Space” infographic which you can see here. However, graphic designers are starting to change the way they are representing data into weird and wonderful layouts and graphs. This trend is starting to grow in popularity due to the sheer eye catching effects an unusual graph or layout creates when it is viewed alongside other “traditional” layouts and graphs. Here’s a small collection of graphs we found that do this:
2014: Death to the Static Infographic | Rise of the Interactive Infographic
There’s a huge shift in the infographics online. The traditional graphic-static infographic is becoming too mainstream from those of us lucky enough to be blessed with the ability of future sight. A new trend is forming; the interactive infographic. It can come in many forms including video, embedded into websites, or a whole web app in itself. We have gathered a few examples to illustrate this state-of-the-art trend.
This trend is becoming more apparent despite it’s slow growth. This can be safely attributed to the time required to produce an animated graphic video and the additional skill set required, compared to producing a static graphical infographic. Never the less, the results are stunning and can keep us engaged for significant long periods of time. Oil’d by Chris Harmon is a great example of such animated infographic:
With the expansion of HTML 5 and the, seemingly impossible to limit, state of website development, it should come as no surprise, while still a visual and interactive delight, to see websites now being created which are, in effect, one giant interactive infographic. These have been, to little surprise, unofficially dubbed “Webgraphics”. Futureofcarsarching.com and desktime.com have two great examples of these types of infographics in play, well worth checking out.
Through technology like Socket.io and Node.js, it is quickly becoming an everyday occurrence to create live data systems within the web environment easily and quickly. As such, the world of infographics has evolved to utilize these technologies and as a result, Live Data infographics have been born. These infographics are very similar to the web/browser based infographics, with the exception that each is powered by a very powerful and sophisticated backend data crunching processes. These backend processes are built to gather live data from various user data generation source points (such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and then crunched together to create some truly inspiring interactive infographics. Webtrends created such an infographic for the 2012 Grammys which you can see here. On the night the data was streamed live and the replay shows the fluxuation in the infographics’ elements as the live data stream changed the way the data was represented.
Now the moment you have all been waiting for: our future prediction on the trends of infographics. As I stare mysteriously into my crystal ball of knowledge I can see…
Ok, ok I’m just pulling your leg here. The honest truth is we don’t know where infographics are going, but each new trend will be about connecting with your audience and presenting useful information in an engaging way. Technology is only the means of engagement, it is not the end goal in itself. User response is what will shape the landscape of which infographics will be produced and what will be successful.
The traditional static graphic infographics are likely to continue their meteoric rise in popularity until such a point that hey are not longer engaging, and we've got a long way to go until that happens. Their relative ease to create is a key reason we don't see them fading anytime soon. At the same time however, we will start to see an even greater rise in purely animated infographics, web graphic and live data fed infographics. We will see new types of infographics form from experiments of the gifted and the talented. As long as there’s information to share, there will be a need to engage users in a visual and memorable way.
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