Welcome to “Information Graphics.” My name is Cheryl Graham, I’m an illustrator and for many years I worked for a daily newspaper, producing charts, maps and diagrams like the ones we’re going to cover in this course.
So first, what do we mean by information graphics? Simply put, it is a visual representation of some kind of quantitative information, or data. A graphical element – a line, a bar, or a symbol – is used to represent that data. Color, size and shape are used to describe that information, or qualify it.
It seems like so-called “infographics” are everywhere these days. So much so, that there’s even a bit of a backlash against them. But, done right, information graphics, can — and should — make things easier to understand. It should also make the information faster to comprehend and easier to navigate, without dumbing it down.
People don’t take the time anymore to read paragraphs of data. It doesn’t mean that we’re getting dumber, but there are just a lot of other things going on in our lives, and LOTS of information competing for our attention. The same information that took two paragraphs to describe can be conveyed faster — and better — in visual form.
In this course, you’ll learn the fundamentals of how to organize, interpret, and visualize data; we’ll look at how to identify the message in your data, and how to decide which kind of graphic is best to represent that information. The course will mostly be about best practices, with the overall goal of making the information clear and understandable by giving it shape and context.
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