Though graphic design and infographics have become popular tools in the market over the years, people still get confused between these terms and what exactly these terms mean.
What is graphic design? What is an infographic? What is the difference between graphic design and infographics? The confusion between these two terms is understandable. These words not only overlap each other but can be open to individual interpretation as well.
In this article, I’ll tell you what is the difference between graphic design and infographics.
What Is Graphic Design?
The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) explains graphic design as “the art and action of planning and projection of ideas and experiencing the visual and textual effects.” In other words, graphic design is a way to communicate certain messages and ideas in a visual way. These visuals can be used as a business logo, or as complex as page layouts on a website.
The designer Alexandros Clufetos says that, “Graphic design takes graphical and textual elements and implements them into multiple types of media.” It helps the business and producers to connect with the consumers by conveying the message of the project, product, event, or campaign.
Most businesses and producers used graphic design as a way to advertise their products and sell them to customers. Companies use graphic design techniques on their websites to convey complicated information in a digestible way through infographics, or businesses to develop an identity through branding, among other things.
Although graphic design is mainly used for commercial purposes, such as advertisements and logos by companies and businesses, it’s also used in other contexts and graphic design work is often created naturally as a means for the expression of art.
Types of Graphic Design
You may be surprised to know that all graphic design isn’t the same. There are various sub-specialties that need certain skills, specific knowledge, and in some cases, their own specialty software.
Here are different types of graphic designs:
Marketing and Advertising Design
Marketing and advertising design is the most common type of graphics design. It’s typically dedicated to working on any visual element for a brand, to promote and advertise their product. Most agencies and freelancers offer this type of graphic design.
Corporate design is dedicated to the visual identity of the company. A corporate designer is a person who is an expert in the ins and outs of their company’s brand and often plays an important role in the execution of its visual elements and overall brand strategy.
Publication design is usually found in magazines. The main focus of publication designers is on magazines, newspapers, and other print publications. This includes working with the editors to ensure that text, photographs, advertisements, and other elements are laid out in a way that persuades the reader to keep going.
Package design mainly focuses on the packaging of the product. They have specialized knowledge in how a product’s box not only advertises a product and makes it attractive on the shelf, but protects it in transit as well. This needs a certain type of skills and knowledge that all graphic designers don’t have.
Motion designers work on creating images and they need special skills. Motion designers have special knowledge to create these file types. They put their skills and knowledge to work on creating graphic interchange format (gif) files, short animations, app movements, and more.
Web design is quite different from web development. Web development is a separate skill that doesn’t necessarily require graphic design knowledge to execute, web designing includes applying many graphic design basics and principles to improve the online experience.
What Is Infographic?
The word infographic is a portmanteau of the words “information” and “graphic.” An infographic is a form of visual communication meant to capture attention and enhance comprehension.
Nowadays, the infographic has become the broadest descriptor of a specific type of visual communication that includes graphics showing data, copy, or both. You’ve probably seen infographics in magazines, newspapers, online, or on the wall at your doctor’s office.
Infographic has rapidly become quite popular over the last decade, mainly due to the use of this medium for both branded and editorial content on the web.
Although infographics become quite common, still people do wonder what exactly is infographic. There are many different thoughts and opinions about infographics, but we believe the term should remain open and inclusive as the medium evolves.
Different Types of Infographics
There are three different types of infographics. Each one has its own purpose and can be a good way of storytelling if used properly.
Data Visualization Infographic
Data visualization is actually representing the data visually. It can be considered an artistic science since it uses design aesthetics to increase comprehension of data, synthesis, and in the end, recall it. Whether it’s a huge pattern or a single point of data, data visualization converts that into a visual language that you can easily understand.
In today’s time when there’s a large amount of data available, this is quite important. We need to make sense of numbers and be able to easily share the stories and convey the message to the consumers.
In application, the practice of data visualization is based on heavy numbers and typically is what a purist would describe as a “true” infographic. However, as with all infographic designs, the display method comes from the context and desired message.
Traditional data visualization is more complex since they are often attempting to display a great number of data points. In some cases, data visualization graphics functionally serve as an art piece and no specific message can be extracted from them.
Information Design Infographics
Information design is similar to graphic design, it focuses on the display of information and communication with the customer effectively. It’s a broad category, that covers many functional display disciplines.
It’s different from data visualization because it doesn’t include specific data points but rather concepts or other information, such as process, anatomy, chronology, or hierarchy.
In your daily life, you may come across information design in the form of flowcharts, organizational diagrams, or timelines, clarifying structure and order in a way not possible in form of text only.
Although most publishers have been using infographics for decades, there’s a change in the style and type of visual content they are producing. This trend has also been prompted by the rise of social. Infographics have become quite common and popular content, so publications are adopting the medium to better engage readers.
In previous years, editorial infographics were restricted to the simple bars, lines, and pie charts, using illustration solely in more complicated features to map an area or show the anatomy of an object.
But now there has been a rapid increase in the number of publications utilizing graphic content to replace more traditional editorial elements.
Why are Infographics Used?
Infographic is a great way to make difficult information easy to remember. They can be helpful in the following situations:
- For providing a quick overview of the topic
- To explain the difficult process
- To display survey data
- To summarize a long report
- Compare multiple options
How to Design an Infographic?
Creating an acceptable infographic needs to express a balance between giving enough information and avoiding overwhelm. To design an infographic we follow these steps:
|Steps to Design an Infographic||Explanation|
|Choose your audience||To decide who’ll benefit from your infographics|
|Set goals||To make infographics more valuable to your audience|
|Collecting information||To collect the right material so that it matches your goals|
|Choose the right template||To pick and personalize the infographic|
|Review before publishing||To review the infographic and see if there are grammatical errors or other mistakes|
Graphics Design vs. Infographic
Graphics design and infographic design are two different tools and use for different purposes. Both of these tools need different types of skills, and it’s not necessary that if you have the expertise in graphic design, then you can create infographics as well.
Graphics design is a vast field, it contains a lot of different types of categories and is used for many different purposes. Graphics design can be used for icons, illustrators, logos, and artwork. It includes creating logos for businesses and creating packaging for companies.
Whereas, an infographic is a term used for representing information in the form of graphics. They represent data and information about certain things in the form of charts, and tables.
Graphic design and infographics are very popular tools used in the market to convey a message. These two tools are mostly used by companies and publishers to communicate with consumers and customers. They help the customer to understand the message easily.
However, these two terms are different from each other. Although people do get confused between these terms, still they are different from each other and require a specific type of skill and expertise.
Graphics design means a visual representation of something. Graphics design can be used for creating logos and designs for companies. Whereas, infographic design is used for content visualization. It helps people to retain the information and understand the message easily.