Holly Millward and Jo Anthony from Cochrane Communications and External Affairs Department discuss infographics to communicate Cochrane evidence. This article has also been cross-posted on the Cochrane Community blog.
What are infographics?
Information graphics (‘infographics’ for short) are graphic visual representations of information, data, or knowledge, intended to present information quickly and clearly. They are an interesting and exciting way to represent graphic content to tell a story. You can also use pictures to highlight the story.
Why are infographics important?
Infographics are commonly used across a wide variety of content. They are simply using graphic design to visualize content that has long existed in other forms. While they may not work appropriately or be useful for all types of content, infographics can add valuable context to existing stories by using visuals to show relationships in data, anatomy, hierarchy, chronology, and geography.
In a nutshell, sometimes they can say so much more – and more effectively – than the written word.
How is Cochrane using infographics?
Many Cochrane groups are exploring ways of using infographics to translate health evidence. Visually Cochrane has been experimenting and discussing options for a while. Teams are using them to show Summary of Findings tables, report outcomes, and grade the quality of evidence. Other Cochrane Review Groups, Centres, Branches, and the Communications and External Affairs team are using infographics to disseminate key messages; to communicate the impact of Cochrane Reviews; and to improve understanding and reach to wider internal and external audiences. It’s a very exciting time!
How do you produce an infographic?
Before you create your infographic, be clear about:
- Who do I want to reach?
- What do I want to say?
- What’s the best form for achieving this?
There are a variety of options for creating infographics, from PowerPoint to online tools to design software. We suggest that, if you are new to infographics, to make use of the online tools available such as Piktochart or Easel.ly. If you’re looking to advance your skills, Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, or Photoshop are good options for graphic designers and those familiar with creating infographics. To see an example of an infographic made in InDesign and Photoshop, click here.
- Do you want to use just graphics or a mixture of graphics and stock images?
- Can you divide your content into sections using your brand colour pallette?
- Can you add charts/graphics to help illustrate key figures?
And always remember to cite the reviews mentioned, and your group’s contact details!
Infographics are now just another format of visual content, so why not have a go! Here’s a link to the Cochrane how to guide on producing branded infographics.
Additional information for creating your infographic: