Infographics is one of two new fashionable terms used nowadays to refer to statistical charts and graphs. The other term is visualizations, which replaces such archaic words as graphs, charts, pictures, diagrams, and illustrations. Sometimes the term is affectionately shortened to data viz by its really cool practitioners.
In the infographics/visualization/data viz movement there are two basic schools of thought. One school emphasizes principles of artistic design and the other emphasizes information clarity. The first prizes graphics that are beautiful and appealing, while the other judges visualizations based on how informative they are.1 Many adherents of the first approach to graphics are marketing and advertising professionals. Lest you presume that they subscribe to the motto
ars gratia artis . . . [Read more]
1 Of course, it is possible for graphics to be simultaneously beautiful and informational. Well-designed graphics can be elegant in their clarity and visual appeal. See Edward Tufte’s book Beautiful Evidence.