What are infographics?
The term infographics refers to illustrations and animations used to visualise a message in a simple and clear manner. Infographics are particularly suitable to illustrate statistics, complex phenomena and facts. News media have included infographics for many years in their storytelling techniques. Brief explanatory films containing infographics are often called explainer videos. They are especially useful to explain complex conditions related to research or as part of a training programme. An explainer video can be a good complement to a news item. The content and the actual story in the production should always dictate your choice of infographics.
Examples of productions featuring infographics to a greater or lesser extent:
- Statistical infographics (e.g. in printed materials, presentations, PDF files).
- Animated infographics.
- Explainer videos (combination of infographics and other filmed material, such as an interview).
- Pure film (e.g. a news film in which single words, figures or diagrams can be included as simple graphics).
How to use infographics
Infographics are appropriate when you need to communicate information quickly, such as in a presentation or a brief information film. Always start by considering whether infographics are the right solution. The aim of infographics is to make complicated information easy to grasp – not the other way around. The purpose of infographics is not to “lighten up” a boring text or layout. They should provide an obvious added value for the reader/audience.
Depending on the type of production and the size of its intended audience, different expertise may be required:
- Writer – writes the narrative.
- Graphic designer/illustrator – produces graphics such as figures, diagrams and illustrations.
- Animator – adapts your infographics for film or digital video presentation.
If you do not have access to these skills internally, you can engage one of the University’s procured agencies.
Productions can vary a great deal in appearance, but they must always follow Lund University’s graphic profile.
The aim of adapting the infographics to the graphic profile is to ensure a degree of unity to the University’s productions – there is great value in the reader/spectator recognising the originator of the material. Not having to come up with new graphic expressions for each new production also saves time for the person producing the material. Pay particular attention to the following:
For all infographics
- The Lund University name must always be included.
- Font: wherever possible, use the Lund University fonts Garamond and Frutiger or the alternative fonts Times and Arial.
- The basic colours in your infographics must always be Lund University’s profile colours, but you can complement them if necessary. Because the University’s pastel colours (pink, light blue, light green, beige and grey) appear too pale to be usable in infographics on many screens/projectors, you can use a slightly darker colour scale, see below.
- Diagrams and images generated in research contexts can be difficult to render according to our graphic profile. They should be reproduced as they are, but always in a framework consistent with the graphic profile.
If you are working in the Adobe package, there is a colour file (ASE file) with these darker swatches available, which you can install in your programme. If you need lighter shades, use the normal profile colours and their shades at 50 per cent.
For film and animated graphics
- Use the standard outro with the Lund University logo.
- If the film features interviews, use the standard name tags.
- News agencies/media sometimes edit out the standard LU outro with the logo. It is therefore a good idea to include the logo in white or black in the upper-right corner, in order to identify the origin of the production even when the outro has been cut. Use the produced templates and remember not to place other text or images over the logo.
- Feel free to complement films and animations with supporting text and figures, as it is increasingly common to view films without sound.
Expenses and payment
Each project/production is to budget for infographics and illustrations exactly as for new photographs or illustrations specifically required for that production.
grafiskprofil [at] kommunikation [dot] lu [dot] se
anna_v [dot] johnsson [at] kommunikation [dot] lu [dot] se
+46 46 222 70 21
petra [dot] francke [at] kommunikation [dot] lu [dot] se
+46 46 222 03 16
For help producing an animated film or explainer video, contact:
catrin [dot] jakobsson [at] kommunikation [dot] lu [dot] se
+46 703 71 83 87