Information Graphics (infographics) is the use of visuals to represent information (such as using string to plot energy uses). Infographics allow complex information to be conveyed quickly and they illustrate information that would be overwhelming in text form, it acts as a visual shorthand for everyday concepts.
A common area for the use of infographics is in mapping. Visual information is used in favor of words as it improves clarity and also allows the design to be more universally accessible.
Illinois: Visualising Music
Jax de Leon
Graphic designer Jax de Leon deconstructed the album Illinois, by Sufjan Stevens in order to represent various aspects of the music which are often a hard to quantify. One area looked at was the repetition of lyrics within the music:
This image uses concentric rings to represent the use of words for the song 'the Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out To Get Us!'. The most common word (the) is makes up the outer circle with less frequent words moving closer to the center. The use of a geometric shape allows this design to communicate clearly whereas if it were just text it may be a lot more jarring.
This image plots the locations that are mentioned in the album in the order that they appear within the tracks. It is a scaled replica of where the places geographically occur and is plotted using string and pins in a similar method I used to map energy usage.
London Underground map
The Underground map was designed in 1933 by Harry Beck. The use of type along with the visual of the structure of the tube lines makes for a design that communicates efficiently to the user.