Infographics vs. Explanation Graphics; No Contest

This week’s Idea Email at looks at the disconnect between the role infographics played during the late 1970s and 1980s and the role played today by what are called infographics. The idea places special emphasis on the use by infographics pioneer Nigel Holmes of the term “explanation graphics.”


“In the past, the term infographics referred to a style of visual storytelling that sought to make the complex simple and the confusing comprehensible. Today, infographics is a term applied to a style of illustration that often displays bullet points of simple and familiar facts using quickly clichéd clip art and fat-lettered fonts. A better approach—that both serves customers and is shareable—is to use graphics that explain, interpret, teach and provide customers with a deeper understanding of something important to them.

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