2011-05-09

Future Design Careers: Getting started in Infographics

This article follows up the post on Information Visualization Design careers with some practical tips to get started. Some of you gave feedback that this was an area of design that interested you and wanted to know how to get started.

Like any area of design a portfolio is everything. Start by building up a infographic pieces and add these to the general design portfolio. Use some publically available statistics on an interesting topic – perhaps something that is currently in the news. Approach a charity and pitch to do an info graphic for them pro bono. Once the portfolio contains a few infographic pieces then the designer can add infographic to their list of skills.

At present there are few jobs that are infographic only positions. Most will be design jobs where you may get the opportunity for infographic work. For now, an in-house designer in a progressive communications department probably has more opportunity to create infographics than a studio designer. An in-house designer could approach the Information System department an offer to work with them to produce infographics.

While infographics will be a big part of our future, the current state of affairs means that infographic designers must create opportunities for themselves by selling the idea of infographics to their clients. Current clients just do not understand what an infographic is or how it can be useful in decision making.

Current infographics are flat 2d pieces that are generally posters. There is opportunity to produce data visualizations that are in other formats like on web sites or large displays. However these will require some coding ability on the part of the designer. A designer who already has ability to code could utilize their skills to produce live data visualization graphics.

Finally, aspiring infographic designers should participate in the growing infographic community in order to stay up with latest trends, get inspiration and build an understanding of what good infographics are. Some website links follow.