In an era of visual thinkers, a growing awareness of the power of design, and a proliferation of data, untangling the difference between various types of graphs can be a helpful exercise for businesses and designers alike. Two terms that are thrown around a lot these days are "data visualization" and "infographic." Are these two genres interchangeable? And are there some instances when one type of graphic might be more appropriate than others? Why does it matter?
The trend-watching site PSFK recently published (on May 5) an interview with Max Gadney, founder and design director of London-based data-design company After the Flood, tacking these very questions. Gadney has designed clear, beautiful, graphics for clients such as the BBC and public-relations firm Edelman. Here are some key points--with some added context:
Sure, infographics certainly have their place in the never-ending churn of information that we all consume--and which companies create. Just as blog posts (like this one) do. They can be made fast and convey data speedily. They're intellectual snacks, in a way, sustaining us until we get a more well-rounded report on a topic. But as lines sometimes seem to blur between infographics and data visualizations, it's key for both the authors and readers of each of these types graphics to make it clear what their goals might be when making, or consuming, both kinds.
Related on SmartPlanet:
The Secrets to Successful Data Visualization
Image: Nick Bilton/Flickr
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com