Infographic Assignment

The Infographic Project is a three-week long project with three deliverables:

  1. A rhetorical analysis of the rhetorical situation for your infographic:
  2. An infographic that
    1. uses at least 2 data sets (3 sets for teams)–and provides citations
    2. has at least one original graphic
    3. has one original chart, table, or graph
    4. tells one story
  3. A memo directed to your instructor that justifies your visual design choices and illustrates your knowledge of visual communication.

Outcomes

By the time you’ve completed this unit, you’ll be able to

  • Search for and evaluate credible sources of data/statistics
  • Plan a visual text for a specific audience, purpose, context
  • Follow legal and ethical guidelines for use of images
  • Create appeals to ethos, pathos, logos, and kairos in text and visuals
  • Apply best practices in creating tables, charts, and graphs in technical and professional communication
  • Create and format appropriate graphics for technical documents
  • Provide effective, professional feedback on visual texts
  • Make effective use of feedback from colleagues and supervisors
  • Write a memo that reflects on your research processes, rhetorical and design choices

Recommended Steps

Step 1: Analyze Infographics as a Medium that Facilitates Visual Communication

Do an internet search infographic contests and infographics on topics of interest to you. Familiarize yourself with how Infographics are being used in social, personal, school, and workplace contexts.

Step 2: Submit a Rhetorical Analysis for an Infographic

This step is governed by invention processes. Your goal for this step is not to critique but to invent, to engage in thoughtful analysis about your rhetorical situation. Now is the time to find multiple datasets on a topic of interest. As you interrogate possible datasets, look for interesting and surprising trends in the data. What are differences and similarities across multiple datasets? Can you see a cause/effect relationship in the data? What interesting stories can you infer from your interpretation of the datasets?

Step 3: Review Intellectual Property Law Regarding Images

Images, like words, are subject to strict copyright laws. Corporations fiercely protect their logos, trademarks, and visual property.

Review policies regarding Copyright and Fair Use Laws governing Intellectual Property. Follow ethical and legal standards for using visuals in your infographic.

  1. A Guide to Online Images, Copyright, and Fair Use Law
  2. How to Use Creative Commons Images

Step 4: Develop Your Infographic

  1. Sketch the infographic elements on a plain piece of paper (or other means) before trying to actually create it.
  2. Engage the reader’s interest with an interesting Title and Subtitles
  3. Provide context using copy or visuals
  4. Provide the bibliographical information for the datasets you used.
    1. Use the citation styles your audience would expect (e.g., MLA, APA, or Chicago).
    2. Place the bibliographical information discreetly on the infographic. Use in-text citation or footnotes. Place References/Work Cited list in small font size at the end of the infographic.
    3. Engage in Critical Literacy practices. What is the Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose of the datasets your used?
  5. Guide the reader through the visual language (copy, graphic, photos) in a logical way

Step 5: Critique Your Infographic

Infographics, like traditional texts, are subject to composing processes. As with alphabetical texts, you’ll want to revise and edit your infographic over time.

The video below, The Most Common Design Mistakes Made by Non Designers, provides excellent suggestions for identifying common design problems.

Step 7: Submit Your Work

Submit your work as a .pdf or .jpg to the Course Management System

1. Submit your infographic
2. Submit the memo that justifies your visual design choices

Related Concepts

Infographic Assignment

Understand the three deliverables associated with the Infographic Assignment. Get a sense of the big picture regarding expectations. 

Infographic

Learn about

  • infographics as a medium of visual communication in workplace, school, personal, and social contexts
  • the use of infographics as a medium of visual language
  • the principles of visual language, including typography, color theory, Gestalt and/or CRAP design theory.

Rhetorical Analysis of Infographic

Complete this heuristic to successfully plan an infographic for personal, school, or workplace contexts. Analyze your rhetorical situation to assess the best design for your infographic. Review intellectual property guidelines governing the use of images.

Memo to Instructor Justifying Design Choices

Learn how to justify your design choices for the infographic assignment. Reflect on what you’ve learned about visual communication and infographics as a medium for visual language.