If you ask someone what an infographic is they may not be able to describe it, but more than likely it’s something they see everyday. Visuals are always helpful, especially with today’s information overload thanks to social media platforms and the internet. If we want to understand or communicate something quickly, there is no better way than to literally show people. Quick guides to almost anything, infographics have become a part of how we communicate. Food infographics are among the most popular, with countless ways to explain any concept. From seasonal food suggestions to advice on how to become a good cook, almost any idea can be expressed.
An infographic about food is specific in that it helps either explain a process, like describing steps in a recipe or separating out the ingredients list into a set of images. Basically, it’s simply breaking down information in parts. But how those parts are broken out is where all the freedom lies. With the goal of engaging the reader visually, you can be enticed to learn more about a topic or see the subject in a different way.
A food waste infographic has particular relevance as it is a global topic. New solutions and processes to deal with waste and how to define it are arriving from around the world. While language may not always be an efficient method to communicate these solutions with one another, with smartly designed infographics the information can be shared and utilized by almost anyone in any part of the world.
Even within food the subjects are vast. A coffee infographic for instance could be a visual list of different coffee types, a “best of” list, different coffee roasts, or be simply showing you different ways to order on the menu.
The deceivingly simple design actually has a lot of work behind its creation. It’s purpose is not only to convey information but is a subconscious message, that works on a psychological level persuading us to buy. Although you may not be in the habit of judging menu designs at different restaurants, if you take a second look you’ll notice that finding the information is usually quite easy and might even make you intrigued by the items, just by how it’s laid out.
The placement of different items on the menu - decoy dishes, the golden triangle and colors - all play a role in seducing or in some cases repelling diners to choose particular dishes over others.
And its use it not confined only to official or business purposes but has a wide appeal to the rest of the world. Pie Charts and bar graphs once considered territory of the “number-crunchers” found nestled deep within magazines and newspapers, are now one of the main tools of creative directors. But the techniques for ideating infographics can be different based on a respective subject.
With stylized diagrams designed to intrigue your curiosity, these graphics can be considered an an "amuse bouche" of information, leaving you wanting more. A simple healthy eating infographic can spark conversations about subjects of interest like wellness and sustainability.
Starting with data is always important and story is everything. Find key questions to be answered in the information to help form the idea to be communicated - accuracy is essential. An infographic should not be abstract, or distract from its message, having consistent measures, forms and complementary angles and colors. The more engaging the design, the more the user wants to interact with and study it, able to see the concept from different angles.
Understanding how to use infographics and playing with different styles is an advantage in all parts of the food industry. Looks are indeed a key factor but what’s important in the end is how it makes someone feel. A unique way to connect with customers before they buy, there are a great amount of already published studies and surveys providing data that can be interpreted to create diverse ways to understand food, for both users and creators. Whether they’re fun quizzes or interesting lists that makes us see what we didn’t before, food infographics are a unifying subject for everyone.