One common misconception about creating infographics is that more is better. The more data, the better! The more eye-popping design, the better! Make those charts as complex as can be, turn that bar chart into a circle to make it more interesting… or just come up with a whole new type of chart that no one understands.
It doesn’t have to be this way. If your data tells a good story, sometimes all you need is a simple chart – one single chart – to tell it. No need to add more facts and figures, simply to expand on the argument — or to garnish everything with flashy images and eye-popping illustrations.
The graphic below illustrates this perfectly. Designed by Visually Creative Director Jared Fanning, it compares the racial demographics of America’s three most popular professional sports leagues – the NFL, MLB and NBA – to the overall racial composition of our country. U.S. demographics data comes from the Census Bureau and sports demographics, from the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida’s College of Business Administration.
The data itself offered an interesting insight into the world of professional sports — and the best way to communicate it was with the simplicity and straightforwardness of a single stacked horizontal bar chart:
Baseball, it turns out, is truly an all-American sport. Well, at least as far as racial composition goes.
Have you created or come across simple, yet effective graphics that tell powerful stories recently? Send us your work and we’ll feature the best examples here, on the Visual.ly blog.
Aleks Todorova is the Editorial Director at Visual.ly. Follow her on Twitter to chat about data visualization, infographics and, occasionally, sports.