3 brilliant ways to illustrate complex ideas

Data, data, data. It makes our digital world go ‘round, yet it can be incredibly difficult to visualize—especially when you’re using it to tell a story or support an idea. You know what I mean if you’ve ever slogged through survey results or demographic statistics. Aside from being overwhelming, loads of data can be—quite frankly—boring for some audiences. 

The good news: you don’t have to lose your audience’s attention to a sea of arduous details. Instead, you can leverage data visualization to show what you’re trying to say in a visually exciting and meaningful way. Data visualization uses graphic elements to represent your data, making it easier and more interesting for people to digest important details and take action. Yes, this is what you want.

To help you visualize the visualization, here are 3 ways we have helped clients illustrate their complex ideas so they could better communicate with their audience and move their organizations forward.

Simple, straightforward design

When you have multiple sources of data that are all important to you, it can be challenging to condense it into a simple design. Yet that’s exactly what we accomplished for the Community Foundation of Southwest Washington 2021 Covid Report. The Foundation wanted to call out the various donor groups that helped support their fundraising efforts, which directly benefited people in their communities. 

Icons to the rescue. We selected relevant icon graphics to represent the different donor categories and break up the information into quick, digestible “nuggets” of data. This helped give readers an “at-a-glance” experience that was straightforward yet visually interesting.

Tell the story within the graphic

Data can be a super effective way to tell a story by adding depth to words. And when you have plenty of words, you can pair them with graphics to help you communicate in a new way that’s engaging and inspiring. 

In working with World Vision’s WASH Program, we were tasked with bringing their first year success story to life through visuals that could be quickly interpreted. To achieve this goal, we created custom graphics that complemented and gave deeper meaning to the text.

Collaborate with the content creator

When it comes to effective data visualization, hands down there is no substitute for working closely with the creator of the content. And in our case, this was 100% true as we collaborated with NPC Research and the Oregon Arts Commission (OAC) for their World of Work Report.

To bring this messaging together, we relied on the teams at NPC Research and OAC to explain the complex graphs, charts, and interactions of data so that we could distill and illustrate these ideas. The project culminated in an easy to read and visually engaging report with an illustrative, bright, and handmade tone.

Give your data its best life yet

If you’re planning your next annual report or business plan, and you’re wondering how to communicate all the details in a not-so-boring way, then reach out to Germinate Creative. We specialize in illustrating complex ideas with custom graphics and next-level design.