How to design an infographic to show complex economic relationships

“I have been designing infographics since before folks called them infographics,” smugly declares LSi‘s Claude Cardot, who now leads the designisgood.info team. “You know Pixar’s Inside Out where different emotions are embodied by miniature people living in a little girl’s brain? It is as if Claude has his very own Edward Tufte in his,” joked a client recently.

Inside Out: imagine Claude Cardot's brain

Many infographics try to say too much, with so much going on at the same time, on the same page, that one can get dizzy just trying to decipher what is being said. Claude boils down complexity and extracts the most valuable essence of what needs to be said visually, using a simple but compelling visual style.

On his most recent project with CitiesAlliance, a global partnership for urban poverty reduction and the promotion of the role of cities in sustainable development, Claude had to start with over 500 words of text detailing the complex relationships between equity, economic growth, equitable access to public goods and services in an urban context.

In record time, the productive dialogue with our partner’s technical specialists had boiled down to two key messages supported by a set of key data points.

The infographic was then printed as a large roll-up (5 x 1 meters) and used throughout CitiesAlliance digital and print publications.

Infographic showing visually the complex economic relationships involved
Infographic showing visually the complex economic relationships involved