Research Infographic Design

The Economist Intelligence Unit

Meet the client.

Economist Impact (formerly the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)) is the division of The Economist Group that provides data, research and analysis on a range of industries and topics of global significance. Its team of economists, industry specialists, policy analysts and consultants work with clients in the financial and corporate sectors as well as with academic and governmental institutions.

Our challenge.

To analyse the potential of the impact of AI – the ability of computer systems to think and learn as humans do – on businesses and governments and how they engage with consumers and citizens, the EIU published a report called Intelligent Economies, sponsored by Microsoft.

Our job was to produce a set of memorable research infographic designs promoting the key findings of the report, which was compiled from a survey of 400 senior executives in financial services, healthcare and life sciences, manufacturing, retail and the public sector, operating in France, Germany, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, Thailand, the UK and the US.

The infographics also served as a tool to help educate business leaders on the potential of AI and to promote white papers and articles on the main research.

Our approach.

Two features influenced the way we designed the set that consisted of four long-form infographics; they needed to follow specific EIU style for fonts and the placement of various elements and they needed to reflect report sponsor Microsoft’s preference for clean, clear, bright and minimal designs as well as its own colour palette.

As the client wanted infographic designs that looked consistent, using our experience, we found engaging ways to show what was a lot of individual facts and figures. We used simple visualisation tools; pie charts, bar charts, and size comparisons that were integrated into icons representing each industry; that way the chart or graph was part of an illustration that made it more interesting.

Another design technique we used was to vary the way data was shown, not only in each infographic, but across the set, so that the reader stayed engaged and wanted to scroll to see the rest of the information. It’s a basic truth and a key element of any set of similar-looking infographic designs, don’t make them too samey. 

Our work.

The whole project comprised of:

  • 4 long-form infographic designs
  • 5 sector-based articles
  • A main research report
  • Animated infographic

The impact.

We’ve been working closely with EIU for five years. Our work for them includes producing a whole range of visual content to publish and promote their research, including white papers, infographics, presentations, animations and social media assets.

This project was immensely satisfying to put together because it was a reminder of what we do so well and we only had a week to do it from start to finish. We were very pleased with the result and so was the client, according to the feedback.

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