This infographic was submitted to us by 12 Palms Recovery Center.
This graphic makes clear use of typography, iconography, and some data visualization to tell its story. Especially effective elements are the map of relative percentages of drug-related pregnancies by state and the breakdown of pregnancy risks by drug. The organization and layout are quite clear, so it’s easy to follow this infographic from start to finish.
There are a few instances where I wish that more illustration or data visualization had been invoked. For example, the first section relies almost entirely on text to explain the total numbers of births and babies born with birth defects. The stopwatch imagery used for “247 births per minute” and “4 births per second” could have easily integrated a pie chart or other tool to illustrate the numbers. One we reach “This means (3) out of 100 babies…” the data viz steps in at last!
I’d also like to see more iconography integrated into “How Drugs Can Harm Your Baby”. The icons used for the harmful effects are excellent, but because the drugs are just spelled out and not illustrated, and the numbers of usage, birth defects, etc. are also just written out, it still ends up looking a little text-heavy. This would have been a great opportunity to invoke more data visualization, too, to show how many pregnancies are affected by each drug. If you read through, you can see that marijuana affects about 100x more pregnancies than ecstasy — but this would be easier to grasp with pictograms or a bar chart.
I think the graphic would also benefit from a greater variety of colors in the human body diagram in “Drugs and the Areas Affected.” Once you start looking at the body, it’s hard to make the distinction between Meth and Cocaine, Steroids and Marijuana, etc. since the colors are so close together.
In all I’d give this infographic a B. It’s easy to get through, data-rich, and doesn’t drag on too long or leave much out. It could just be enhanced by reducing the reliance on text and typography a bit, and making some of the data easier to interpret.0