Introduction to data visualisation and infographic design

September 19, 2019 - September 19, 2019

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One day, Foundation level. EdinburghPrice for SRA members: £202.50

*Prices for 2019 courses have increased to £270 per day; SRA members receive a 25% discount, paying £202.50*

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Infographic designer and trainer Lulu Pinney will provide a one-day hands-on workshop, introducing up to up to 16 people to the fundamentals of data visualisation and infographic design.

Data visualisations and infographics provide a great way of communicating insight – in reports, on social media, in presentations – and in the field of social research there's no shortage of material to work with, qualitative as well as quantitative. However there's little guidance out there on how to get started and how to get the best out of their use.

At the start of the process the range of possible outcomes can be a daunting prospect. Should you be going for a diagram, a dashboard, an interactive online tool? During this workshop we will consider all the factors that have an impact on the infographic you end up with – insight, audience, platform, resources – and look at the steps you need to go through to get to a good result.

While we will discuss the tools available for creating data visualisations and infographics – and have a go on laptops* in the afternoon – the emphasis of the day will be on understanding the principles that underpin a successful piece of work rather than mastering the tools to create it.

The day will involve both theory, explained with illustrated with examples, as well as exercises so attendees can explore ideas and learn for themselves.

* If you don't have, or can't bring, a laptop that's not a problem: you can join someone else to work in a small group just as effectively.

Learning outcomes

  • • How, why and when to use an infographic
  • • Defining a clear story
  • • Recognising suitable material to work with
  • • Optimising infographics for different media and audiences
  • • Understanding the role of design
  • • Confidence to have a go


  • • What are infographics?
  • • Infographics in social research
  • • The story
  • • What to visualise
  • • Storytelling techniques
  • • Introduction to graphic design
  • • A good brief
  • • The process
  • • Tools for creating infographics
  • • Common pitfalls

Who will benefit

Anyone who has an interest in creating or commissioning infographics.

Course tutor

Nigel Hawtin runs his own information design, training and consultancy company 

He originally trained and studied as a scientific and botanical illustrator using paint brushes, pencils and pens before becoming Graphics editor of New Scientist, where he stayed for 20 years. Starting in print at New Scientist, his infographics and datavis work now cover all medium, from print to online.

He started his own information design and consultancy business five years ago. His clients range from Scientific American and the University of Toronto to the BBC, The Guardian, the NHS, the IPCC, and many EU institutions including EMCDDA (EU Drug Dependency Agency) and EUROPOL. He also teaches and runs workshops throughout Europe and the Far East. He regularly writes about his work and loves to look back at what was done in the past

mrs cpd logo This course contributes 6 hours to the MRS CPD programme

Price for SRA members: £202.50. Use the discount code emailed to you.

VAT is not charged for SRA courses.

If you are unsure of your code, or haven't received one, please contact us.

Want to book 2+ people at the same time? We need to adjust the system to allow this, so email admin[at]the-sra[dot]

Registration on the day is from 9.00 - 9.30 am.


Cancellation policy: Full refund if cancelled 21 days or more from the course date.  No refund if cancelled 20 days or fewer from the course date.

Registrations for this course will not be accepted after 18 September 2019 at 12 noon.