Making an Effective Infographic

Infographic design is a form of visual communication that breaks information down in a pictorial sequence. If you have information about a study with statistics, describing a process, or a timeline, you should consider displaying these as an infographic. There are many benefits to infographic design, keep reading to learn more!

What Makes an Effective Infographic

  1. Legibility – the infographic should be easy to read. Limiting your fonts is best. Picking one to two fonts is ideal and then, for variation, apply different font weights.
  2. Tell a Story – great infographics guide the user from a clear start to finish. This can be done hierarchically, via a timeline layout or numbering.
  3. Harmonious colors – After layout drafts are created, it’s time to make color choices. It’s recommended to not use only saturated bright primary colors. Choose a primary color to be the main color in the design, a secondary color, and one bright accent color to be minimally used. The color pallet should have the same tones so the colors blend well together and, for contrast, pick colors opposite on the color wheel.
  4. One Key Message – Having one key driving message behind an infographic helps the content and imagery to have one purpose. One guiding message will be easier to design, less busy visually, and ultimately easier to understand. Think about what the main goal of the infographic is. Does it raise awareness or compare products? Asking these questions starts to formulate the content structure.
  5. Content Types – Categories to structure your content for textual and visual layout help to drive the message. Decide what fits your infographic from these examples:
  • Hierachically
  • Chronologically
  • Alphabetically
  • Categorically
  • Geographically
  1. Target Audience – Next, who is your target audience, who are you marketing to? Is it consumers, in-house/corporate employees, teachers, students, etc.? Knowing the audience impacts fonts, colors, and the overall look and feel of an infographic.
  2. Repeat this sequence – below is a list of infographic creation steps
  • Create Ideas
  • Research
  • Formulate a thesis
  • Generate an argument
  • What is the supporting data?
  1. Types - There are many types of infographics which is why no infographic looks alike!
  • Mixed Charts - this is when stats and facts are used
  • Informational list
  • Timeline
  • How To - this generally shows the process
  • Process 0 think flow chart
  • Comparison - comparing two products
  • Location - an example would be an infographic all about Chicago
  • Photo=graphic- image with text and imagery
  • Hierachical
  • Single chart
  • Visualizing numbers
  • Anatomical - visual (ex. A picture of a cow and text overlaid about what parts are commonly consumed.)
  • Visual Regime - metaphor
  1. Give credit where credit’s due – At the bottom of the graphic make sure to include the sources in small type, neatly listed.
  2. All about the visuals – The great thing about infographics is not needing as much content! Let the visuals tell the story, paired with minimal supporting text. The infographic will be legible and fun to look at with outstanding visuals! 

To sum up, infographics need to be legible and visual. It’s incredibly easy to load them up with too many images, have too many goals, and too much written content. Infographics are a great tool for visually breaking up information to tell a story, showing ‘how to’ steps, learning about a geographical location, a complicated insurance form, a game, a person…the list goes on and on. Infographics can be used for print, a website homepage or an image on an interior page, a broadcast email template, an explanatory pop-up… there are plenty of uses out there. Infographics help to break down information in a fun, unique, creative way. Trends are leading to more customized experiences for their audiences and with that - the rise of infographics! 

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