The best infographic design makes complex information eye-catching, shareable and easily digestible. Most importantly, it plays a crucial role in the increasingly visual world of marketing.
Infographics remain one of the best forms of visual content in the digital world today. They catch the eye, and they can publicize a great deal of information in a short space of time.
But not all infographics are born equal. You can’t use a free tool and generate a five-star infographic every time. It takes a great deal of care and thought to create an infographic that people are going to respond to. Here are some of our best tips that will help you to design stunning infographics.
Information graphics or infographics are visual representations of information, data, or knowledge. They are used where complex information needs to be explained quickly and clearly. A picture is worth a thousand words, yes?
Infographics are a versatile tool – they can be just as useful for a presentation, a blog article or even a printed brochure or report.
Infographics can allow you to give your readers a lot of information fast. But you don’t want to overload them with information. An infographic should be as specific as possible. Even if the various facts and figures can apply to multiple subjects, they should be positioned and placed in a way that all joins on one point. A clear purpose will allow you to hit your target audience and will prevent confusion. It’ll also make it easier to make more infographics out of limited resources.
You should never have to explain what a part of your infographic means. Infographics are designed to be consumed in a matter of minutes. Your point should become clear right from the headline and with every piece of information within the infographic.
It should be immediately obvious why you’ve included a certain point. If you find yourself hesitating or questioning why something is there, that means it’s too complicated. Remove it or think about how you can position it in a way that will make it less complicated.
Infographic design … review your target audience
Coming up with an infographic idea is half the battle to creating a killer infographic. And the way to come up with great infographic idea is to figure out what your audience wants.
The infographics with the most traction, most attention, and most virality, are ones that meet your target audience right where they want it most.
One mistake that I’ve seen people make when creating an infographic is that they try to choose something that is generically popular rather than specifically relevant to their audience.
Your goal is to create an infographic for your audience, not necessarily for the whole world. Keep it specific, relevant, and targeted.
Killer headline is necessity
Your infographic’s headline is extremely important. This principle is the same as with any great blog article. The infographic doesn’t get any attention if it doesn’t have a great headline.
Good headlines will have these features:
- They describe the infographic
- They grab the user’s attention.
- They are short enough to understand at a glance. 70 characters is a good length.
If you don’t have a powerful headline, your infographic simply won’t get viewed. That’s all there is to it.
Keep it simple
One of the advantages of infographics is that they can distill advanced ideas into a simple visual form.
But the inherent advantage of infographics can be their demise. An infographic can become needlessly complex, creating a mind-numbing cognitive overload rather than an “Oh, I get it” experience.
Like everything else in life, infographics are better when they are simple.
Infographic design tips … focus
Simplicity, discussed above, is ultimately about focus. Don’t just make your infographic a potpourri of facts and figures. Make it a streamlined and focused on a single topic.
Infographics are not attempts to randomly assemble all the data you can compile. Instead, an infographic is intended to drive a single, focused point.
Infographic design inspiration … use an infographic product
I have tried many infographic products and found several good ones. The best I have found is from Visme. Why the best, you may ask? For its flexibility and design techniques simplicity of use.
Here are the simple steps to follow for building with this product:
Create a Visme account
Choose the first template under the Infographics category
If you don’t already have a Visme account, you can create one for free at www.visme.co with just your name and email.
Then, choose the Infographics category from the list of content options and select the first template, as seen above.
Choose a header
Choose a header style and drag and drop it onto your canvas area
Next, simply click on the Content Block icon from the toolbar on the left side of your screen to browse through dozens of ready-made blocks, including a variety of header and footer layouts, and body content blocks, such as numbered lists, timelines, and charts combined with text.
Once you’ve decided on the type of infographic you’d like to create — whether a timeline, comparison or list infographic, among others — you can start by choosing one of the header styles from the drop-down menu. Simply click on the desired content block and position it at the top of your canvas area.
Drag and drop body content blocks
Choose from a variety of body content blocks, such as numbered lists, icons, images, charts, and maps.
Depending on the type of infographic you want to create, you can then choose from a variety of body content block types, such as images or icons combined with text, numbered lists, timelines or charts and graphs.
Simply click on the desired block and drag it to your area. Position it below the previous block and release the mouse button.
If you change your mind at any point, you can also click and drag your mouse to create a selection box around the objects you want to remove and press delete.
Select a footer
You can select from a variety of footer styles.
Once you’ve positioned all of your body content blocks, you can then choose from several footers, where you can cite sources, including links to social media profiles and insert your logo.
Customize your design
Customize virtually anything within Visme’s editor.
Next, insert your text into the infographic by clicking on the text boxes and typing in your content or copying and pasting it from a document. You can modify virtually any aspect of your infographic to your liking, from font styles and images to icons and chart data.
To replace icons, select the Shape & Icons option from the toolbar and type in a keyword relevant to your topic in the search bar. Drag and drop your icon into place after deleting the previous one.
To replace images, simply double click on the image placeholder and choose the desired image from your saved files — it will automatically size itself to the replaced image.
Alternatively, you can also make use of Visme’s image bank by clicking on the Image icon from the toolbar and searching for the most relevant image.
Apply color selections
Apply a color scheme to your entire infographic with one click.
Once you’ve customized your infographic with your content, you can select from a variety of monochromatic color schemes. Apply them to your entire infographic with a single click.
Create custom content
Create your custom content blocks and save them for use in future projects.
In cases where you weren’t able to find just the right content block for your needs, you can also combine your own desired elements — icons, text, images, shapes, charts, graphs — and save your custom content block for later use in future projects.
Simply click and drag your mouse over the elements of your custom content block and select the Save to My Blocks option from the bar at the top of your screen, as seen above.
Share your project online or download for offline use.
You can share your project with the world or download for offline use. Click on the Publish button at the top of your screen to generate a shareable URL. To control who can view your project, select the Private option and create a password.
To print your infographic, click on the Download tab from the pop-up window to download your infographic as an image or PDF file.
Finally, you can share your visual statistics with the world by either publishing it online or download your project as a JPG, PNG or PDF file.
To conserve all interactivity and animation effects, click on the Publish button at the top of your screen to generate a URL which can be shared with anyone. If you’d rather have a static version of your project, click on the Download tab from the pop-up window and choose your desired file format.
Become a more effective visual communicator.With Visme, you can create, share or download your visuals with no design training.It’s free! Take a tour.
Infographic design examples … easy to view
Sometimes, an infographic gets lost in its resizing.
The designer makes it huge; then the developer has to downsize it. In the process, the readability gets lost.
Many infographics have a variety of font sizes. Make sure that the smallest font on your infographic can be seen without too much difficulty.
The words in the infographic below have become too small to read easily.
The infographic should be easy to read and view, whether the user clicks to enlarge or not. 600 pixels wide is a good width to use.
Have a storyline
Think of an infographic in the same way as a short story. It should have an introduction, a middle part, and an end. The first part of your infographic should state what the issue or problem is.
The middle part should detail the process by which that problem or issue is being addressed.
And the end should show what can and should happen after that issue has been addressed.
Here’s an example: study this one and see how its storyline quickly grabs the reader’s attention. You should consider adopting this style to suit the stated purpose of your infographic, but the same principle will apply practically every time.
Employ white space
An infographic is an exercise in graphic design best practice. Any graphic designer will tell you that white space is important.
There’s not enough white space in this infographic (which might be its point).
Good infographic design includes a balance of visual elements with the necessary negative space to help guide the viewers as they look at the infographic.
Infographics are supposed to be big. We get that. But go too big, and you’ll start losing people
We recommend a limit length of 8,000 pixels. Anything longer, and you’ll start to presume upon your user’s attention span.
Along with a length, limitation comes a necessary size limitation. Users might be on a slow connection, so be courteous, and keep your infographic to 1.5 MB.
Pay attention to the flow
The greatest strength of an infographic is that it can flow both cognitively and visually.
An infographic is like a good story. It can convey an idea by taking you from one phase to another, sequentially and seamlessly. The dots are all connected, and the ideas integrated.
There’s power in being able to move a viewer through a thought process. But some infographics falter on this very point. Instead of moving the viewer through a thought process, they simply throw a bunch of information into the graphical form.
When you create an infographic, do so by creating flow. The flow will help the user pay attention and to be persuaded by the message that you are presenting.
Even when an infographic is viewed from far away, it has obvious flow. Each section has a number, a headline, and a different color background. Its comic book style helps us to read each section better. Every one of the visual elements serves to create a more powerful flow.
Just because you’re making an infographic doesn’t mean that you’re released from needing to cite your sources. Where did you get your data? Cite it.
Try to use sources that are as up-to-date as possible. Using old stats, especially in an industry where information is always changing, makes you seem out of touch.
We usually cite the source of my infographic data at the very end of the infographic.
The bottom line
Infographics are still alive and well. If anyone is saying infographics are dead, they are either seriously misguided or just haven’t seen any really good ones.
You can make a really good infographic. Just keep these tips in mind, and you’ll spare yourself a lot of wasted effort.
What else can you add? What are some infographic tips that you wish you knew a long time ago?
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Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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