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With humans processing visual elements 60,000 times faster than text, infographics can be an efficient part of your branding strategy. Infographics aren’t just readily understood at a glance though. They’re also shared more than any other content type (including lists and videos), so they can have a much wider reach than other branded materials. Creating and branding infographics also help establish your firm as an expert in your industry. So what makes a good branding infographic? Ensure yours has the following elements.
Image via Flickr by Horia Varlan
There are probably colors your customers already associate with your business. These hues might be present on your company logo and website. Where appropriate, it makes sense to include these already identifiable colors in your branding infographic.
However, keep your infographic’s topic in mind and make sure your colors aren’t at odds with it. Colors have strong connotations and associations that make sense to society as a whole. Breaking with these established conventions can be jarring for your audience. For example, suppose your company’s corporate colors are red and black. While these colors might suit an infographic about workplace dangers, they’re less appropriate for an infographic about environmental conservation. Colors associated with nature, like green and blue, would be more appropriate for this eco-conscious subject matter.
Does your company have a style guide outlining its preferred typefaces? These fonts, which are already part of your corporate identity, are obvious choices for your branding infographic.
If your business doesn’t have fonts it regularly uses, you’ve got a little more creative freedom. However, that doesn’t mean anything goes.
Remember, the key purpose of any typeface is to convey information. To do this it must be easily readable. Decorative fonts might be eye-catching, but they’re often hard to read. Monospace and script fonts can also be difficult to parse. Arial, Century Gothic, Futura, Tahoma, and Verdana are all excellent choices for the body of your infographic.
You may use a different typeface for your headings to help them stand out. You can choose a more creative font here, as many fancy fonts are more legible in small doses than in larger bodies of text. Just don’t make your headings too ornate. Very elaborate fonts can be difficult to read, even when used sparingly. Don’t use any more than two different font styles or three different font sizes on any single infographic though, as too many different types can confuse the eye.
Your typeface isn’t the only text element that brands your infographic content. Companies with an effective branding strategy also have a clear voice. Does your company speak like a quirky millennial, or does it have a more serious, authoritative voice? Perhaps your company’s voice has a more nurturing, mothering tone.
Your target audience will dictate the best voice for your company. Think of who your key demographic is, including their age, gender, education level, and other key identifiers. Then consider how you would speak to this audience.
Whatever your company’s voice, it should speak through your infographic. Use consistent language with the right tone throughout your infographic to keep this piece of marketing on brand.
Your logo and URL are two of the key ways people identify your company. As such, they deserve a place on all your branded material, including your infographics.
It might be tempting to place these company identifiers front and center, but have patience. These branding elements should always go at the bottom of your infographic, beneath its main content. This placement ensures you’re serving your customers and their needs before meeting your own.
If your content is compelling enough, your viewers will scroll through and get to the bottom of your infographic to read these key details. When members of the public feel you’ve met their needs first, they’ll be more likely to respond positively. If they really like your infographic, they’ll probably want to find out who made it and where they can go to learn more about your company. They might even share your infographic with their social networks. Have faith in your infographic content and stick to this placement convention.
Your logo and URL should also have an appropriate scale for your infographic. Scale is vital on infographics, with the largest elements signaling to viewers that they’re the most important. It might be tempting to make your logo and URL large to ensure they’re not overlooked, but resist this urge. At a time when nearly seven out of 10 consumers don’t trust advertising, large logos will likely turn your audience off. A more discrete logo and URL will still stand out if you surround them with sufficient white space.
While company conventions are important for a branding infographic, there are some areas where you can enjoy some degree of creative freedom.
The right images will suit your infographic topic and likely have little to do with your day-to-day business operations. Enjoy your creative freedom here, but remember to maintain the feel of your company. If your business has a youthful irreverence, many stock photos will feel too staid for your company’s image and could even alienate your core demographic. Of course, you should also ensure any images you use are free for your commercial use, without any copyright restrictions.
You can also enjoy some creative freedom with your layout. Infographics should be unique, so feel free to play with their formats. Whatever layout you choose should be logical to impart information and tell your infographic’s story. Remember to include enough white space around images and blocks of text to make each one shine.
Icons are a common infographic element that rarely have strong brand associations. Feel free to choose whatever icons appeal to you, but make sure you keep the style consistent throughout your branding infographic.
Interesting data that tells a compelling story is key for any infographic, but don’t forget your branding. These defining elements will leave no doubt your infographic is part of your wider branding strategy.