Award-Winning Infographics: What Makes an Infographic a Winner?

Christy Walters


March 16, 2018 (Updated: November 14, 2023)

Infographics are extremely effective at presenting large amounts of data in a way that readers can digest and engage with easily. Visuals, graphic representations, and even animations can all add to your content when sharing industry insights, in-depth research, or statistics with your audience. But with award-winning infographics, you can boost your content’s appeal, engage new customers, and drive more engagement to your brand. Find out how to do this and what exactly makes an award-winning infographic in this guide.

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What Makes an Award-Winning Infographic?

Image via Flickr by senator00740

While there are many factors to consider when judging an infographic, there are several specific criteria that judges will weigh when deciding which infographics are worthy of their awards. Each award may have its own specific criteria, but here are some that are common to most of the judging.


The primary purpose of an infographic is to draw in, educate, and engage your target audience. This information you have worked so hard to illustrate may be pointless unless it speaks to the audience that the article or information was meant for. 

Visual Appeal

Since much of an infographic is about visualizing data that may be lengthy or difficult for the audience to digest, one of the most significant judgments is whether the infographic stands out visually from others. This can be done through the use unusual photographs, a unique flow, or eye-catching graphics that can draw the reader’s eye immediately.

Compelling Story

Another essential aspect of an infographic is properly conveying the information or data or sharing the timeline or story in a way that is easy for the target audience to digest. The infographic should leave the reader with answers to their questions and should have a consistent flow that prevents any confusion.

Well-Presented Data

A large amount of data can be difficult for readers to process or may cause them to lose interest as they continue through it. An infographic’s goal is to make this data interesting and easy to grasp without a great deal of time and effort. An awarding winning infographic will also make sure that the proper vehicle for the data is used, whether it be pie charts, bar graphs, or a visual flowchart.

Original or Unique Content

Originality is an important criterion that distinguishes a good infographic from a great one. Standing out in any field of interest on the internet can be difficult, and using unique and original infographics will not only draw more readers but make your information more shareable as well. Readers are more likely to stop on an infographic that shows data in a different way from others. This criterion can also be used for data presented from an unusual perspective.

Data Sources and Attribution

Crediting data properly on an infographic is vital, not only to provide proper attribution but also to establish your infographic as a reliable and authoritative source for the information that you are presenting. A judge will want to see that the infographic gives proper credit as well as that it uses solid research to present its findings.

Keep reading: 10 Sources for Infographic Data (And 4 To Avoid)

Categories for Award-Winning Infographics

Creating award-winning infographics takes time and planning. That said, you have several approaches you can take when it comes to formatting. Check out some of the common categories infographics can fall under to get additional inspiration for yours:

  • Complex data-based infographic: Infographics that take large amounts of more complex data and turn them into easy-to-digest, easy-to-read pieces that grab the reader’s attention would fall into the category of complex-data based infographics.
  • Internal communications design: Infographics that can get employees through boring or redundant training sessions or communicate workflow or company organization to management and employees would fall under internal communications design.
  • Marketing or public relations design: If you have an infographic that helps push your marketing or public relations campaign for a business, helps lobby for a specific political candidate, or helps you change the perception or image of a brand, you might be in the marketing or public relations design category.
  • Social impact design: Infographics that propel the buzz or ignite the fire behind social changes would fall into the social impact design category. This can include educational, environmental, human rights, or a number of other social issues.
  • Photography: Infographics that use photography can sometimes speak louder than the words accompanying the photos. You can use photographs to convey stories in a way that evokes an emotional response in the viewer. If you use more photographs than illustrations or AI-generated graphics, your infographics fall under the photographic category.

Overall, a winning infographic will need to convey data that’s easy to understand, stand out visually, and be original and unique. This will give you the perfect combination of engaging, interesting, and informative.

Get the best infographic types for marketing and inform your audience more effectively.

How To Make Your Infographic Unique

One of the essential criteria of an award-winning infographic is that it stands out visually and shares the data and information with readers in a unique way. To help make your infographic stand out in a sea of web information, try the following tips:

1️⃣ Choose the Right Information

One of the first questions to ask when designing an infographic is whether you can execute effective data visualization with the information you have. An infographic’s purpose is to make complex data easy to understand with a visual story. Yet not all information will work well in an infographic. If you need a lot of copy to get your point across, or the information doesn’t include data that can be condensed in a graph or chart, an infographic probably isn’t the best choice of content formats.

2️⃣ Plan the Narrative Before the Design

A good plan is essential to any project. Before you begin designing your infographic, you should lay out the narrative from start to finish, making sure to identify areas that you will want to call additional or specific attention to along the way. This will help ensure that the idea is conveyed from start to finish, that you don’t have any gaps in the story, and that you include everything that’s necessary.

3️⃣ Make Data Easily Digestible

When planning your narrative, you will be able to find good breaking points for data to be sectioned out. Breaking up the data will make it easier to read, avoid eye fatigue while reading, and help to keep your reader’s attention. You can break up these sections with natural lines, font changes, graphics, or photos. When creating these breaks, make sure that the information still transitions well to the next section.

4️⃣ Use the Right Format

Consider the format you’ll use to convey the information you’re sharing with your audience. Would a graph be appropriate here? What about a series of callouts? While there are tons of formats you can use, charts are one of the most effective ways to showcase data, especially in larger amounts. Bar charts, line graphs, and pie charts can help show extremes, comparisons, and differences with just a quick glance. While charting is often the perfect way to present an idea to a reader without them having to read all of the data, choosing the right form of charting is vital to getting that point across.

For example, when you want to show how sections, such as monetary percentages, vary drastically in multiple areas, a pie chart may produce the best visual. Yet you would only want to use pie charts when the percentages or sections vary widely. If the percentages are similar, differences may not show up at first glance, and you will lose the effect a pie chart can have.

5️⃣ Make the Data Stand Out

Since the main component of an infographic is the data that is being presented, you will want to make sure that the data stands out to the reader visually. You can do this by increasing the font size for more important statistics or by creating space around percentages or monetary amounts. In essence, you will want to have the statistics stand out visually so that if the reader processes nothing else on the first glance, they will see those figures.

6️⃣ Use Effective Photos

Visuals are an integral part of infographics, and by utilizing unique or awe-inspiring photos, you will help to bring the reader in to review the rest of the information. If you need photos or graphics of items that are not interesting by nature, try creating them so that the reader will see them in a different way, such as with different lighting, angles, or even color patterns. It is important to remember that you will need to focus on quality as well. You can ruin an otherwise amazing infographic with rushed or low-quality graphics.

7️⃣ Check for Readability

Once you have created your infographic, you will want to share it with others to make sure that it reads well, is understandable, and that there are no sections that cause confusion. It is important to have others check your work and give you feedback so that you will have the opinion of someone who did not read the original source material. This way, you’ll know that you’re conveying the data effectively.

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More Tips for Creating Award-Winning Infographics

It is important to remember that there are many steps that go into the creation and design of an infographic. To make it truly exceptional, there are certain elements and questions that the infographic needs to answer or address.

You should also have a compelling idea or a unique way to convey the information you are trying to get across to create award-winning infographics. When coming up with your initial idea, though, these tips can help:

Solve a Common Problem

Think of a burning problem that many viewers can relate to and would like to learn more about. The first step in getting your infographic noticed is getting it in front of the right audience. Much of a user’s interactions over the web are based on problems and solutions, so identifying a common problem your target audience is searching for and providing the answer is an effective approach with infographics.

Debunk Common Myths

Another great topic for infographics is going against the status quo. Take well-ingrained myths and misinformation, and shed light on them to give viewers the knowledge they want. Viewers are hungry for information that they did not previously know and drawing them in with the truth behind widely held beliefs will pique their interest.

Show Different Perspectives

With numerous infographics available on the web, you’re competing with many similar graphics where yours can get lost in the noise. To stand out, try a different perspective or angle that can challenge the viewer’s way of thinking and help them see the information in a different light, giving them that “ah-ha!” moment.

Go for the Extremes

Sometimes, shock value can go a long way toward drawing in readers. When researching statistics, remember shockers and extreme disparity will often draw the largest audience and be most shareable.

Award-winning infographics take time and planning to design, create, and publish. But adding this content type to your strategy can give you and your team additional ways to position your content for greater reach, engagement, and traffic. With quality content, like infographics, you’ll have a better foundation from which to build a successful campaign that generates results for your brand.

Author Image - Christy Walters
Christy Walters

CopyPress writer

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