Award Winning Infographics: What Makes an Infographic a Winner?


Published: March 16, 2018 (Updated: March 23, 2020)

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Infographics are becoming an integral part of how customers and readers can view and digest large amounts of data on topics that they may want to learn more about but may not have the time or inclination to do the research for on their own. While a good infographic will help convert large amounts of data and information into content that is easier for your readers to digest, award winning infographics will help you stand out from the competition.

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What Are the Criteria for an Award Winning Infographic?

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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.

Is the Information Relevant to the Target Audience?

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. 

Does the Infographic Stand out Visually?

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.

Does It Tell a 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.

Is the Data Well Presented?

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.

Is the Infographic Original or Unique?

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.

Does It Properly Credit the Source of the Data?

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.

Categories for Infographic Awards

While some competitions may have more broadly defined categories such as “best overall” or “most unique,” some will include very specific brackets, depending on the type of information presented. Here are some of the categories for infographic awards:

  • 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 often be judged in the internal communications design category.
  • 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 able to take home an award 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 utilize photography in their design can earn awards for powerful photographs that can sometimes speak louder than the words they accompany. Do your photos deliver your message and evoke emotion in the viewers? If so, you may find yourself an award winner in the photography category.
  • Subject categories — Some competitions may present awards to the best piece in a specific subject, such as education, agriculture, marketing, military, human resources, spending, or the life of.
  • Infographic of the year — Most competitions will have a top honor for the infographic that is deemed to be the best overall. The winning infographic will need to exceed on its abilities to convey the data, stand out visually, and be original and unique. “Infographic of the year” will be the perfect combination of engaging, interesting, and informative.

What Components Help Make An Outstanding and Unique Infographic?

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.

Make Sure the Information Is Appropriate for an Infographic

One of the first questions to ask when designing an infographic is whether the data is appropriate to be visualized in an infographic. An infographic’s purpose is to make difficult or large amounts of data easy to digest with a visual creation. Yet not all information will work well in an infographic. If you will require a large amount of text to get your point across, or the information does not include data that can be sectioned out or graphed, an infographic may not serve your needs.

Plan the Narrative Before Designing

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.

Break up Data to Make It More 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.

Use the Right Type of Charting

Charts are an effective way to convey 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.

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.

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. An otherwise amazing infographic can easily be ruined by rushed or low-quality graphics.

Have Others 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 will know whether the data is being conveyed.

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. First and foremost, you must have a compelling idea or a unique way to convey the information you are trying to get across. When coming up with your initial idea, you will want to consider some of the following.

Try to 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 viewers to want to find it. Since much of users’ interactions over the web is based on problems and solutions, identifying a commonly-searched problem will attract a wider audience.

Bring the Truth to 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.

Present the Information From a Different Perspective

With numerous infographics available on the web, many will be presented from similar perspectives, causing the information to get lost among the rest. 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 that those that may shock the audience or that may show an extreme disparity will often draw the largest audience and be shared more often.

Award winning infographics are not created on the fly. They take a lot of planning, careful thought, and research to help engage your target audience and get the data to them that they want and need. You might have a great idea for an infographic or statistics and data that need to be broken down visually to appeal to your audience. If you’re not sure how to get started, you can count on the expertise of a qualified infographic design team that knows what it takes to turn your data into the award-winning infographic it can be.


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