Infographics have established themselves as important tools for communicating information in a way that is both engaging and effective. This guide to infographics can help you uncover everything you need to know about these visual information pieces, such as:
An infographic is a visual way to communicate information through graphic elements, such as graphs, diagrams, or illustrations. Their purpose is to communicate concepts in a way that both captures attention and aids comprehension of information. The more visually appealing an infographic can be, the more effective it is. These visuals also help readers understand the information and remember the concepts the infographic communicates.
Infographics can help you convey complex ideas and information in small, easy-to-digest chunks that your audience understands. When a concept is hard to explain succinctly, an infographic can be an extremely effective medium for communication. Their usefulness spans industries and can be effective regardless of a target audience’s age or education. People may create infographics for purposes such as:
Professionals from all industries use infographics. Their visual nature allows for quick and easy understanding of otherwise complex concepts, no matter the target audience’s age or level of education. Here are a few examples of professions and industries that use infographics:
Choosing the right design and platform to display your infographic depends on several factors, including:
In order to choose the most effective platform to display your infographic, consider your target audience. You may tap into your buyer personas to understand more about the infographic that would appeal to and resonate with them the most. Consider if your target audience would appreciate more complex graphics or more explanation of what they’re looking at. Think about the knowledge level of your audience so you can display information in a format that’s easiest for them to comprehend without being too below their comprehension.
Different infographic styles lend themselves to different display platforms. Animated infographics, for example, work best online or through digital apps. Interactive infographics require a touch screen, keyboard, voice activation, or some other way for a viewer to make an exchange with the design. Static infographics, in contrast, may work anywhere, in both digital and print settings.
There are plenty of different infographic design styles. Your design style choice varies depending on the information you’re communicating and the platform you use to display it. Common infographic design styles are:
Static infographics display your information in a format that doesn’t move. Many professionals choose static infographics because they can use them in so many ways, or on a variety of platforms. You may find static infographics on blogs, in brochures, throughout articles, and in print advertising.
Animated infographics include moving illustrations. With the rise in and expectation of video content online, this design style is effective if you’re hoping to attract attention on social media. Other places to use animated infographics include supplements for online articles and tutorials.
Interactive infographics invite the audience to perform an action or provide input in order to display certain pieces of data. This style is most effective when working with large data sets, where the choices the viewer makes can actually affect the story. Interactive infographics can allow the audience to explore the information freely, or guide the viewer through the information using a narrative.
Statistics are a great way to bolster an argument or make a point because they’re based on studies, experiments, and evidence. Statistical infographics primarily present numbers, charts, and data. They contain less text than the other infographics and have less of a narrative flow.
Informational infographics incorporate images, but they are more text-heavy. They’re usually cumulative pieces that provide an in-depth explanation of a particular topic. Though they are thorough, informational infographics simplify the main idea, making unfamiliar, or even niche topics, easier to understand.
Timeline infographics present information in chronological order. They have a linear structure and are popular for presenting historical events or information. You can also use timelines to:
Process infographics outline procedures with clear steps. They’re commonly used to display information like recipes, marketing strategies, or product guides. This type relies on a well-developed balance of text and images to help people of all learning styles understand the content.
People may use geographic infographics to capture regional data. They help display information, such as:
For information separated into different categories or levels, use a hierarchical infographic. This type uses pyramids or flow charts to display information. Hierarchical infographics can show the connections between different levels of information using lines, arrows, or other connecting elements. You may recognize hierarchical infographics from their use in:
List infographics help you remember information. They do this by highlighting main points and summarizing information through well-thought-out design and visuals. This type of infographic commonly uses icons as bullet points for textual information.
Follow these steps to make an infographic:
Determine what you want to accomplish with your infographic. Why are you making it? What’s the point? What information do you want to share with your audience? Answering these questions can help you set clear, attainable goals that can guide your creation and distribution process.
To answer the questions that shape your infographic goals, collect the relevant data. You can use data from your own studies, previous research, or by creating a targeted research plan for each infographic project. When collecting data, consider some of these research tips to help make your search easier, such as:
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Decide how you want to layout the information. There are a few factors to consider, such as choosing a display style based on the goal of the information. Here are a list of potential goals for your data and the best way to present them:
Create an outline template for your data to decide where and how you want to incorporate each visual element and piece of data. When making a template, focus on the structure. You can manipulate the design and style later after you’ve created the basic foundation. Consider the number of elements you need to include and whether there’s a necessary flow of information. If you’re not comfortable making an infographic from scratch, there are many online resources and templates to help you create a visual representation of your data.
Choose the style and design elements that make your data pop, and catch your viewer’s eye. Here are some elements to consider:
Share it with the world, or just your target audience. Determine which platforms can help you reach your desired viewers, such as on social media or on your website. Then, take the steps necessary to get your infographics on these channels where your audience can find them.
Here are some tricks for creating graphics that are both effective and visually stimulating:
When developing your goals for infographic creation, consider making a question pyramid to organize your thoughts. Start with your main idea at the top of the pyramid, then add two or three supporting questions below that answer questions like “which” or “what” relating to the topic. Under that, add one or two additional probing questions that answer “why.” Developing a question pyramid can help you not just develop your infographic goals, but also set the design outline and flow.
Imagery is a great way to increase the impact of key information. Not only can visuals make the data clear, but they also make it more memorable. A simple way to incorporate more visuals into your graphic is by adding icons to signal headers. You can also create graphics to represent your main points or even turn your visualization into the dominant feature of the infographic, effectively eliminating the need for large blocks of text.
The fonts you choose for your infographic are just as important as the visuals. A trick for effectively using fonts is to create a text hierarchy. A text hierarchy typically uses three font styles you apply specifically to different elements of the text. For example, use one font for the main heading, a different one for section headings, and the third font for all the body copy.
The font used for the main header should be the largest and most attention-grabbing. It sets the reader up for the mood of the infographic and the importance of the information it presents. The section headers should have a font that is still bold, but less stylized, and smaller. Last, the body text needs a font that is significantly smaller, not stylized, and easy to read.
Color is also an extremely important element of good design. Though it can make the appearance of your infographic more appealing, it’s also a useful tool for communicating important concepts. For example, colors are often used to draw attention to particularly important data or to show a grouping of relevant text. You can choose a pop color that differs from the others used throughout the graphic to make important facts jump out to the reader.
When creating an infographic, you can use unique design elements to improve and influence the audience’s understanding of the information. Positioning and grouping allow you to organize content, making it easier for the viewer to digest. Emphasize it by using things like squares, circles, lines, and borders to group or connect elements.
Using a symmetrical grid when designing your infographic is a great way to organize all of your elements in a fashion that is both coherent and easy to follow. It provides organization for your data, as well as ensures that the viewer will consume the information in the desired order. These layouts often make use of our learned habits to consume visuals and words from left to right.
Though they may seem intimidating at first, anyone can turn research and data into a successful visual infographic. Using them can make your audience intrigued by your content and help build brand trust and loyalty if they keep coming back for more.
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