Infographics are saturating the social media stratosphere. You’ve seen them. They are in your newsfeeds, in blogs, on websites. They’re one of today’s hot social media trends and they’re likely here to stay. Infographics are popular because they make a bigger, visual impact on readers. These illustrated articles present and organize information in an easily digestible format. The world has gotten smaller and the wealth of information is ever increasing. An effective infographic integrates valuable information with eye-catching imagery into something concise (and ideally memorable and shareable) that captivates your audience. Here are a few tips on how to make your data dazzle.
1. Gather Data – The foundation for any infographic should be solid and verifiable. Sure, you may have something nice to look at, but you’re creating the infographic to inform an audience of a particular topic or issue. If the goal is to give information, then ensure that all information is double-checked and proofread before it’s in front of the discerning eyes of the World Wide Web.
2. Organize Your Story – Now that you have the most relevant statistics, what story are you going to tell? Just like a written story, an effective infographic should have an introduction, body and conclusion. Determine the hook or primary take-away from the whole thing. Decide what your point is. Then, set aside time to sketch or wireframe the flow of your infographic.
3. Design – Start by displaying as much information as you can visually. Instead of writing out numbers can you visualize them with creative pie charts, unique bar graphs or pictograms? Typography still has its places like in titles and headings. Color, borders, shapes, and other design elements can help to section off information but should be considered together to create a visually stimulating, cohesive design. Lastly, infographics are meant to be seen, rather than read, so do the language test. If this were in another language, could I still grasp the information?
4. Keep it Simple! – Yes, we may want to go wild and crazy throwing anything and everything we can onto the page, but stop! You won’t understand it and your readers won’t either. Stick to a single topic. You’ll have an effective result if you give answers to a single question. Editing is an important step. Over-designing can lead to a crowded and complicated visual that just leads to confusion and misinterpretation.
In the end, don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Design isn’t just about making things pretty but solving a problem, and for effective infographics, representing the data accurately and clearly. If you’re interested in seeing these tips in use, check out some sweet infographics we pinned on our Pinterest board.
Kailey Veteto is an art director at Agency Creative, a full-service strategic advertising agency committed to connecting brands to customers through idea-driven solutions.