For many people, visual elements are much more natural to process, absorb and commit to memory than written information. It’s no surprise why more and more brands and content marketers have been incorporating infographics into their strategies lately. Infographics are a remarkably helpful tool for conveying dense information in an engaging and easy to digest way.
What is an infographic?
An infographic is a way to take information or data and represent it visually — typically through the use of images, graphic, charts and strategically positioned text.
Infographics have proven time and time again to be excellent forms of communication and brand promotion alike. They are used to show your readers a lot of information in a quick and accessible manner. The most popular use cases of infographics include:
- Grabbing attention
- Conveying statistics
- Explaining hard to understand concepts
- Increase brand awareness
- Giving directions
However, to be effective, infographics must be designed well. Far too many people set out with a blank canvas, but no plan — and only end up creating an eyesore.
To create a compelling and attractive infographic, like the one to the right, it helps to understand some basic design principles.
Have no fear; we’re here to help you! We’ve created this ultimate guide, with 4 simple steps, to help you create beautiful and powerful infographics.
- Decide on the impactful story you want to tell
The very first step is to decide what you want the user takeaway to be. After all, you should create your infographic with the purpose of adding value to your audience’s lives.
You should have a goal in mind that you are aiming to achieve. Spend some time analyzing the information or data that you are going to use. Then ask yourself what the story is.
How is this information going to solve a problem for your audience?
Why should they care?
A few ideas: Think about trending topics in your industry to which you would like to contribute your thought-leadership. An infographic can be an excellent way. Perhaps you have a great piece of evergreen content that’s already brought you a lot of traffic and engagement. Repurpose it — give it a second life by turning it into an infographic. You already know it’s a popular topic, so by creating an infographic, you supply a unique resource to visual learners.
- Introduce the Topic
Now that you know the theme of your infographic — the story you are telling — start with an introduction. The title of your infographic is the very first thing your viewer will see, so be sure it is catchy and engaging. Some tips for a great title:
- Use numbers
- Convey a sense of urgency
- Be specific
- Ask a question
- Use powerful words
- Your title section should be big, bold and bright so your reader knows where to start reading. Also, infographics are typically too big to be shown entirely on social media. You can use the title section to give your audience a preview of what the infographic is about.
- Include a subhead to further explain to readers what they are about to learn. Use your introduction to resonate with your audience. Let them know you understand their pain points — what is keeping them up at night — and then tell them how you are going to solve them.
- Design the Body
The body of your infographic is going to be the bulk of the work. You will put research, statistics, text boxes and other data representations in the body. You’ll accompany them with beautiful graphics that visually tell the story and appeal to readers’ emotions.
- Pick a layout: This is the trickiest part of designing an infographic. You’ll need to decide the best way to visualize the data and present it in an organized way
- Use timelines to explain the history or evolution of something
- Alphabetize information to add a unique spin
- Use bar charts or pie charts for comparing two items
- Use a grid system: Many different elements will be going into the design of your infographic, so it can quickly become too busy and very messy. Starting with a grid will ensure everything stays aligned
Take your time when you plan out how you will arrange all the different design elements on your infographic. Your eyes should move quickly from one point to the next, and you should use plenty of white space to avoid visual tension.
- Align everything
- Keep spacing consistent throughout
- Ensure text and lines begin and end in proximity
- Add unique style: Use a variety of different visual elements to personalize your infographic. Deciding on these components will take a few tries
Experiment with different icons, colors and fonts. Of course, if your company has a branding guide, you should be sure to incorporate those elements.
- Icons should make sense with the content
- Always include text with your graphics
- Use colors wisely; they can be distracting
The infographic on the right uses two primary colors to pull the content together in a way that is not distracting.
- Use a common visual element: Guide the reader from the beginning of the infographic to the end with a common visual component.
This “backbone” could be an icon, numbered list or line that catches the viewer’s attention and maintains a directional flow.
- Use leading lines to connect sections
- Don’t use more than two columns
- Use icons as bullet points
Look at the infographic on the previous page. See the line that helps you move your eyes from one section to another? That is the backbone.
- Break up the content: Help your reader stay engaged and quickly move through the data by breaking up the content.
Use color blocks, strategically placed lines and borders to help visually distinguish sections of content as separate pieces of information.
- Use different background colors in each section
- Use bright or bold lines to separate segments
- Experiment with different-sized subdivisions
In the infographic to the right, you’ll notice the designer used bold lines to break up the different sections.
- White space is essential: To create an aesthetically pleasing infographic, you need to be mindful of the negative space — failing to use it correctly can completely ruin your work.
It’s taken even the most expert of designers plenty of time and practice to master spacing between elements, but it’s something you must do. If there are too many elements, or they are placed too close together, your infographic will look busy and unprofessional.
- Keep the margins consistent
- Use white space around text to make it stand out
- Don’t pack in too many visual or textual elements
Notice in the infographic on the previous page, the designer incorporated plenty of white space to prevent overcrowding of the visual elements.
- Picking the right fonts: Choosing fonts can be tricky, namely because there are just so many of them. Unless you are an experienced designer, you probably don’t know a whole lot about fonts.
However, the font you choose will impact the readability and legibility of your infographic. Your audience needs to be able to skim your data effortlessly. Here are some simple tips on picking a font:
- Consider the tone you want to convey
- Use bold fonts to create a visual hierarchy
- Stick with large, readable text size
- Brand the infographic Adding branding elements to your infographic is essential, so it can easily be attributed back to your company’s products or services.
Brand recognition can be achieved by adding your business logo and by using your company colors and font.
- Stick to a consistent font palette
- Use a similar color scheme to your website
- Link to social media and your site
- Optimize for keywords Similarly to written content, articles and blog posts; it’s crucial to optimize your infographic for specific target keywords.
You want to ensure it will rank high in search results and that people who are researching your topic will find it right away.
- Start with keyword research
- Use your most potent keyword in your title
- Choose less competitive keywords
- Wrap it up with a Conclusion
At the end of your infographic, insert text, to sum up for the reader what they have learned. Your conclusion is an excellent place to tell the reader where they can find more information, including a link to an article or your website.
- Include a call to action: A call to action is a piece of content that encourages the reader to take action. Do you want them to sign up for your service? Download an app?
- Make it easily shareable: To get the ultimate return on your infographic, make it easily accessible to share on social media. You can accomplish this by adding social share buttons.
Create a beautiful infographic today
Now that you know the design principles behind creating an effective and easy to understand infographic, you have a useful new tool to add to your marketing kit. The strongest infographics use a strategic combination of images, data, graphics and charts to grab the reader’s attention and make it easy for them to remember.
Don’t forget to follow these best practices we’ve just gone over:
- Include a bold title section
- A grid layout will help you stay organized
- Add unique icons, lines and charts
- Use a common visual element to pull it together
- Break up different parts of the content
- Be strategic with white space
- Pick fonts wisely
- Add company branding
- Keyword optimize
- Don’t forget your CTA (call to action)
Are you still feeling intimidated?
We can help! On Point Media can a team of talented designers who are ready to help you create the infographic of your dreams. If you like, we can even research for you. Our team will help generate copy and include statistics that are proven to drive engagement. Order today!