There are plenty of reasons to display your content visually, as we’ve discussed in previous blog posts. Infographics are one of the best ways to take dense textual information and convert it into an easy-to-read piece of content your audiences are more likely to understand and most importantly, remember. Visual storytelling gives organizations the power to transport audiences and make words come to life.
Here are a few tips to help you create compelling infographics:
1. Keep it simple.
Your visitors should be able to understand the message your infographic is trying to impart with a quick glance. Before you start designing your masterpiece, be sure to pick a singular focus, then begin looking for data that will support your topic. If possible, try to break down your message into one, strong sentence. From there, you can use data, graphics, and text to support what you’re trying to say. Less is more. Here’s an example of a simple infographic we designed for the Peter G. Peterson Foundation about the national debt.
2. Create an attention-grabbing headline.
Just like a film or novel, the title of your work is very important. Take time to create an effective title that accurately describes what the reader can expect to find. It’s also important to take note of the design of your title, as it should be attention-grabbing in terms of both copywriting and design. Your title should lead with the promise of new and valuable information. Here’s a great example by Brett Janes at Zippi. The title offers great reward, in only 5 days. Who could pass that up? Titles that pose a question, include numbers, or offers comparisons often drive more views as they create curiosity.
3. Infographics tell an interesting story.
Once you’ve established your infographic focus, it’s time to decide how you will tell your story. A compelling infographic will present readers with information that will open their minds to new ideas, make them question their prior beliefs or fill the gaps in their knowledge on your topic. Infographics that can grab visitors attention, then surprise them along the way, are much more likely to be remembered, recognized and shared. Your story should also be backed with reputable quotes, testimonials, facts and of course, good data.
4. Create a flow.
The flow of your infographic will play a key role in communicating your message and keeping your visitors attention. Utilize the “long page” design to create a journey that effectively tells your story. You can break your infographic into different sections using colors, line breaks, timelines, visual “paths” or numbers to create an order. Regardless of your choice, there should be no doubt about where your visitor will begin and move throughout your infographic. Here’s a great example by Eleanor Lutz, quite literally creating a “path” using numbers, visuals, graphics and colors to cleverly communicate “How To Build a Human”.
5. Focus on design.
When creating your infographic, it’s important to make sure your information doesn’t get lost in the design. In fact, each element of your design should be working toward better communicating your message. Your infographic design should be simple and consistent, with a limited color palette and font selection. When getting started, it’s important to choose and develop a style and ‘tone’ for your infographic that will be carried out throughout the piece. Each graphic representation, data point or visual should be created with purpose to effectively contribute to your visual storytelling.
Here’s a great example of a project called Design X Food by Ryan MacEachern, concerning the nutritional value of a specific diet. His very literal approach to communicating his message by using images of food, combined with fun, bright colors, makes this creative piece highly engaging and easy to consume (no pun intended).
6. Make it shareable.
Infographics give organizations a huge opportunity to increase web traffic, build awareness and create a conversation as they are highly shareable. It’s best to place your infographic in a blog post or landing page, so audiences are driven back to your website. Don’t forget to optimize your infographic for sharing by placing a ‘Pin It’, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter button next to your content. You should also try limiting the width of your infographic to 725 pixels, as this is the max width for a Pinterest post. Visitors should be able to share your content with one, single click. The easier you make it, the more likely they are to pass it along.
7. Cite your sources.
Once you’ve made sure all your text and graphic information is aligned, it’s important to give credit to researchers and organizations behind the data you are using. A good position for your sources is at the footer of your infographic, as this is where most people will go searching for this information. Although this information will be heavy on text, it should still have the same look and feel as the rest of the infographic.
Contact us to find out how infographics can help your organization.