While working on an infographic earlier this month, I was thinking about the fundamentals of well-designed information.
It’s easy to get carried away when creating an infographic and either put in too much data or over-complicate the design.
Infographics are a fantastic medium to present statistics or dry information in an eye-catching and easily digestible manner. They are also powerful marketing tools for brands and can be seeded on the internet, gaining valuable brand equity for companies.
Here are my top five tips for creating a striking and useful infographic.
Tell a story – Infographics need a narrative to guide the reader, otherwise they are just a collection of graphics and figures. Creating a visual and narrative journey through the infographic will tell the story behind the stats and immerse the reader in the content.
Keep to the point – Infographics are meant to be graphic-rich and easily digested at a glance. Don’t over complicate them with lots of graphs and swathes of text. They are meant to be easy to read and should not overload the reader with too much detail. You can always add a link directing the reader to further information where they can read more about the report or findings.
Create substance with style – Find a suitable graphic style and stick to it. The infographic will need variation so that it has pace and the individual elements do not all blend into one. But don’t mix illustration styles, e.g. flat with three-dimensional. Find imagery that reflects the theme of the information being presented – for example, if it’s about the environment, try and use trees, symbols from nature, etc.
Plot a journey – Choose your typefaces well, so they are easily readable. Use a clear type hierarchy to structure the infographic to direct the reader where to go and what to read first. Colour can also be used to good effect, marking headlines, sections, conclusions or call-to-action boxes.
Remember: brand value – Most infographics are seeded through a few different channels. Try to be as creative as possible with the brand guidelines, but be wary of creating something that stands completely outside of a company’s brand guidelines. It could get lost. A lot is invested to pull the information together, and there is marketing value in having an infographic with brand recognition.