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9 Tips For Creating Infographics

February 8, 2018

What’s an infographic? Consider the following definitions:

A chart, diagram, or illustration that uses graphic elements to present information in a visually striking way.

A chart, graph, or other image accompanied by minimal text, intended to give an easily understood overview, often of a complex subject.

Infographics are the chocolate chip cookies of the internet. (They go down easy– or at least they should.)

Visually striking, minimal text, easily understood, enjoyable.

Building on those elements, I came up with 9 tips for creating a infographic. Here they are– in an infographic:blank vertical space, 24 pixels high9 tips for creating infographics martian spaceship funny face derby corn ears fish mustache bowtie cite sources

 

Here are the 9 tips listed roughly in top-to-bottom order:

1. Write a catchy headline. One that gets attention, makes people curious, and gives a clear idea of what the infographic is about.

2. Leave plenty of white (negative) space. A busy infographic is off-putting, hard on the eyes. If that’s the case, people will just scroll on by.

3. Create the infographic for your target audience. You’re a brand trying to engage prospects. Create infographics geared to their needs and interests.

4. Keep text to a minimum. Using visual elements to communicate your data will give it extra impact. Data visualization expert J. Ford Huffman:

“… the text and the image must reinforce each other. Each must show or tell what
the other cannot… Few readers want to read more than they have to read… My hunch is that if a graphic is text heavy, its visual isn’t doing its job well, and/or the writer didn’t know when to stop writing.”

5. Stick to a single topic. Multiple topics can make the infographic cluttered and overlong. Cardinal rule: it needs to be easy to understand.

6. The information should flow like a good story. The graphic elements should guide the reader’s eye through the story from beginning to end.

7. An infographic is like a term paper. You’re making a case by presenting facts and data. You need to vouch for that information by citing your sources. This is typically done by listing the relevant URLs below the infographic.

8. I hand-lettered this particular infographic to give it an organic feel, but most infographics use computer fonts. Use two at the most. Using a lot of different fonts creates disharmony. Make sure the smallest type (font size) will be legible.

9. You’re a brand, and you hope people will share your infographic and give you exposure. So be sure to include your logo and/or your website URL on the infographic.

One bonus tip: Limit your palette, i.e., don’t use too many colors, and make sure the colors you do use are compatible with each other. You want your infographic to be visually striking, yes, but you also want it to be harmonious– and that means easy on the eye.blank vertical space, 24 pixels highInfographic color scheme palette compare should have compatible colors not clashing

Infographics have a surprising history. They go back further than you might think.

They also come in an astounding array of shapes, sizes, formats, and designs. Many are absolutely unique.

You can see what Creative Bloq calls The 60 Best Infographics here. I’d have to disagree, however. They’re all visually striking– no argument there– but a lot of them seem overly busy, text-heavy, and crammed with too much information– just my opinion. Take a look and see what you think.

Here’s a bigger version of my own infographic, minus the sources:blank vertical space, 24 pixels high9 tips for creating infographics martian spaceship funny face derby corn ears fish mustache bowtie cite sources
blank vertical space, 24 pixels highblank vertical space, 16 pixels high

    *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *       *blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

About Mark: I’m an illustrator specializing in humor, branding, social media, and content marketing. I create images that get content seen and shared.

You can view my portfolio, and connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Questions? Send me an email.

blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

blank vertical space, 16 pixels highblank vertical space, 40 pixels high

6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 9, 2018 2:50 PM

    Wonderful how-to (and infographic) for infographics! People don’t like to be bored or confused, and what you’ve listed will combat both. Super!!!!! Oh! Is that your new logo? ❤️ it!

    Like

    • February 10, 2018 2:37 PM

      Many thanks, O Super Supportive One! And you came up with a perfect one-line guideline for any infographic design: “People don’t like to be bored or confused.” It’s more profound and comprehensive than it sounds: you want the design to be fun, attractive, engaging and all, but not at the expense of being easily understood. Ergo: gotta be “cool” (engaging) and clear!! Thanks, RK– you’ve done it again!! 🏆🏆🏆😊 Oops!… P.S. Yes, new logo– thanks!! 🔔🔔🔔🎉🎉🎉🙉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. February 10, 2018 12:37 PM

    I remember sitting in graphic design classes, watching dinosaurs out the window, and hearing my professor state over and over that white space needs to flow and give the eyes something to look at. It took me eons to figure out what she meant. It was a missing element that strengthened the design of my artwork when I employed it.

    Like

    • February 10, 2018 3:18 PM

      Yes, the unit on White Space– I think a lot of today’s designers skipped that class. Or maybe it’s no longer being taught– a lot has changed since they went from B.C. to A.D. (“Watching dinosaurs out the window” made me bust out laughing– excellent, sir!) 😆

      Liked by 1 person

      • February 11, 2018 1:21 PM

        I remember my professor saying repeatedly, “Less is more,” as she drilled us to get rid of clutter and unnecessary repetition. And there was another design professor who liked saying, KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid.” I had him for Into to Design. On the last day of class, all of us wore KISS T-shirts. 😀

        Like

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