In this post we discuss how to create an infographic. We could’ve opted to use an infographic to illustrate our point but we thought that might be overkill so, instead, we’ve gone for a tenuous analogy. Imagine a delicious smoothie, it’s made up of a rich tapestry of ingredients (some tastier than others) that come together to make a mouth-watering and healthy concoction. The appetising end product isn’t created by accident – it takes planning and forethought. Kind of almost exactly the same as an infographic.
Why use an infographic?
Before we go on to discuss how to create an infographic it can be useful to know why you might want to use one. Infographics are a great way to get a message across, particularly a message that is data and/or fact heavy. As humans we are really well equipped to process visual cues quickly and effortlessly. Almost 70% of our sensory receptors are in our eyes so when we see facts and figures represented as a picture, it is much easier to digest.
Use a clear visual metaphor
Unlike our incredibly poor smoothie comparison, at the centre of every great infographic is a great metaphor. Without one, you run the risk of your infographic falling flat. If you want to see how to create an infographic check out these examples of solid visual metaphors that really work:
A battle between clients and agencies dressed up as a tug of war
Typefaces represented as the periodic table
Online platforms as characters from school.
Eat your vegetables
Somewhere along the line, it was decided that fruit smoothies were too delicious and should be ruined a bit by adding some vegetables. Now recipes abound online encouraging you to sully your smoothie with the likes of kale, carrots and even broccoli. In fairness, the slight compromise in taste is made up for by extra health benefits. For the purposes of our ever more fragile analogy, these vegetables represent your data – the boring part of the mixture but that which forms the foundation your infographic. Your infographic lives and dies by its data, so make sure you always use reputable sources, accurate figures and verified facts.
Grow your own data
While infographics are often used to recycle existing information in a new and interesting way, to really make yours standout you could think about creating unique data from your own research – organic veg grown in your allotment is always tastier than the stuff you buy from the supermarket.
Don’t overcook the design
Infographics are designed to simplify dry data so are at their best when they are easy to interpret. Go easy with your colour palette, only use a few hues. Opt for well-known ways to visualise your data (like pie and bar charts). Cover one topic and don’t be tempted to stretch your infographic too far. In smoothie terms (and this is where our ill-conceived comparison really starts to fall apart) if your drink doesn’t look too appealing people are less likely to want to take a sip – even if it’s full of delicious tasting facts and figures that they’ll find useful and interesting.
Share it around
Your smoothies aren’t going to bring all the boys to the yard unless people know about them. In general, an infographic won’t go viral without a helluva a lot of promotion. Typical avenues you might want to try include social media, bloggers and forums (like Reddit). Give your infographic a headline that’s likely to attract attention and create a branded image to accompany it. Share the post on your own social media platforms and optimise the infographic so that others can do likewise. Make sure all the social media share buttons are clearly visible next to your infographic, including Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.