How To Design Unforgettable Infographics In Six Steps
As our all-knowing friend Wikipedia says, infographics or information graphics are graphic visual representations of information, data, or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly. While this definition is true, it’s a bit incomplete.
If you are familiar with the worlds of design and marketing, you know how important infographics are.
As a way of delivering information through less text and with more pictures, charts and illustrations, infographics are a highly sought after tool. From classrooms to websites, they are effective to communicate complex concepts in simple ways. And people LOVE sharing them.
Haven’t been using infographics in your marketing? Then it’s high time you learned about them.
Step 01 – Planning Your Unforgettable Infographic
In this stage, you need to figure out what your infographic will be about. Think about any sort of process involved in your business that is important to communicate to your audience. One way to approach this might be to think about topics that you or your competitors might prepare ebooks, blogs or how-to-guides about. Or better yet, consider if you already have one of these which can be summarized in an infographic!
Other popular topics include product comparisons, summarizing data/stats and providing an overview of a topic (e.g. top 5 benefits of X).
When you’re planning for your infographic it’s important to consider your audience and what they will be receptive to.
1) What are the problems and challenges they are facing?
2) What are processes that they could benefit from having better guidance with?
3) Are they beginners or experts when it comes to the topics you’re considering?
4) Are there certain aesthetics that appeal to them more (colours, elements, fonts, etc.)?
Take some time to carefully address these questions and come up with the answers for them. It will help you to come up with a better layout and a more effective infographic.
Step 02 – Collecting Data For Your Unforgettable Infographic
Take your time and make sure that you do due diligence with research for your infographic. Be sure to keep track of your sources so that you can list them at the bottom of your infographic, or link to a page on your site, or part of your blog, which provides more details about your research and sources.
Try to find stats wherever possible to use in your infographic. Numbers tell compelling stories.
Check out different perspectives on the topic you want to create an infographic for. This will help you be sure that your infographic is presenting an interesting angle. Be sure to check out other infographics too as part of this process.
If you need some help with how to narrow down your Google search results, the team at Lifehack has some great suggestions:
- For exact phrases, try placing quotes around the phrase you’re searching for i.e. “best social media schedulers”
- Use a hyphen to exclude certain words from your search results “best social media schedulers -free”
- If you’re looking for data, try adding the word data or a file format typically used to share data to your search phrases like XLS or CSV.
Step 03 – Deciding Your Unforgettable Infographic’s Conversation Piece
Once you’ve got all your data gathered, summarize and synthesize before you move forward. You can always keep tweaking your text in your layout, but it’s easier to start off with less text so that you don’t get overwhelmed. That’ll leave your design drowning in a sea of verbiage.
As you’re going through this process, identify your hook. This will be the piece of information that can grab attention at a glance. It might be shocking or surprising or connect with your audience emotionally in a different way. But it should hammer home the importance of the message in your infographic.
To identify this focal point, you need to come back to the main question that your infographic is going to be an answer to or the problem it’s trying to address. What’s the “so what?” in all of this?
Identify that it factor and then be sure it’s designed to stand apart from the rest of your content (different colours, strong lines, boldness, and/or font or element sizes to show hierarchy).
Step 04 – Deciding Your Unforgettable Infographic’s Layout
With your topic in mind and your research ready to roll, you can move onto figuring out your infographic’s layout. This will be determined by the goal for your infographic.
Are you trying to inform your audience? Compare options for them? Display trends? Or provide them with an overview of a process? Or something different altogether? Whatever it might be, figure out your answer and you’ll be able to figure out your layout.
A few common layouts are graphs (great to show data), image-heavy infographics (great for stories that include different elements and characters), timelines (great to show change over time), flowcharts (great for processes), side-by-side comparisons (you can guess what this is great for) and simple lists and tables (to rank options).
Whichever layout you opt for, your content should be laid out in a way that’s easy for your audience to follow. They should be able to identify the topic, and then see the solution/process/information explained from a broad perspective all the way through to specific takeaways.
People tend to read left to right and top to bottom (of course there are some exceptions to every rule). Be sure your layout supports this so that your audience isn’t struggling to understand the information you’re sharing.
One of the simplest ways to approach this is through using a symmetrical grid to lay out your design.
There are lots of tools online that feature templates or infographic makers (think Canva, Venngage, Picktochart, etc.). These can help you make your infographic quickly. They can also lead to generic results. On the flip side, working with a designer can take more time but lead to more original results.
Step 05 – Designing Your Unforgettable Infographic
Phew. We finally made it. Designing your unforgettable infographic. This is what all that ground work is going to make possible. Just like with the previous steps, it’s important to be methodical and cover all your bases.
Choose a colour scheme that will suit your topic and the various elements that will be used. Tools like Adobe Color and Coolors are great for this. A general rule of thumb is using 3 main colours and then adding in 2 accent colours to achieve consistency in your design while keeping vibrant and engaging too. But play around and see what colour combination works best for you.
Figure out your visual hierarchy. In addition to the conversation piece we mentioned in Step 3, figure out how to rank the different pieces of information you’ll be presenting so that they can be arranged in a visual hierarchy that represents this.
Decide on the types of imagery you’ll be using in your design. It has to be relevant to your topic and consistently used throughout.
If you’ll be working with a designer you’ll want to make sure that all of this information is clear in your design brief. And by “all of this information” we mean”
- The goal of your infographic
- Brand guidelines
- Any design specifications
- Colours and imagery you’re open to using (or let the designer know if they have free reign)
- The data/information you’ve researched, sourced and organized to represent the most important points
Once you get the first draft of your designs, get some additional feedback. Whether it’s a DIY or done with the help of a designer, feedback is key! Try to ask those in your target audience and industry for this feedback. You want to be sure that they’re getting the message you’re trying to convey.
Ask them if anything is standing out too much or too little? If there’s a smooth flow from beginning to end. Gather your feedback and get going with draft 2. Rinse and repeat until you’re done.
Step 06 – Sharing Your Unforgettable Infographics
Infographics are highly shared, highly shareable content. There are a few ways you can make sure that you make the most of yours.
Make your infographics embeddable. You should have social sharing buttons added on the page that you use to host your infographic. And they should be easy to find and use! You should also allow people to embed your infographic on their websites or blogs by including include text area form element with the code for your infographic.
Come up with social media posts that highlight different points in your infographic, in the same sequence as your visual hierarchy. This way you’ll build up the story in your infographic and draw people to find out more. Stories posts and tweets can be really effective with this method.
Share your infographic as it is on Pinterest. The re-pin feature on Pinterest works well for getting infographics shared across broad audiences
Share your infographic with content creators who blog and tweet about your topic. You’ve just put some serious time into creating some very shareable content. Get it to those who know how to share content best!
A Note On DIY Vs. Hiring A Designer
Making an infographic unique and unforgettable doesn’t depend on just the story you choose to tell. It matters how that story is shared visually too. And that comes down to your creativity as well as your designer’s – if you’ll be hiring someone to help.
Now as much as we all love a good DIY, if you have no experience in designing whatsoever, this is definitely a project that’s worthwhile to get some help with. A pro graphic designer will bring their expertise to your story/topic and help share it in an impactful way. They’ll be able to see how different colours and elements can combine to create something that isn’t weighed down by text.
And they’ll make sure that your brand is clearly tied into the design without it being overbearing. Which will allow you to convey your message and increase your brand visibility across online platforms as well. It’s a pretty sweet win-win!
Infographics can be a great tool for your marketing. With the human brain processing images 60,000 times faster than text it’s no wonder why. So, next time you have a great story to tell, or an interesting data set you want to share, consider doing it with an infographic. If you need a hand, our team at Kimp is happy to help.