According to the Google Trends data, the popularity of infographics has steadily grown since 2010. Today, folks surfing the web want information quickly, and text is just too tedious and boring to read.
With an infographic, you can use key takeaways and statistics to deliver information or tell a story without overwhelming the audience with text. And with pie charts and graphics, information and data can be illustrated in an aesthetic manner.
An infographic adds more visual appeal and impact. Here’s a few steps on how to turn an average infographic into a great one. You can’t just slap it together and expect success. An effective infographic needs resonant content and great design.
Content and Branding
Figure out what your audience wants and needs while keeping it related to your brand’s mission, values, products and services. Kissmetrics recommends avoiding generality and creating an infographic idea that is specifically relevant to your targeted audience. This approach will help establish your company as an authority on the subject.
Create a killer headline, and don’t make the infographic a potpourri of facts and figures. Stick with a single topic, make it focused and streamline the content. The whole purpose of an infographic is to drive a single, focused point. Give your brand a voice while keeping it simple.
Typography is a crucial component of a great infographic design, but selecting fonts and combining them is a real art. With its endless options, typography is another galaxy waiting to be explored. At the same time, there are some deadly sins to avoid and commandments to follow.
Here are a few of those commandments as listed by Designmantic.com.
"Make sure to learn your font families. Combine a Sans-Serif font with a Serif font. Combining two similar fonts is not cool, so go for contrast. Opt for only three fonts maximum, and use fonts that reflect the same mood and era. Lastly, use different weights of fonts in the same family. Follow this Holy Grail, and you’ll do just fine with fonts."
If you’re not a designer, choosing the right color scheme for your infographic can be a time consuming and frustrating task. The rule of thumb is to use four colors max. Avoid choosing a different color for every icon.
There are a number of different color scheme patterns that are appealing when using a color wheel, such as a monochromatic color scheme. With this color scheme, there’s one dominant color, and the other colors are different tones of that color.
Adjacent color schemes and triad color schemes are also good options. With an adjacent color scheme, the tones of colors fall on either side of the initial color choice on the color wheel. Triad color schemes reflect the combination of one dominant color with two other colors.
When it comes to the color of fonts, it’s important to note that a light font on a light background and a dark font on a dark background is straining for the human eye.
To make your infographic more appealing and easier to read, use colors that contrast for each other. The color scheme should also fit well with your branding.
Data visualization is a key component in infographics. Here's a list of some of the options:
Create graphs, pie charts and column charts to capture the viewer’s attention. Use pictograms or icon charts to complement percentages.
An icon chart is simple with two different color tones. Often, data visualization deals with comparing a set of data points.
Bar or column charts work well to show comparisons of categories. Anything that can be categorized or counted can be easily visualized with bar or column charts.
Pie charts, column charts and stacked column charts are ideal for showing the share of one value compared to others. Pie charts are most recognizable and can be easily interpreted by most. Both column and stacked column charts are universal and ensure readability.
Histograms and scatterplots are two general ways to show distribution. But when you have non-aggregated data points, then a scatterplot to plot each data point is the best approach. Just be sure to cite the references for all of your data.
Infographics aren’t just limited to the web. According to Creative Bloq, they can be used in print design, such as brochures and magazines.
Depending on the type of date you wish to present, you can place your infographic within a pull-out box or adjacent to a block of text. If you do so, just be sure to allow for enough space around the outside of the infographic while maintaining enough proximity to show that the data and text are directly linked.
You can use enclosing shapes to join blocks of images or text or borders and lines to achieve this. If the infographic is exceptionally complex or is the central point of the content, consider allocating a double spread or give it a page of its own.
Your logo is the face of your brand and should be used and placed properly in an infographic. Resist the temptation to splash it all over your infographic. It doesn’t belong at the top, as a watermark in the middle or anywhere it might fit. This approach will only make your content to appear sponsored or branded, and readers aren’t likely to trust it.
Your goal is to educate, inform or entertain your audience, not to self-promote. If you self-promote, your content credibility will drop by 29 percent according to a Kentico software study.
You can still add your logo, but place it at the bottom of the page instead of making it the first thing your audience will see. This will add credibility to the content of the piece and associate your brand with the integrity of the infographic.
What do I do with my Infographic?
Once you’ve created a great infographic, be sure to promote and share it. Go ahead and distribute it on social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr and Slideshare. Get in touch with bloggers who have a community that relates to your target audience. Turn to online publications to distribute your awesome infographic.
With a great infographic, you can increase traffic to your website and increase your online brand awareness.