Infographics have become an instrumental tool in setting companies and information apart. They depict dense statistics and data in an easily digestible and visually appealing way. Mark Smiciklas defines an infographic as “a visualization of data or ideas that tries to convey complex information to an audience in a manner that can be quickly consumed and easily understood.” As simple as that seems, however, there is an art to creating a successful infographic. Follow the tips below to get a jump start on an infographic that will awe your audience!
Define Your Goal.
Before you even start creating content determine what you want your infographic to do. Will it educate? Create awareness? Sway misperceptions? The goal of your infographic will determine the layout, design and content.
Set a Theme.
Pick a theme and stick with it. Focus on font consistency and color scheme. Your infographic should include no more than two or three different fonts. Using too many different fonts confuses the viewer and distracts from the information. The same rule applies to colors. Pick three main colors and stick to them! Three colors allows variety and visual appeal without overwhelming the eye and, again, distracting the viewer. When choosing your three main colors make sure that they do not contrast too much. For example, using black background with red and yellow font could overwhelm the eye and take away from the infographics message. It is also important that the color scheme aligns with your with your company’s branding for consistency purposes. For more on the dos and don’s of infographic colors check out venngage.
Visualization NOT Decoration.
While images and visual representations are a crucial part to any successful infographic it is important that they mean something. Do not simple decorate information by putting a picture of a flower next to it. Visualize your data. This can include using detailed maps, pie graphs, charts, diagrams or other means of data visualization. Make sure your images mean something.
Tell a Story.
As with any piece of strategic content, infographics need a beginning, middle and end. This should be defined in the planning section of your infographic. Before beginning the design stage determine your goal (stage one) and how you are going to get there. By telling a story, you keep the viewer on track and more successfully illustrate your point. As detailed in Business 2 Community, story telling in content marketing leads to better retention and a “feel good factor.” Overall, this improves your viewer’s experience and their understanding of the content.
This is arguably the most important part of an infographic. Decide what you want your reader to do upon reading the infographic and make it clear. This could include voting, following you on social media, telling friends and a variety of other things. The call-to-action gives your infographic a “why” and a “what.” Why does this information matter and what should I do with it?
For more information on the basics of infographics and content marketing check out Forbes.