What’s the difference between a good infographic and a great infographic?
It’s all in the design.
While the information in an infographic is unquestionably important, the design is what actually draws a person in. If the infographic does not look interesting, if its layout is dull and monochromatic, if its presentation is flat and boring, then there’s no incentive to read it — no matter how many fascinating facts are presented. And sadly, many infographics full of incredible facts are ignored because they’re a jumbled cluster of words.
If you want to make your infographic stand out, here are four graphic design tips to help capture people’s attention.
Show Your Facts
You’ve probably heard the phrase “show, don’t tell” when it comes to writing. It means that you should explain why something happens rather than just sharing what happened. The same can be true for infographics. They lend themselves to real storylines, allowing the designer to think about the concepts being communicated and they come up with a fun way to illustrate the concept, rather than just offering a generic design.
For example, if you have the fact “nine out of ten dentists agree,” then actually show an image of nine dentists.
Example: Nerd Wallet has this cool infographic about women in the Senate by the Numbers. As you can see, when they mention the number of women who are senators, they actually show it, giving the stat more power.
Jazz It Up
You hate hearing the words “jazz it up,” but it generally means that you’re supposed to find a way to “wow” someone. Your clients want a designer to tackle the infographic for a reason, otherwise they would just post a simple Excel sheet. A designer’s job is to add elements that the layperson would not think of. They should be unexpected and eye-catching, but at the same time they cannot distract from the actual message of the infographic.
Example: This infographic from NeoMam Studios has a bit of animation up top, catching the reader’s eye right away, and further down the page it includes a really fun visual of bees actually buzzing around a “pot” of flowers.
Pick a theme and stick with it.
It can be tricky to get the right balance of color in an infographic. Use too much and it looks like a rainbow sneezed on your design. Too little, and the reader may fall asleep for lack of visual stimulus. The best way to get the right balance of color is to make sure your color serves a purpose. Pick a theme and stick with it the whole time. If you’re doing an infographic about elementary schools, use soft colors and child-like fonts. I’m not saying to use comic sans, but something lite would fit better than a rough, gritty font you’d use for an infographic about drag racing.
Example: KBG has a great infographic that’s all about office safety. They made the entire thing in the theme of the TV Show “The Office” and called it “Michael Scott’s Guide to Surviving Your 9-5.” It perfectly fits the style of the show, and even matches some theme of the DVD cases. You can tell just by looking at it what it’s about, without even reading the text.
Don’t Use Stock Images
Sure, it’s easy to grab images from the internet. However, so many other infographics do that, and it will make yours blend together with the rest of them. Using actual pictures that you take yourself can be unexpected and contrast nicely with all the text in a typical infographic. As for the rest, unless it’s a social media icon, design it yourself. You can make it your own, giving your design a creative edge.
Example: This 12 Keys Recovery infographic employs actual photos of pills and shot glasses that draw in the reader’s eye, generating interest in the information being conveyed. The image of the alarm clock set to go off every fifteen minutes, or every time there’s a suicide, gives a haunting visual to that statistic.
Follow these four tips and you are sure to get a better response on the next infographic you design.
More infographics tips: