Infographic design is made up of several key elements, all of which work together to create a stunning picture that will draw your audience in. What are these key elements? By the time you’ve finished reading this, you’ll know all the essential components of a great infographic and how to design it.
Your infographic needs to have a killer headline that grabs your audience’s attention. Showing an infographic with just facts and figures isn’t going to cut it – you need to make a point. For example, if your infographic concerns pharmaceuticals, you may want to start with a title like “5 Reasons You’re Overpaying For Prescription Drugs.” This is something that speaks directly to your audience, and they’ll want to read on to find out why they’re overpaying.
Throwing information out there cold turkey will make you lose your audience. People like to hear a story using the important information you want to convey, so have a story to guide your audience through the main points of your presentation. Interactive infographics give your presentation structure that you can support with useful tips and facts. Each point should help solidify the main focus of your infographic.
While it’s tempting to jam a bunch of impressive visuals and other elements into your infographics, simplicity is best. You want your infographics to have a clear, concise design that’s easy to read and digest. If there’s too much going on in your infographic design, you need to tame it down a bit. Make sure there’s enough white space between images, text and charts. Filling up every single bit of space makes infographics congested, and too many bright colors are blinding to viewers.
Speaking of impressive visuals, there should at least be some in your infographic. You don’t want a long slate of boring text, so add in images and graphics that help tell the story. Let’s take another look at the pharmaceuticals example:
- The theme of overpaying could be supported by dollar icons, dollar signs, and a robber with a bag of money.
- Using the color green evokes the image of greed and money, so you would want to use green as your infographic’s primary color.
- Have contrasting colors for customer images, perhaps white to emphasize innocent consumers being cheated.
The impression your audience gets from your infographic has a lot to do with how they see things. Help them see by using the right images, colors and text.
While you want to put a healthy amount of information into your infographic design, make sure the size of the infographic keeps images and fonts legible. It’s easy to misjudge how readable a font or font size is when you’re editing on your computer screen, so test it out before you publish it. The recommended limit for the number of pixels for length is 5,000. Try to keep it under that number. Depending on how much information you need on your custom infographic, you might have to shorten it a bit.
All of the above elements should combine so that your infographic design flows smoothly. Jumbled sentences or inconsistency in images and writing can confuse your audience. Your infographic design should guide your audience on a journey; any hiccups along the way need to be smoothed out, otherwise, your infographic may not have the effect you want. Both cognitive and visual elements need to have a common theme that brings all parts of your infographic together to function as they should.
If you’re going to make the case that pharmaceutical companies are overcharging consumers (as per the previous example), you need to make sure you have the accurate information listed. Your audience doesn’t want to be lied to, and although quite a few companies create a certain amount of hype around topics like this, you’re better than that. Include only true statements, not conjectures or theories. Your credibility may very well be on the line if you choose to include false statements in your custom infographic.
An intelligent audience isn’t going to just take your word for it. If you have a fact-based claim, you need to show that by citing your sources. While you may know that what you’re saying is true, your audience needs visual, factual confirmation with sources they can check themselves. True, most audience members won’t go to the trouble of checking sources, but the ones that do can either be your greatest ally or your worst enemy. All sources included on your infographic should be up-to-date and relevant.
Don’t wait until consumers stumble upon your custom infographic – get out there and promote it! Social media is a great way to get the word out, so design your infographic with those dimensions in mind. If you want, you can customize your infographic by optimizing several for each different social media outlet. Shareable infographics should include an overlay of your company logo, a link to your website, and an embed code for others to share your infographic.