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Infographics 101

by Danielle Duggan on May 10, 2017

Most people panic at the mention of the word “design,” because they lack the graphic design skills which others have spent years developing. But the good news is, even if you have little to no design experience, infographic-building programs can help make creating designs simple.

Still, just because you can create an infographic doesn’t mean you should. Infographics are an excellent storytelling tool, but sometimes aren’t the best format to tell each and every story.

When to Use One

When deciding whether an infographic is the best format for displaying your information, ask yourself these important questions:

1. Is this information difficult to understand with written words?

Infographics can make complex information easier to read and understand. Information presented visually is more pleasing to the eye and may also enhance the story you’re trying to tell.

2. Is there data?

Data is key to a successful infographic. Without data, your information is likely better told in a different format. But numbers alone aren’t enough. In order to interest the reader and emphasize your point, you must also interpret the data you present in a statistically significant manner.

3. Will your audience respond well to it?

Though this isn’t something you can immediately determine, you can still figure out what interests your audience based on how they respond to your infographics and visual storytelling content over time. In particular, pay attention to whether the people engaging with such content are part of your ideal target audience.

Creating Content

People look to infographics to find quick bits of information. Consequently, your infographics should either present simple facts in a compelling way, or show complex information in a simplified form.

Though infographics can be lengthy, there is limited room for text so your content should be short and concise. Even if the topic matter is complicated, use simple language to make your point easily understood.

Infographics should also be easy to follow and flow almost as a narrative. Not every infographic will have a clear beginning, middle and end, but the reader should be able to easily follow its progression. Regardless of whether it follows the traditional story structure, it should tell its own small story.

One great way to make it easier for your readers to follow your story is by capitalizing on the infographic’s visual elements. An example is through color. Color coding your infographic easily differentiates the text and visual aspects of your graphic.

At the start, provide enough background information so that the reader knows the context of the infographic. The beginning should also clearly lay out what the core claim of the graphic is.

Also include important statistics and present them in a way that your reader will find compelling and interesting. As mentioned earlier, you can’t rely on the numbers alone to do all the heavy lifting; what’s more important is how you present your statistics in order to support your main claim.

Be sure to do enough research before constructing the infographic so you have solid data to include.

Make sure to find credible sources of information to incorporate. If the design is great, but the facts falter, the graphic won’t be successful.

While it’s important to provide a lot of valuable information, don’t overload the reader. As they will want to quickly scan the easy-to-read infographic, they won’t want to be overwhelmed with too much information.

Building a Design

Above all, keep your target audience in mind. Your infographic should appeal to your target audience not just in terms of its content, but also its design. After all, designing for new mothers is very different from designing for high school boys. Possible factors to consider include the age group of your target audience, their gender, and their interests.

To take the next step towards crafting a defined strategy that meets your ideal audience’s needs, take advantage of the Sprk’d Foundation Formula™. This month-long deep dive into your business’s inner workings will help you flesh out the buyer personas you can use to direct your content strategy.

If you don’t feel confident in your design abilities, there are many infographic-building resources available online which offer premade templates or visual inspiration. We’ve included a list of our recommendations at the end of this article.

Choose a design that will catch your reader’s eye and draw them in. To start, keep your design simple and use contrasting colors. Contrasting colors fall on opposite sides of the color wheel and can make your design easier to read. It also makes the design stand out on the page.

Make sure to have a focal point. By highlighting a few key elements, your infographic will be easier to follow. Make certain important elements stand out by using color color or making those elements larger.

If your infographic requires a chart to display your information, be sure to choose the best format for emphasizing your key points.

  • Bar graphs are great for comparing data;
  • Line graphs show progressions over time;
  • Pie charts work well for comparing parts of a whole;
  • Picture graphs use symbols to show data.

The Execution

You don’t need to put the pressure on yourself to create an infographic completely from scratch. By using  an infographic-building website, you can create clean and well-done designs without putting yourself through unnecessary struggle.

We recommend getting started with these resources:

For more help with design, check out Sprk’d’s suggestions for other design resources!
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