Remember the storybooks you read as a kid? Golden Books and Dr. Seuss were great, but if you were like most kids, you’d reach for the pop-up books every time. We all grew up, but it turns out our tastes haven’t changed all that much. Give the average reader a choice between a blog post with a few pictures and an infographic that presents the same information in a whole new dimension and – you guessed it! – the kid in all of us will reach for the infographic.
Do You Have a Story to Tell?
Just like those old pop-up books, infographics tell a story and they do it with a little more pizazz than your average blog post. You can use them to convey any kind of information – both quantitative figures and qualitative facts.
Whether you have qualitative information, quantitative data or a mixture of the two, the first step in creating an infographic is deciding whether you have a great story to tell. And keep in mind that it doesn’t need to be an epic story – some infographics as simple as basic Venn diagrams, while others are long, complex creations that leave your readers scrolling for more.
Gathering the Facts
Once you’ve decided that you do have a good story to tell, you’ll need to round up all the facts and put them in logical order. The easiest way to do this is to create an outline with all of your data grouped into sets. If you’re creating an outline with several panels, for instance, each section of your outline should represent the information that will be displayed in a single panel. Make sure to keep a list of sources so that you can provide attribution when you put the infographic together. And if you need a little help doing the research or developing the outline, you can always hire website writers to do the legwork for you.
Designing Your Infographic
There many factors to keep in mind once you start designing, but the four big ones are format, font, color and style. For the format, choose something that works with the data you’re presenting. Here are a few examples:
- Use timelines and spirals to show progression.
- Flow charts work well to direct your reader to a choice.
- Use multiple panels to present dissimilar facts and statistics.
As to the fonts, stick with those that are easy to read, yet lend their personality to your finished graphic. Things like calligraphy and cursive are usually difficult to read and therefore rarely a good idea. Most designers will settle on two fonts – the main font for text, and an accent font for titles, subheadings and important words and phrases.
The color palette is the next hurdle to overcome. Rather than splashing colors willy-nilly, use color to evoke emotion. As an example, green represents growth and wealth, while orange is used to convey excitement and confidence. Here’s a helpful infographic from Kissmetrics with more information on color psychology.
The last element is style. Style boils down to choosing graphic elements that fit a theme. Going back to the children’s book analogy, remember how the art on each page looked similar to the last? That’s the look you’re going for. In other words, don’t mix cartoony graphics with modern, futuristic line drawings or art from some other theme. This is where a huge library of stock images and vector art proves helpful. If you don’t have access to a paid stock website, there are many great free choices, including the Creative Commons Search.
We’ve spent all this time talking about infographics and very little time looking at infographics. Here’s one that details why you need to include infographics in your content marketing plan.
If you’re still not quite sold on infographics, check out this infographic created by Bit Rebels. According to their data, infographics are shared 832% more on Twitter than text-based posts, and they perform much better than text on most other social media platforms as well.
As you can see, much like the three-dimensional pop-up books from your childhood, infographics have quite a few bells and whistles that your average blog post is missing. They have personality, style, a pop of color and most of all, facts and statistics presented in a format that is easy to read and even easier to remember.
Amber K is addicted to infographics. She loves every step of the infographic creation process, from collecting data all the way to layout and design.