Last time I wrote about how to design an infographic, I wanted to focus on the theoretical part. I tried to introduce you to the thery of designing an infographic. Of course, I am not a professional designer but I like everything that is visual and therefore I’ve also studied this field – infographic.
The text for the theoretical part was aimed at those who want to have a better understanding of how an infographic is thought from a marketer’s point of view. And now,regarding the practical part, I will not tell you exactly how to design an infographic, but I will rather share with you the important points you should be taking into account when it comes to this visual content.
1. Process your data
Not everyone has the ability to read and fully understand statistics taken from a calculation. Therefore you should see it this way: you may be able to understand what it means 80% of 100% but perhaps one of the people that will see your inforgraphic is an outsider and needs to be given a thorough explanation.
So after you write down all the dates and statistics, I recommend that you pass them through a filter of general understanding.
Of course, if your infographic aims to target a specific type of people then you should better deliver these particular dates only to them. And after you’ve written them down you should ask yourself “What can we understand from this data?” Furthermore, take a few colleagues with you (or friends) and ask them what they can and cannot understand from that data.
Be very carefully with where you get that data. Who is your source. Can it be trusted or not?
2. Choose the wireframe
In order to choose a wireframe for an infographic we first need to know what this term means:
A wireframe is a sketch of the future project, created in order to provide its visual structure.
That is the skeleton on which you will start building the whole structure, the whole body if you will. When I want to make an infographic I start by making its skeleton: I figure out where to put the title, where to put the sources, where to put the hypothesis and the solution.
In my previous post I was showing you examples of infographics made by Quicksprout from a branding perspective. After a close study of nearly 15 infographics I realized that Neil mostly uses the same simple but useful wireframe.
- Begin with a catchy title (something quite sharable, maybe one that can also be used as a blog post headline)
- Start from the hypothesis of the subject by asking questions like: “Why is ….important?” or “Why bother …?” or “How much is …?”
- Present some “sexy” dates about the subject. In fact show the importance of the subject!
- Tips & Tricks (here you should expand the infographic depending on the subject)
- Examples of situations
- The conclusions you have drawn and sometimes even a CAT (call-to-action)
It does not have to have the same structure as Neil Patel’s inforgraphics but it is recommended to create a typology of your infographic in order to be easily followed.
[Tweet “An infographic is like visually telling a story!”]
3. Choose the tone of the design
I get really worn out by infographics where strong colors are used just for the sake of drawing attention in such a large mass like the Internet. Please do not do this, do not be so aggressive in showing me your work. Actually, you can choose to be, but the result will be on you. And because you were too stubborn to use tasteful items just for the sake of standing out, it will be a loss for you.
Therefore watch the tone of the design because it’s not just about the visual part, it’s also about the way you’re using the information from your infographic. Might I say, the visual tonality of the voice? Hmmm … perhaps it sounds weird saying it like that, but I do hope you get my point.
[Tweet “Your Infographic is a story well told. “]
Imagine if someone came to you and started shouting a story in your ears, harassing you, pulling your hands, feet or started pushing you. That’s how it is with a much too aggressive infographic in color, font or voice tonality.
In order for you to get a better understanding of what I’m trying to tell you by voice tonality, color, font and even brand I will present some cases of DOs vs DON’Ts.
- Organizational Chart of the House Democrats’ Health Plan
- Secretary Health & Human Services
- The Best Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Ideas
4. Spacing between dates and graphics
When I was writing at the 1st point, that it is important to process the data I already had in mind this point as well. Spacing is important. Just like spacing is a very important point in a banner ad the same applies to designing an infographic.
Believe me, I understand all too well that you have a lot of information and you want to write it all because it gives out a good impression, because you want to position yourself as an expert in the field and because blah blah blah. But spacing helps the reader process the information from the visual. Give him time and space. Don’t wear him out! Be aware of the fact that he probably has other things to do besides deciphering your information.
Have you noticed that above in the examples from the 3rd point where I presented infographics that fall in the category of “DON’T” one of the bigger problems was spacing? So, how hard was it for you to get into the story or to read the information. I bet it wasn’t easy, right?
Let the information breathe. Leave time for the reader to process the information. You want to see the importance of a white space? Study the Apple brand and you’ll see what I mean.
5. Pay attention to the details
What details? We’ve already talked about dates, statistics, visual elements, white space, colors, brand, etc. Do you know what the details are? Those points that make all the difference. Sometimes it’s just a simple stripe or a simple color. Sometimes it’s a vectorized logo or the way you upload an infographic.
I know you already know that the difference is in the details and that designers need a time to rest their minds after working on a design in order to later retouch it. Therefore I heartily recommend you to go on to the next point.
6. Now you deserve a break
7. Resume Work
Ready? Did you came back from lunch, coffee, movie, walking or got off the phone with your mother? Great. Now resume designing. Change the music in your headphones, tell the people you were chatting with you have to go for a few hours, feed your dog and open the design. Study it. What do you see differently? Are the colors like you wanted them to be? Can the title be smaller? Perhaps you skipped a number that could make the whole difference in the chart (see, details, just what I was saying above) or perhaps one color clashes with another.
Nobody said a infographic must be finished in 2, 3 or 8 hours. You can even work for two whole days on it. The important thing is for it to be great in the end!
8. Talk to someone with an eye for constructive criticism
When I made “The Art of Evangelism” infographic I asked the opinion of two close people that have a great eye for constructive criticism. I have received constructive feedback that I then incorporated into the design.
The fact that you can ask for feedback from someone close to you who believes in your work and what you do is very important. Therefore I recommend you talk to someone who has an eye for constructive criticism. (Be careful! There are plenty critics on the market but very few who come up with constructive criticism).
9. Do an overhaul of the infographic
After you’ve taken a break, gotten back to work and spoke with someone with an eye for constructive criticism you’d better do a complete overhaul of the infographic. You, as the creator, have the final decision over whether it is good or not. Because you’ve designed it, you spent hours on it, and you’ve worked your butt off for it. So you’re the one who gets to decide if your infographic is finally ready to go out on the stage or not.
So that’s the practical part of designing an infographic. I only hope that my information was useful and you’ve already started working.
Now, after reading these posts I’m waiting for you to send me your projects in the comment section.
Photo Resources | Shutterstock
Design | Bannersnack