So, let’s start with the first thing everyone is wondering…what exactly IS an infographic? Well, I could give you a long drawn out explanation, but instead, you can just read below.
In the digital marketing world, we are always sending our clients different types of reports. Although, when you sit back and think about it, who wants to flip through pages of black and white graphs and reports? Not me, probably not you either. So, we use infographics instead. Infographics are tricky though, and designing them is time-consuming. Below you will see the 15 steps we go through to make an infographic.
Digest Your Information
It doesn’t matter if you are the one responsible for finding all the information, or if a client gives you the information, you’re still the one going through all of it. As time-consuming and boring as that may be, NEVER just skim over it. Inside all of that boring text, you will find little pieces of information that spark your brain of how to creatively show it. The information inside you creatively designed infographic is the most important part.
Go Over Your Sources
Make for sure that the information you’re using in your infographic is credible. Think about every paper you wrote in high school and/or college, finding and citing sources were the key to a good paper, with reliable information. Treat finding information for your infographic like it’s your final exam paper. Never get yourself in a situation where you are displaying inaccurate information.
Make A Wireframe
Think of a wireframe as a skeleton. A body is built around a skeleton, just as an infographic is built around a wireframe. Taking time to layout where all of your text and images will go beforehand will save you LOADS of time (and a lot of pissed off moments). A wireframe will help you see how everything flows together.
Some of the information you get speaks for yourself, whereas some of it will take some creative thinking. Don’t try and make your information fit a certain format, make your format fit your information. Never be afraid to use symbols, pie graphs, flowcharts, maps, etc.
Tell A Story
When someone can look at your infographic and clearly see your message, you have a successful infographic on your hands. Here’s another solid tip, NEVER start designing your infographic until you are 100% sure on what you are trying to say. Your story should decide your design.
Establish Your Voice
You have to be sure that the voice of your infographic matches what your infographic is about. If you have serious information but your infographic if bright pink and looks happy, the reader will be confused. So, if it’s fun happy information, make a fun happy infographic. If it’s very serious information, then make a serious infographic. You get where I’m going here right? Good. The whole point behind an infographic is to be easy to understand.
Type & More
Remember flipping through books as a kid and only looking at the pictures? In a way, infographics are the same way. Therefore, when you have the opportunity to visually show something, do it. Don’t focus so much on just type when you can use illustrations, charts, icons and any other graphics to show your information.
Type Does Still Matter
Okay so, don’t forget what I said above, it’s really important and stuff, BUT, you do still need to care about it. When it can be used, typography is an important part of infographics. Always always always make sure that whatever typefaces you use go well together. You never want your type overpowering or detracting from what visuals you use.
The first thing to keep in mind when choosing colors, there’s a good chance that your infographic will be viewed on some sort of computer screen. With this being said, try to consider colors that work well on a screen and try to stay away from any neon colors. Neons can cause a lot of stress to a viewer’s eyes on a screen. Another thing, do your best not to use a white background. Seems silly I know, but think about it this way, anywhere online your infographic may be shared is most likely going to have a white background. You want it to stand out, not blend in. Also, do your best not to use more than 3 colors. If you have to, try to use other shades of your 3 colors. Anything past 3 will start to look too busy and confusing.
Some people call it “white space”, but considering I just told you to stray away from a white background, we’re going to call it blank space. One of the most common mistakes when designing an infographic is it simply being too busy. Organization is the key to a clean approachable design.
Look, infographics are A LOT of work, that involves A LOT of time. Make yourself take time to step away and come back later. When you’re designing something that has a subject you simply aren’t into, taking a step back for a minute can help you to re-evaluate and not just rush to get finished. Coming back to it with a fresh clear mind can help you tremendously in the long run.
You ever heard of TMI? I’m sure you have. Well surprisingly enough, TMI is more than common in infographics than one might think. The best thing to do is break down all the information in 10 points at the most and add information for each one that lightly explains each point. TMI is going to turn into a too much text problem (which we’ve been over above).
WHAT DOES THAT SPELL?! PROOFREAD!! Always, always, always. You’re a human, it’s okay, we all screw up. Not checking over your work is going to result in at least one mistake, and that’s if you’re lucky. There’s always a chance that if you don’t proofread, the client may not proofread, and if that infographic gets posted with spelling errors it ultimately falls back on you. Always proofread your work, and if someone else you work with has time, get them to check behind you also.
This step is much smaller, and more about opinions. Before you get to the “final product” point of your infographic, let a few others see what you’re working with. You may think that you have a great infographic with great visuals and great information, but others may not see it the same way. You aren’t looking for 27 different opinions, you can’t please everyone. What you are looking for is a few people to let you know if everything flows and makes sense together.
Now starts the most dreaded part of any designers job. Correction time. Now that you have everything together and just how you want it, it’s time to send it to the client and make any revisions necessary. At this point try and keep in mind, no matter how much you like what you’ve designed, at the end of the day it’s about what the client wants.
Well, that’s all folks.
That’s really it.
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