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Design 101: 5 Steps to Master the Infographic

In this data-driven world, infographics have become essential to delivering quantitative content in a visual way. Marketers have taken the ball and run with it with infographics commanding attention on websites and across social-media platforms. But not all the designs out there are getting it right. Infographics might be datacentric, but their creation is more of an art than a science. Follow these guidelines to make sure that your content has the biggest impact on your audience.

Effective infographics

1. Keep it simple, stupid. Avoid overcomplicating either the content or the design. Choose a central theme and do not stray from it. The reader needs to be able to digest the graphic quickly and easily. People want the data now and don’t want to have to dig too deep to get it.

2. This is not your mama’s fridge. Remember, color is not always your friend. Overusing colors will only hurt the effectiveness of your graphic. The colors you choose need to be appropriate for the overall theme and not overwhelming to your content.

3. Don’t use rotten data.  The data used needs to be accurate and representative of the subject. Data that is not current hurts the credibility of the graphic, so make sure that you do your research beforehand and name your sources in the final product.

4. Push it to the limit. Infographics are a chance to push your creative boundaries, so avoid using generic pie charts and bar graphs. Use unexpected shapes and design elements that work with the subject and make the infographic entertaining and eye-catching. Some services out there can help you create a quick and easy infographic with stock images, but you’ll be better served by using your own unique graphics.

5. Follow the rules. Make sure your infographic follows these basic design principles:

  • Hierarchy– Use a visual hierarchy to help the reader pick out the most important information.
  • Contrast – Be sure to vary the size of the shapes according to importance as another visual guideline to help readers understand your infographic.
  • Balance– Position elements so that they appear unified on the page and do not create tension.