What are infographics and why should you use them?
Infographics are exactly that—information presented in graphic form. They are effective because people are visual consumers. In fact, 65 percent of us are visual learners.
If you have a large amount of information to share—whether that be facts, statistics, financial reports, etc.—it’s a good bet that your audience would benefit from an infographic approach. And to add yet another notch in their belt, it seems that even as design trends come and go, infographics are here to stay.
Your approach to designing infographics should be vastly different from any other medium. Just as you wouldn’t design a billboard the same way you design a magazine ad, infographics also have their own set of unique considerations. Below are my top four tips for designing effective infographics. Absorb.
1) Find Your Visual Voice
If you’re creating an infographic to support a brand, the design should be complimentary to the brand identity. You do have some freedom, to the point where you could deviate slightly, but stay close to that line—don’t cross it.
If you don’t have a brand beacon to light your way, it’s important to find your visual voice. Pick a color scheme, a font family and a standard for charts, graphs and icons. All of these items will establish the overall look and tie your design together.
2) Keep Copy Light
Pretty simple concept here. Don’t overload your design with copy. Keep descriptions short—or better yet—don’t use any. Let your graphics do the talking.
“Keep it simple, stupid.” One of my favorite design acronyms, be it a little harsh. Take no offense, it’s just an easy way to remind oneself that more isn’t necessarily better. Patterns, drop shadows and intricate iconography should be used sparingly or not at all. Another good rule of thumb: when in doubt, leave it out.
4) Go with the Flow
Lastly, your design should have a visual flow. When you look at the design, your eye should automatically follow a natural direction and lead you through the information. Sometimes that’s easier said than done, but if you incorporate the design principles of hierarchy and rhythm, then you’re on your way there.
Whether you’re the one creating an infographic or using one to relay information, these tips will help you understand what to look for in an effective design.