10 steps to creating engaging infographics
Infographics are a great way to share information in a visually engaging way. The fact that our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text is a huge part of the reason online users are more likely to engage with information presented in an image rather than text. Whether you’re a blogger, a business owner, or just someone looking to share some great information with a wider audience, learning to make your own infographics can be a fun way to get your point across.
What is an infographic?
An infographic is a visual representation of a set of data. It’s a way for designers to help an audience understand a lot of information in an easily digestible and visually appealing way. As visual beings, it’s easier and quicker for us to comprehend a message containing images as opposed to consuming lengthy, complicated text.
In today’s world where there’s so much competition for user’s attention online, it helps to know what kind of content people are actually consuming. Given that the use of colored visuals increase readership by 80% and posts containing images increase engagement by 180%, learning how to make an infographic is a wise use of your marketing efforts.
Here are 10 steps to get you started on making your very own infographics.
10 steps to create an infographic
1. Define your goals
The first place to start is by defining what your main goal is. A good infographic tells a story. What’s the story you’re hoping to share with your audience?
Make sure to keep it simple. You want to demonstrate information in a way that takes complex data and makes it easy to understand. Consider what kind of tone you’re trying to set, what problem you’re hoping to solve, and what conclusion you’d like the viewer to come to.
2. Collect your data
Good data is the bread and butter of a solid infographic. You should be adamant about collecting great data that will help to communicate and support your message. Perhaps you already have your own data, in which case you can skip this step. But if you’re looking for some good sources of reliable data, try these:
- Statista. Insights and facts across 600 industries and 50+ countries
- Google Scholar. Index of scholarly literature across a wide array of subjects and publishing formats
- FiveThirtyEight. Analysis, statistics, and stories in politics, sports, science, economics, and culture
- HubSpot. The ultimate list of marketing statistics
- Pew Research Center. Publications and downloadable datasets in a variety of research areas
In addition, other places to look that are always good sources of reliable data include academic journals, trade journals, scientific papers, and databases.
3. Check your sources
You can’t establish authority without using quality sources. Just as with any research project, it’s important to use quality facts and statistics.
All of the sources listed above are great resources for dependable information. However, you may have data that you’ve found elsewhere. It’s always a good idea to think critically about where you’re getting your information.
Consider when the info was published. If it’s been a while, the facts may not be relevant anymore.
Always make sure you’re presenting with facts instead of opinion. If most of your information is coming from online searches, websites with .gov, .edu, and .org are typically from credible institutions such as government databases and educational organizations.
Also, it never hurts to check out a variety of sources to make sure you can find the same information in multiple places.
4. Decide how best to organize your data
There are a lot of different ways to organize your information, so you’ll want to decide ahead of time what the best way is to demonstrate it. Remember what your primary goal is and consider how different charts and data visualizations can help to convey your message.
Consider the ICCORE acronym developed by Venngage. The acronym stands for inform, compare, change, organize, reveal relationships, and explore. Depending on which of these best describe what you want to show your audience, you can decide what the best way is to organize and illustrate your points.
5. Sketch out some ideas
Now, it’s finally time to design your infographic! Most people will find that it helps to sketch it out first with good old fashioned pen and paper. This way, you have more clarity on where to start and where you’re going. Plus, you can quickly sketch out more than one draft to compare the overall look of your design before you spend a ton of time with whichever design software you choose to use later on.
6. Consider your style elements
After you have an initial sketch that you’re happy with, you can begin to add in your visual content. Keep in mind what sort of tone you’re hoping to set. When establishing your infographic design, revisit what your main goal is and what story you’re trying to tell.
First, consider your color scheme. Remember that color is an important factor in setting the overall mood and feeling of your design. Try to keep it to just 3 or 4 colors so your infographic doesn’t overwhelm or confuse your audience. Use colors that support your message and help guide the viewer’s eyes to the most important points.
Even though text isn’t the main feature of your design, the typography you choose is very important. Make sure it’s easy to read, has good contrast, and fits in with the tone you’re setting. You should choose just one main font and one supporting font. Again, keep it simple so as not to distract from your message. Check out Google fonts if you’re unsure of what style you want.
Your title should be big, easy to read, and eye-catching. You want it to attract the viewer’s eye and bring them in. Make sure it clearly explains what your infographic is about. Use subtitles and bold text to divide information into digestible pieces.
The last important visual element to consider is your images. Choose bright, clear photographs or relevant icons. If you’re super creative, consider making your own. Otherwise, there are a lot of great sources online to find free icons, images, and vector art. Here’s just a few:
- FlatIcon. Tons of free and premium icons available for download
- VectorStock. Royalty-free vector art for infographics
- Unsplash. High-quality stock images
7. Choose your design tool
There are many available tools out there to help you make an infographic. If you’re already a designer, you may have access to the Adobe suite of tools, including Photoshop and Illustrator. Either of those applications are perfect for designing a killer infographic.
However, there are also a variety of other design tools out there. User-friendly sites like Canva allow you to drag and drop elements into existing templates. Visme is an online design tool for creating beautiful infographics and presentations. Venngage is another software program made especially for designing infographics.
Looking for free infographic tools?
8. Iterate and incorporate feedback
As with any great design, it’s always a good idea to present your work to a colleague, employer, or trusted friend before publishing it. It helps to get another pair of eyes on your creative work to see things you may be missing after you’ve spent so much time creating.
Ask questions to make sure your design makes sense to the viewer and achieves your ultimate goal. Have someone take another look at your spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Simple errors in copy can have a negative effect on your overall credibility.
9. Create your final draft
Once you’ve had someone else check your work, it’s time to make your final tweaks. Incorporate any helpful feedback and fix any errors. Often, it’s helpful to put your design aside for a little bit at this point and come back to it later with a fresh pair of eyes. If you still feel good about it the next day, it’s probably time to ship it!
10. Share with your audience!
Finally, it’s time to share all your hard work. Post your infographic wherever your audience is most likely to find it. This might include your website or blog, and/or relevant social media platforms.
Remember, the point of an infographic is to display complex information in a way that is both visually appealing as well as easy to comprehend. If you can say something with an image, say it with an image instead of copy! When creating an infographic, always use text as a complement rather than a focus.