Even if you’ve never heard the term before, you’ve definitely seen an infographic. If you haven’t, welcome to the internet. How was your time under your rock? Infographics are graphic representations of data or information that use charts, images and maps to break down numbers and ideas into a more digestible format. Typically, an infographic will use graphics rather than photos and will feature predominantly more pictures than text. They typically have a limited color palette and are shared through social media sites.
Why use infographics, rather than just posting a photo? An infographics are visually pleasing and simple. Almost 90% of the information gathered by our brains is processed visually. So while reading a wall of text can get your point across in a detailed way, an infographic is a great way to display information in a way that readers will really retain. Graphically, their simplicity and streamlined design makes them easy on the eye (and therefore easy on the brain.) They’re intuitive, easy to follow, and can help make complicated ideas seem much simple.
One of the best things about infographics is their visual nature. They can make a big impact on visitors to a website or connections through social media. Rather than having to read a lengthy “about me” section on a Facebook page or leaf through a pages-long report, they can gain insight and learn new information from a high-impact image.
Optimizing infographics for maximum impact is easy! With a few simple tips your infographics can get shared all over the web. Many of the tips have to do with the design and aesthetics of the graphic, while others are more concerned with what happens after the infographic has been designed.
- Don’t overcrowd your infographic! Let blank space and minimalism speak as a design element that allows more important information to stand out.
- Have a flow to your infographic. Make your content easy for the viewer to follow. Using bars, lines and arrows to direct the eye in a single direction will ultimately allow more people to retain the information you’re giving them. While your flow can be circular or linear, make sure it’s in a single direction (or two, if it’s a comparison.)
- Include mostly graphics and images. If you have mostly text, you’re defeating the purpose of designing an infographic. Reading should be minimal compared to looking at charts and images.
- Work within a limited color palette to keep the image simplistic and streamlined.
- Optimize your image by saving it as the correct kind of file! Because these are larger images, they’re better saved as .PDF or .PNG files. This will allow them to retain higher quality when being shared on various forms of social media.
- Make your infographics shareable. On a website, they should have embedded buttons for sharing on social media, and on social media they should be appropriately hash tagged or categorized.
Need more of a hint on how to make a better infographic? This slideshow is infographics that I’ve made during my time as a SahlComm intern. Hopefully, you’ll be able to see how these tips apply to the creation and sharing of actual infographics.