Infographic Design: Top 12 Design Strategies

The Best Strategies For Compelling Infographic Design

Infographic designs have taken off on the internet in the last few years.

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In an environment where everyone is bombarded with facts and news, infographic designs present information in a way that grabs the viewer’s attention. Your graphic design career will benefit greatly from understanding how to properly use infographics for your clients.

But the best infographics are deceptively simple. It takes a great deal of thought and effort to refine and perfect the presentation. A great infographic has:

1. A Defined Target Audience

Infographic design begins with considering the viewer you want to reach.

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A diabetes infographic aimed at physicians will communicate differently than one aimed at patients or the general public. Taking a few moments up front to create a detailed profile of the ideal viewer will guide decisions about everything from what content to include to what colors to use.

2. Useful Information 

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The most beautiful design will not help if the information communicated is boring, stale, or incorrect. A great infographic presents accurate facts about something the target audience genuinely cares about and wants to understand.

3. Emotional Connection

The emotional connection is what separates a great infographic from an average one.

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These are the ones that not only hold the viewer’s attention but makes them want to share it with friends and colleagues. The best emotional responses are positive, like wonder, curiosity, satisfaction, or amusement. 

4. Clean Design

An uncluttered design aesthetic is a key component to a great infographic.

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Images should be simplified and composed of a few geometric shapes. Vector graphics in eye-catching colors seem to work best and are preferable to raster graphics or photographs. Think in well-known symbols rather than portraits, such as a stethoscope rather than a stock photo of a doctor. Text should be in colors and fonts that stand out against the background and are easy to read.

5. Unified Appearance

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Colors, shapes, and fonts need to be consistent throughout. Switching up design elements or using too many different ones creates confusion in the viewer.

6. Clear Through-path

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The facts are ordered so that each idea follows and builds on the previous one. The viewer should not have to double back or re-read to fully grasp the content. The graphic elements support a clear direction so that the eye is drawn from one section to the next in a natural way. Most longer infographics require scrolling, so the movement of the layout should combine with interesting information to make the viewer automatically reach for the touchscreen or scrollbar to keep going.

7. Infographics to Present Statistics

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Statistics are some of the most compelling and convincing facts you can offer in support of an idea, but they can also be boring and repetitive. Graphs that show the statistics visually, especially in comparison to each other, can instantly communicate the equivalent of paragraphs of text. Simplified, highly visual graphs are best, so think bar graphs and pie charts, and steer clear of highly technical designs like scatter plots or heat maps.

8. Carefully Chosen Text

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Much of the information in an infographic comes through the graphic elements and the layout, so the text has to be carefully chosen and edited. Sentences are short and simple, and stick to one main idea, with a reading level appropriate to the target audience. 

9. Perfect Editing 

Many eyes should look over an infographic before it goes on a website or into print.

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Editors check for factual accuracy, grammatical and spelling errors, and typos. Design specialists evaluate the layout and color choices. People who are not involved in the creation of the infographic, preferably members of the target audience, are asked for feedback on how they understood and enjoyed the presentation.

10. Sources At The Bottom

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You don’t have to include sources with all infographics, but the more sophisticated the audience, the more they will want to know where a particular fact or statistic came from. It’s also important to credit sources of quotes or proprietary material to avoid copyright issues. Rather than inserting references in the main body, include a box at the bottom with a simple list. The people who want to know will find the references, without cluttering up the main presentation for everyone else.

11. Branding For The Sponsor

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Most infographics are intended as marketing for a company or organization, so the graphic itself should contain some kind of branding pointing back to the creator. This is especially important if the item goes viral and is widely shared, as the graphic itself will inevitably become detached from supporting material like a text introduction or headline. 

12. Easily Shareable Infographic Design

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A great infographic includes multiple options for sharing it to make it easier to go viral. Buttons and links to social media platforms and relevant hashtags are key components. The graphic should include embed codes to make it easy to publish on other websites. Text snippets and images should be composed and optimized by the infographic creator, not left to the whims of the person who shares it.

A simple and clear infographic has a great deal of complex thought and effort behind it. It may seem like something easy to create in-house, but for a truly spectacular presentation, it’s best to hire professionals to design it. A memorable infographic that goes viral will continue to pay dividends for your brand for months or even years. It’s worth the investment.

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