Perfect infographics start with a thesisThe number one thing to understand about designing successful infographics is that it cannot just be “a bunch of stats or other figures arranged visually on a page.” Infographics, like any other marketing collateral, are used best when they're telling a story. In this particular case, that story just happens to be told primarily with figures and data as opposed to good, old-fashioned text. Because of this, before you even get into the visual element of your Infographics you'll need to settle on a thesis statement: What exactly are you trying to say? What impression do you want the reader to take away when they finally get to the end? The answer to this question will dictate every choice you make moving forward, so it’s an important one to settle on as quickly as possible.
Structuring your infographicOnce you've settled on the story you're trying to tell, the next thing to do is to nail down your structure. Think of it a bit like telling a joke: First you introduce the setup, meaning the context that people need to understand what is to come; then, you expand on that setup and offer the hook (the thing that keeps people interested); finally, you hit them with the punch line (the surprise at the end of the joke that generates the laugh). If you don't have these core elements, or if they're not in the appropriate order, your joke (or in this case, your infographic) won't be nearly as successful as you need. In terms of infographics, the ideal structure is as follows:
- Introduce your topic, either by way of a short block of text or by a bold opening fact or figure.
- Introduce a complication. This is a problem that you're offering a solution to, or an idea that you're going to be expanding on.
- Expand on that complication. Your reader should learn why this topic is important and should slowly be able to get an idea of what you're trying to say about it.
- Finally, the conclusion. This is the period on the end of your sentence that sums up what someone has learned, what they can do with this information and where they can find more if they so choose.
Don't forget about designJust because you can make an infographic without a graphic design degree, doesn't mean you can throw out all the tried-but-true rules of visual communication. The data you arrange should naturally flow from top to bottom. These elements should be presented in a way that guides the reader from one point to the next, often without them even realizing you're in control in the first place. Each data point should build and expand on the one that came before it, eventually leading the reader directly to the beautiful climax (or punch line) that they were after in the first place.
Payman is the founder of Visme, a tool for creating infographics and other engaging content. He loves to write about topics that help fuel people's design and communication skills.
Searching for a tool to make cross-platform design a breeze? Desperate for an extension that helps you figure out the…
By Robert Reeve
As a creative professional, navigating the digital realm is second nature to you. It’s normal to follow an endless…
Remember when Merriam-Webster added Photoshop to the dictionary back in 2008? Want to learn how AI is changing design…
By Max Walton
Remember the screech of dial-up internet? Hold fond memories of arcade machines? In this list, we’re condensing down 30…