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    the what, the when, the where, the why and the how

What is an Infographic?

In this era, “infographic” has become the broadest descriptor of a specific type of visual communication. (The word is a portmanteau of “information” and “graphic.”) It includes graphics showing data, copy, or both.

A simple Google Trends search will show that the word “infographic” has experienced a meteoric rise in popularity over the last few years, largely due to the use of this medium for both branded and editorial content on the web.

But as the buzz surrounding this word has grown, so have the arguments regarding what content should be properly classified as an infographic. We believe this term should remain open and inclusive as the medium evolves.

That said, there are general categories that infographics can fall into: data visualization, information design, and editorial infographics. Each serves its own purpose and can be a powerful storytelling tool—when applied properly.

When all is said and done, in the simplest terms, an inforgraphic is a visual representation of data. It can be static or animated.

Some Infographic Facts and Figures

90% of information

that is transmitted to the brain in everyday circumstances is visual.

600 times

more engagement with users is achieved when using visual posts.

83% of Learning

is done most effectively visually with pictures or illustrations.

93% of communication

between people is non-verbal.

People Follow

directions with illustrations 323% better than without illustrations.

People Remember

10% of what they hear, 20% of what they read but 80% of what they see and do.

The Who, When, Where & Why

Who is your target audience?

Who is the audience for your infographic?

As you are distilling your thoughts, keep asking yourself who you are designing the infographic for. The culture of the sector or the general persona of the individuals consuming your content will influencethe type of information you need to visualize or the tone of the infographic.

Who should be utilizing infographics?

Any business, whether it be a large company, a marketing firm, a government page or a simple blogger, can use infographics to present anything from a simple idea to complex data in a format that is fun, usually easy to read and memorable.

When do you need to or should you use an infographic?

When is/was the information relevant?

The information that forms the foundation of an infographic can be time-sensitive. An infographic that is more universal in nature—such as one that explains a process or idea—is less bound by time, tending to retain its meaning and offer value to those consuming it. Visuals based on statistical data may have an expiration date and need to be published within a specific time frame to be relevant to an audience. Using time as a filter when distilling information helps you decide whether your data or ideas have infographic merit now or are stale and need to be abandoned.

When do you need to publish your infographic?

Another factor that helps you process your information is the deliverable date. Your publishing timeline can often dictate what ideas or information you need to consider and which ones need to be set aside or delayed. For example, if your objective is to post a monthly infographicto your blog, and you are facing a deadline, you will likely work on synthesizing the easier information you’ve collected and save working through the more complex ideas for another time.

5 key places to put infographics:

Social media

Definitely consider posting the infographic (as an image or using a url) to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and SlideShare to get a lot of views and for click-throughs to your website.

Email marketing

Send out an email to your leads, contacts or any applicable marketing list with the infographic and pertinent information about the infographic’s topic. Make sure to use a call-to-action in your email.

Website and blog

This infographic should be posted on a landing page on your website or on your blog, so that the infographic has a url that can be shared. Also include html sharing and embedding data to encourage others to promote the infographic.

White papers

Include the infographic on a white paper, a brochure or a case study, to help prove the points made on the document and to influence the reader.

Press Release

Make a press release regarding the surprising or important findings from your infographic’s research, and send this press release and the infographic image to industry magazines and news organizations so that they can share it with their readers.

Infographics will help improve your business’s leadership image and can also help bring more people to your website.

W hy? Give me a reson to useinfographics:

Their visual appeal

If you really want to draw people’s attention, then an infographic is a great tool to use. According to HubSpot, 40% of people will respond better to images rather than text. In addition to this, it’s been considered that the attention span of people is getting shorter. As a result this may lead to content on your page being scanned rather than examined word for word. Therefore when combined, the graphical imagery and bright colours of an infographic can naturally draw the eye’s attention and can help communicate your message more effectively than a paragraph of words.

Infographics are also effective for telling a story.

They are shareable and reusable assets

If you allow people to share content that you publish on your website, just like our blog posts, then it will allow your infographic to start getting noticed on the internet and on social media networks. If your infographic is appealing and engaging enough, people will be more inclined to share it. Google Analytics can allow you to track how well people are engaging with your pages that use infographics, which can help identify further opportunities for your overall content marketing strategy.

As your infographic is shared across the internet and on social networks, it can lead to more links being established to your website. This fits in well with a link building strategy for your website in effort to improve it’s SEO performance.

In addition to this, you can also recycle infographics that won’t become irrelevant over time as part of your content marketing strategy. This is known as Evergreen Content.

They can help build brand awareness

Creating infographics in collaboration with your brand’s visual identity such as it’s colours and your logo, can do wonders for spreading awareness of your brand. If your fully branded infographic is making its away around the internet and on social media networks, more people are going to start recognising you. Not only that, but if using you’re using infographics to illustrate service processes, they are a great way to showcase your expertise which is an integral part of a successful brand strategy.

You can also adapt your infographics to fit within your business’s offline marketing activities. For example you can arrange printed versions to be handed out at public events and even use them on marketing collateral such as brochures and leaflets that promote your products and services.

Best Practices

Before you do anything else, ask the following: What kind of client is it? Who is their target audience? Do they hate the color gray? And so on. Ask these questions of the client directly or have them ready in your head after some research. Blanketing your decisions with broad generalizations rarely works out as anything beyond a surefire study in laziness. You’re creating art for a client. If a client tells you your infographic design isn’t right for their products and services, don’t just write it off as bad taste. Infographic design for a tech company will likely look quite different from one for a restaurant. Design choices, such as colors and illustration style, should be driven by their purpose, not because you’ve “been really into lucite green lately” or “just wanted to show the world that geometric shapes can define our souls.”
Consistent spacing is really important. People forget that way too often. Grids and baselines ensure the viewer’s eye has the opportunity to look at and internalize each component of your infographic. After all, no one wants their audience’s reaction to their infographic design to be a dismissive, “What the hell is happening here?” Spacing isn’t one of those infographic components that only a designer will notice. Anybody will notice if something looks off or out of place. Aligning your infographic design elements isn’t that hard, it just takes some thought and a little extra effort.
You can’t go crazy wild with fonts. You just can’t. It’ll end up looking like some frantically assembled ransom note. Limit yourself to one or two font families and as few font styles as possible. Bad typeface design stands out on a basic level immediately, within 300 milliseconds of looking at it, and the brain’s usually unable to remembering what was read after another 300 milliseconds. Be subtle by remembering that changes in font size, weight, color, letter case, and other decorations can help differentiate content and make elements stand out. Your goal is to help the reader determine headers, body copy, and captions.
People” isn’t a target demographic. That’s the answer you’d get from someone who’s never really considered their intended audience. If somebody asked you to design clothes for “some person” without any details beyond that, your head would explode. Designing anything well requires details, and the Internet certainly isn’t one-size-fits-all. To successfully stand out in the wild chaos of the digital void, think about all the places your infographic might appear:
  • What’s the biggest size the blog, landing page, or microsite will allow for images?
  • Don’t forget social. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest all display different dimensions, so consider whether you should truncate your information to focus on 1 or 2 main points.
  • Is there a chance it will be printed? If so, then it changes the color game. RGB for web; CMYK for print.
  • Did you already know ideal resolution? Well, here it is: 72dpi for web, 150dpi for retina screens, 300dpi for print.
Let the information be your guide. Bar charts make no sense with standalone stats: What are you comparing? And choosing a pie chart to illustrate 20 different percentages will just make you insane. It comes down to determining the data visualization type that’s most sensible and most effective. Is the data information collected over time? Are there multiple categories in the data set? Make it clear for the reader. Assume they are 1) interested, 2) not a data scientist, 3) having a relatively good day (because, hey, why not?)..
Your favorite colors don’t matter. What matters is your palette’s ability to work it. Can you read the text against that background? Do the two categories in the legend contrast strongly enough to see a difference? Can you use patterns and colors in the charts to be interesting and still effective? If you have trouble reading or deciphering anything in the design phase, then it’s safe to assume your readers will have a difficult time getting through it. Ignoring these design elements early on only causes you trouble and more work for yourself down the road. And you’d probably prefer that road be a nice one. Design with integrity.

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