4 Ways To Make Your Infographics Have More Impact

Over the past 5 years, the search term “infographic” has increased 100-fold—that’s a 10,000 percent increase! It is safe to say that this form of visual storytelling isn’t just a passing fad, but is here to stay. The problem that many people have, however, is creating infographics just for the sake of creating infographics. Whatever message you are trying to communicate, it needs to be done in a way that is captures the attention of your audience and makes a lasting impression. Here are 4 ways that you can make your infographics more impactful.

1. Think Beyond The Bar Graph

The most common mistake that people make when designing infographics is using the same type of charts and graphs that are available on standard office applications such as PowerPoint. In order to make your infographics more engaging and memorable, you need to think beyond the basics. Yes, it will be harder to use innovative designs because they aren’t automatically populated; you will have to make some manual adjustments. Renowned infographic designer Antun Hirsman says, “there are hundreds of vector designs that you can use as design elements that make editing simple.” Instead of a typical pie chart, for instance, she recommends using:

  • Thermometer illustrations
  • Circle diagrams
  • Dashboard gauges

You don’t have to create your own illustrations either; a quick search on a website that licenses royalty-free stock images is a quick and affordable way to find images such as these that you can include in your infographic design.

pencil bar chart

Pencils make a great bar chart, especially when referencing school data.

2.  Keep It Clean

While you want your design to be more innovative than basic charts and graphs, the design should still be clean and simple to understand. If you take an idea to far, use too many different icons or include too many colors the data will be harder to interpret and understand. Similarly, using full color photographs creates visual noise that distracts the viewer from the story you are trying to tell.

I think this infographic missed the rules of good infographic design. Rule #1 - Keep it clean.

I think this infographic missed the rules of good infographic design. Rule #1 – Keep it clean.

3.  Turn Up The Typography

No matter how fascinating the information is that you are presenting, it still needs to be communicated in a way that will really capture the viewer’s attention. Good infographics use creative typography to make bold statements. A few ideas you might want to consider include:

  • Keeping text minimal for maximum impact
  • Use shapes or objects in place of a certain letter
  • Vary the height and point size of a font to emphasize key information

The goal is to get the viewer to stop scrolling and view the infographic. To do this, you need to pique their interest immediately. The size, style and color of the typeface should work in conjunction with the graphics to grab the attention of the viewer and educate him in a way that will not be forgotten.

Typogrphy is used as the main feature in this infographic. Bold, easy to read and it guides you downward. Great type can make up for weak design.

Typography is used as the main feature in this infographic. Bold, easy to read and it guides you downward. Great type can make up for weak design.

4. Make It Easy To Share

Once you have created an unforgettable infographic, you will want the world to see it. Be sure that you include links that make it easy for viewers to share with their sphere of influence on Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit, YouTube or whatever their preferred method of social media distribution is.

Examples: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Now that you know how to create infographics that will leave an impact, it is time to look at a few examples. This screenshot from an infographic video that recently went viral is an excellent design example. The information is clean, clear and concise and is presented in a memorable manor.

1: Good Infographic Design Example

good design example

You will notice that it uses a data visualization technique that is different from a typical bar graph, with different colored icons across the bottom to represent the different income levels. It also uses the magnifying glass in the lower right hand corner to draw your attention to pertinent information. The typeface uses an “in your face” approach to convey the message as well. While it is not shown on this image, the also included links for sharing.

The next example of an infographic tries to communicate similar information, but the design is very distracting and makes it harder to decipher the actual distribution of wealth. It uses basic line graphs look too much the same even though they are communicating different information. Furthermore, the photograph is what designers often refer to as “chart junk” or visual noise and the typeface isn’t much of an attention grabber.

2: Bad Infographic Design Example

bad inforgraphic example

If you remember the basic principles of design and keep these tips in mind as well, you will have no problem telling your story through the visual communication of infographics.