Transforming information into interesting attractive images
Infographics are used to explain complicated ideas and transform boring long winded information into attractive eye catching graphics. They have always been used for instructions and business presentations but are becoming big news all over the social media forums.
Infographics are just diagrams, and while it is not that hard to create basic flow charts and graphs, the secret of designing a successful infographic is in interpretation.
The Google+ circles infographic above explains how to use Google+ circles easily and logically. Most people find it hard to understand but the infographic communicates it simply and clearly.
To do a good job you really need to understand the objective of what you are trying to portray and what result you wish to achieve.
- To begin with make sure you have a full explanation of the message it supports or illustrates and understand the work flow and the logic that will make the diagram to work.
- Choose a strong typeface, no more than two in most cases, with options of bold and italics to differentiate the hierarchy of the text
- Find good shapes and simple images associated with the content, silhouettes can work well as long as they are easily recognised. Cartoons are better in most cases than photographs but that depends on your contact and who and what it must do.
- Choose the style of Arrows carefully, strong and bold to help the eye follow the flow of text and boxes clearly.
- Align the boxes and text neatly. Keep all the text sizes and alignment in the boxes the same and keep the spacing even.
- Use great colours, if producing infographics for a company develop a set of colours to be used consistently.
- Stylise the diagram, in other words create a ‘template’ or guide lines for each diagram created to follow so they look like part of a series and all connected. The company’s branding will come into play here, but make sure all main titles are consistent size and colour or typeface, the same text styles for the main body and the same style of bullet points and tag lines.
- Keep the text as simple as possible, like the best powerpoint presentation the messages are conveyed by keywords and images not hordes of text to read and distract from the speaker.
- Set the format that fits your media, A4 landscape is good for presentations, Facebook pages like squares or portrait orientated images.
- Don’t make the infographic so big and complicated that the text can’t be read when posted, the resolution for web graphics can be too low to read small text even when enlarged. Scrolling down an infographic is often easier than across.
Adding an infographic to a post or a blog article will help to encourage interest and engagement. Clicks, likes and shares are far more likely to occur when the infographic is enticing and sparks interest.
In summary make sure your infographic is easy to follow and easy to read, not too much text, let the images speak for themselves when possible. Make it attractive with simple images and bright colours, strong typefaces but not too many that confuses the eye.
An infographic can tell a good story far better than a photograph in many cases and has the big advantage of crossing the language barrier. Cartoons are easier to read than books, infographics catch the eye and generate interest far quicker than a paragraph of text.
What kind of infographics interest you?