Making a Successful Infographic


You’ve most likely seen a few infographics over the past couple of years, and one thing is for sure, they won’t disappear anytime soon. Why you ask? Infographics are like visual fast food for the brain. In a world where the average digitally connected person’s brain is soaking up hundreds of ads per day causing catastrophic information overload and fatigue (no drama there, I’m sure you agree) infographics provide a pleasing experience for the brain.

So what exactly are infographics?

“Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.”

(Doug Newsom and Jim Haynes (2004). Public Relations Writing: Form and Style. p.236).

According  to authors Merieb, E. N. & Hoehn, K., 50% of our brains are involved in visual processing and 70% of our sensory receptors are in our eyes (2007, Human Anatomy & Physiology 7th Edition). When we look at symbols, objects and colors together (picture one of those hazard signs showing a male figure slipping- cautioning that the floor is wet) we can get the sense of a visual scene in less than 1/10 of a second (Semetko, H. & Scammell, M. (2012, The SAGE Handbook of Political Communication).

So when you start to think about creating an infographic for your business, try these tips to ensure you’re successfully attracting and pleasing tired brains everywhere:

Choose to create either a one-level deep or two-level deep infographic One-level deep – this type of infographic includes visuals and content to cover the concept in a simplistic way. Two-level deep – this type of infographic includes detailed factual data and statistical information to cover the concept, also with visuals.

Now ask yourself – what’s your bid idea?  Even if you are a one man-woman show, I suggest to pull together people you trust to help brainstorm your idea and hash-out thoughts on paper.  Ask them if your idea is compelling enough, and then move on to your ‘core.’

Lay out the core of your infographic Knowledge- 
which facts will you share?  How will you end with your conclusions?  If you want to make a professional two-level deep infographic, all of your presenting data should be thoroughly researched and the data presented must be backed up by established facts.
Content – how will you decide to share statistics and references to back up your idea? 
Visuals – what colors, graphics and icons will you use to help convey your facts or message?

Put it all on to paper
Start by putting your ideas on paper. Write up a flowchart to illustrate to your designer which points you want to make from beginning to end. Discuss the psychology of color with your designer too – i.e., make sure if the tone of your infographic is to be serious that he/she uses blues or grays, and not bright yellows and oranges.  If you want to try and make the infographic yourself, all you need to do is Google search “free infographic templates” and you’ll find various resources like these:

If you’re looking to create digital graphics like infographics or other forms of digital marketing, contact the Marketing masterminds at MySMN


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