Have you ever seen an amazing infographic and wanted to create one yourself? If so, keep reading for some simple infographic design tips…
If you want to skip the reading, here’s my video featuring infographic design tips in Canva.
Are you looking for broader advice about personal branding? Head over to How to Brand Yourself instead.
Firstly, what is an infographic?
The word infographic originated in the 1970’s as a blend of information and graphic and according to Lexico.com, it is ‘a visual representation of information or data, e.g. as a chart or diagram’. You might see them featured on websites, blogs and social media platforms to communicate information in a visually engaging way.
Why should you use an infographic?
Quite simply, images naturally draw our attention, and can quickly communicate large amounts of information in a powerful way.
Infographics are useful for highlighting or summarising key information provided in the written content of a page. Or, they may convey extra information that is not already mentioned in the text. They can also be valuable for representing data-heavy scientific or technical information in a visually appealing and easy-to-understand manner.
Infographic Design Tips
Identify your Target Audience
One of the most important aspects of successful design is knowing who your target audience is. It’s important to be specific here. Choosing templates, colours and images that are most likely to appeal to your specific audience is crucial. Make sure you consider what will be appealing to, and provide value for, your audience!
Gather the Most Important Information
Before starting your design, you will need to have a clear idea of the information you want to convey. During the research phase, check that your sources are credible and note their details so you can cite them. Once you’ve found your source/s, type out some dot points of the key information that you want to include. Make sure you highlight only the most important bits; an infographic with too much text will be overwhelming and hard to read! It’s also important to be focused, here. Narrow your topic as much as possible.
Choose a Template Design
Cchoosing a ready-made infographic template will make the design process much more streamlined! Canva has lots of templates to choose from and is an excellent option for beginners. I also like some of the options at Venngage, Piktochart and Adobe InDesign (this works for me because I have an existing Adobe subscription but if you don’t and would like to try InDesign, Adobe do offer a ‘free trial’ option).
When choosing a template, find something that is as close to what you need in terms of layout, colours and images/icons as possible. The fewer changes you need to make to a template, the better your results are likely to be! Your target audience should always be front-of-mind when making this decision.
The Design Process
When you alter colours, try to maintain the same number of colours provided in the template. In most cases, two or three colours will be perfect.
Maintain elements in balance. If you delete an element, adjust the spacing of everything else afterwards. You can customise icons and pictures, but try to maintain their size and position in the template.
Finally, simple is almost always better when it comes to design. Beware of over-crowding your design (with too much text or too many images). Maintaining white space around all elements helps to avoid a cramped look too.
If you really need more space, consider other options such as using multiple infographics (or cutting out less-important information).
The Finishing Touches
Have a break! I always recommend stepping away from your work before doing a final check and any required editing. Returning with ‘fresh eyes’ will help you to identify any errors, omissions or opportunities for improvement much more easily.
Ask for Feedback
Send your infographic to a trusted friend, colleague or family member. Someone who you trust to provide you with constructive feedback, of course!
Download and Publish
You might need to check the required file type and size/resolution for your intended purpose before downloading your design. A quick ‘Google’ will usually reveal the information you need if you can’t find the details on the website. You could also download the file using the default settings and see how it displays (comparing desktop and mobile viewing). When using a design platform like Canva, there are preset download settings for most popular social media sites. These are not always 100% accurate (especially with ‘magic resize’) but they can be a good starting point.
*Remember to revisit your content occasionally to make sure it’s as accurate as possible. You could set a reminder on your phone for every 6-12 months. If your content is aligned with current research and industry best practice, it is more likely to attract ongoing engagement.