Have you ever attempted to design one yourself or were left admiring how another infographic designer has done it? We’ll teach you how to design an infographic, what types there are, and where you can use them to up your marketing game!
Sharing knowledge can be quite a task in a world of instant information. With people’s online attention span at just 8 seconds, educating audiences about your service, product, or anything else requires some creativity.
Infographics are a powerful asset to have in your marketing design arsenal. Learn everything you need to know about this type of visual, how you can create infographics, and where to use them.
What is an infographic?
Since they come in all shapes and sizes, the term infographic can sometimes seem confusing.
Infographics are visual representations of information, data, or knowledge. Their purpose is always to present information in a clear and concise way.
So, can a simple chart design be considered an infographic? Not really. Charts and graphs are merely methods of presenting information, while an infographic usually contains several such methods (including text, icons, tables, etc.).
Why do infographics work?
You get the gist of it by now: infographics convey information to people that are too lazy to read (no judgment, it’s all of us).
But is there any data that confirms the effectiveness of infographics? More than enough! Here are just a few eye-opening numbers.
- Infographics can increase the traffic on your website by up to 12%.
- Infographics are liked and shared more than any other type of content on social media.
- Infographics are 30 times more likely to be read entirely compared to blog posts or news articles.
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Types of infographics
There are many types of infographics, so let’s present a few of the most common ones.
When we say complex information, most of us verbal types think of numbers. With people’s attention spans at an all-time low, nobody has the patience to read through detailed reports and studies.
That’s where statistical infographics come in. They’re a fantastic way to highlight the most relevant statistics and bring a subject closer to the reader. Still, if you’re an infographic designer, be careful not to overload statistical infographics with data.
Adding a few numbers here and there is straightforward regarding infographic design. Still, it can seriously harm the purpose of the infographic.
Here’s a great example of infographic design from our own portfolio. Domuso’s yearly review has been presented in an engaging way. Focusing on four core statistics, the infographic is informative and convincing (it suggests a considerable spike in the growth of company operations).
Our infographic designer also added a map instead of yet another statistic. Sure, it would have been much easier to include yet another number. This way, there’s more visual balance, the infographic design doesn’t look repetitive, and the map conveys the relevant data perfectly (the company’s presence across different states).
These visuals help break down complex processes and procedures into smaller steps.
Although the actual infographic design can be very simple, it’s always an effective tactic to make a particular topic or process more understandable. Here’s another example from our portfolio.
Even today, when both have reached new heights, many people still confuse marketing and advertising. Using layout and color, this simple infographic perfectly represents how far-reaching and over-encompassing marketing is compared to advertising.
Although there are similarities between these and process infographics, the primary purpose of timelines is to highlight a change (or process) over time.
You’ll often see these in history textbooks and corporate end-of-the-year reviews. However, timeline infographics can be a fun addition to your content marketing efforts.
Sometimes, you need to give a bit of background for the topic you’re about to discuss. And, surprise, surprise, most people will skim-read that part. So, to help them understand how this topic has evolved, you might want to utilize a simple timeline.
Here are a few of them we’ve used when writing about the history of marketing. And although they’re simple, they still contain vital pieces of information. For example, did you know the exact year the first TV ad was aired?
A crucial aspect to consider with how-to infographics is the layout. Though a horizontal layout is probably the first one that comes to mind, a vertical one could work just as well.
The catch is organizing information into groups so viewers can follow the process seamlessly. Here’s our own infographic showing the key steps for developing a SaaS business.
You may notice that process and how-to infographics are quite similar. Indeed, the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. The difference usually comes down to content. Process infographics are used to explain processes that don’t require any conscious involvement from a person (such as physiological, financial, or technical processes). How-to infographics, on the other hand, are always related to the steps a reader can take to achieve a certain goal.
Flowchart infographics are meant to help readers make a decision. For that reason, flowcharts are often used in web design. It’s also a great idea to make them interactive and get users to engage with your content.
Regarding design, this is another type of infographic where less is usually more. The most fundamental concern with flowchart design is a clear and straightforward layout. Using design elements, such as colors and arrows, can help you ensure that users move through the flowchart in the intended direction.
Here’s a very simple flowchart we’ve created to help readers decide on the best design outsourcing option. The infographic designer used the size of the letters and colors to ensure consistency and a logical progression.
What’s a great way to beat your competition? Show that you have a better offer!
Comparison infographics are one of the most effective ways to do this. If done well, they can truly be the connection between you and your next client!
They often look like something we’d call a “table.” However, remember that infographics usually contain other forms of visual information representation, such as icons, graphs, etc.
Comparison infographics are also used to help differentiate between two similar or easily confused terms, such as UX and UI design. Our designer’s infographic contains all the vital aspects of UX and UI design. However, it also manages to convey the idea that UX and UI are intrinsically linked.
I suppose you could consider menus a type of list infographics. In any case, the logic is similar.
The purpose of list infographics, as the name suggests, is to list several pieces of information related to the same topic.
These offer a lot of creative freedom to an infographic designer, as the amount of information and text you need to include can vary greatly. Here’s an example from one of our designers dealing with healthy eating habits.
The design is playful and casual, and the addition of illustrations and highlights on the subheadlines make it reader-friendly.
Wait a minute, aren’t all infographics supposed to be informative? Of course. But this particular type of infographic is used to provide the most relevant information on a topic or often answer a single question such as “what is.”
These are probably the most commonly used in blog and content creation. As was already mentioned, few people have the patience to read through an entire article these days. An infographic can help summarize the key points or convey the most critical information.
Since search engines like Google also rank images, a skilled infographic designer can help you boost your SEO tremendously, as people might end up on your blog after seeing a helpful graphic like this one.
Map and location infographics
We’ve already covered how infographics deal with the subject of time. But they can also be used to present spatial information.
The best advice to remember with map infographics is that less is more. Since they inevitably present at least two sets of information (location and something else), they can quickly become overwhelming.
How about an example? This is an infographic we’ve created to show the different hourly rates of graphic designers across the world. Of course, a graphic designer in England probably doesn’t have the same rates as one in Spain. However, the purpose of this infographic was to give ballpark figures and present the vast differences in hourly rates for freelance designers.
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Designing infographics isn’t terribly complicated, but it’s advisable to follow these steps in order. Since infographics pack a lot of information in a single design, these steps will help you stay on the right track.
Since some form of data is the core subject of infographics, this is where you want to start. When dealing with a large body of data, this is the time to pick the most relevant. Don’t just go with whatever is the most surprising. Instead, you should consider who the infographic is for and why they need it.
Say you’re creating an infographic on social media trends. Including the number of people that use a specific social channel might feel organic, but is it really useful? It might be better to present specific changes over time, such as how many people are migrating from one platform to another. This will help marketers use your infographic to better plan and structure their strategies.
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Writing the copy
An infographic designer, like most others, will hate significant changes in the copy during the design stage. It might seem like just a couple of extra sentences to you, but to a designer, it might mean having to change the whole layout.
Try to finalize the copy before submitting it for design. Make sure it’s proofread and, of course, fact-check everything twice. The most stunning infographic design still can’t make up for false information.
Choosing the graphics
Remember that an infographic is not just a graphic. It’s a bunch of graphical elements, such as images, charts, graphs, and icons, all rolled up into one coherent design.
You can see how poor planning can easily make an infographic design a total mess. So, before you start putting it together, ensure your graphics can work together well.
Are you going to use a uniform way of presenting or spice things up with various forms of data visualization? There’s no right or wrong here; it all depends on what audience the infographic is designed for and the type of data you want to present.
Creating the design
And now comes the fun part! Once they have all the pieces, it’s time to compile them into one logical flow.
Designing infographics always starts with layout. If the layout doesn’t work to convey information in the intended order, the infographic won’t be successful. Try a few different variations before you settle on something. List infographics don’t always have to be vertical, and how-to infographics can work just as well in a horizontal layout! Be creative, but never at the expense of readability.
Once the layout is nailed down, it’s time to choose the right colors, fonts, charts, and all other design elements. Luckily, this will be relatively easy if you’ve followed all the previous steps. Choosing the right style will be much easier if you know what information you want to convey and to whom.
Where are infographics used?
Now that you know what types there are and how to design infographics let’s see some of the most common uses for this type of visual.
According to Hubspot's research, Infographics are the 4th most used type of content marketing. Why? Well, they bring a lot of informational value in a condensed format.
Long gone are the days when all you had to do to rank high in search engines was to stuff your content with keywords. Search engine algorithms these days are much more sophisticated, so high-quality, informative content is where it’s all at.
Unfortunately, Google and other search engines still don’t fully grasp just how short our attention span is. So, you may write thousands of words of quality content and still get no visitors to your website simply because the long-form content may put many people off.
However, if you’ve done the research, you should consider transforming your content into an infographic. You can include it in your blog post or make it a downloadable lead magnet.
Not many people will consider infographic designs a priority when developing their website. However, infographics can truly transform your user experience and improve your website tremendously.
Remember that infographics are engaging: people are 30 times more likely to read them in their entirety than a blog post. Since you want website visitors to engage with your content rather than quickly bounce back, infographics can help you reduce bounce rates and increase your session time. This positively impacts your search engine ranking, bringing more visitors to your site - and the circle continues.
There are many fantastic ways to include infographic designs in your website. Here are a few ideas:
- Reports: Achieved excellent results? Share them in a visually engaging way to help build a sense of transparency and trustworthiness.
- Surveys: If you want to position yourself as an industry leader, conducting research and surveys is a clever idea. You can create an abridged version of your infographic design to put on your website and require visitors to share their email addresses for the entire piece.
- Tutorials: If you don’t have the resources to create a how-to video, an infographic is definitely the next best thing. Help website visitors understand your product or service better with a helpful how-to infographic they’ll see as soon as they land on your site.
If you’ve been thinking about how to design an infographic, you may not be ideal for social media. Social media posts and stories usually have a limited amount of text on them and have to comply with strict size guidelines.
Well, that’s where a creative infographic designer can help.
One of the best examples to learn from is Spotify. Their most famous campaign, called “Year in Music” (or “Wrapped” formerly), is a data-driven campaign that had users engaging with and sharing their insights across the board.
The secret? Stellar design.
You probably wouldn’t care about your own, or anyone else’s, listening habits that much if the data wasn’t presented in a fun and unique way. Spotify launched many creative templates for stories and posts that users loved sharing.
Did you know that over 90 % of presenters feel more confident when presenting with a well-designed slide deck?
We are visual beings, much more so in this day and age. A presenter or lecturer can be charming and engaging. But if the delivery isn’t accompanied by memorable visual aids, there’s little hope people will remember much more.
One study suggests that people remember 65% of the information they hear when it’s paired with visuals, compared to only 10% they retained when they only had the audio input.
Where can I get stellar infographics?
Now that you know how to design an infographic and where you can use it, it’s time to pose one essential question: do you actually need to create infographics yourself?
While there are many divine Canva infographic templates, remember that your data is as unique as your business (remember Spotify!).
So the best way to get your infographic designs is to leave them to a professional. These days it’s pretty easy to hire a skilled freelance infographic designer. The price is usually more than affordable, with numerous candidates to choose from. However, working with freelancers can quickly become time-consuming and expensive if you want to make infographics a more consistent part of your marketing strategy.
Instead, you should choose a design service created for long-term collaboration. Unlimited design services, such as ours at ManyPixels, offers unlimited design requests and revisions at a flat monthly fee.