Sorted, arranged and presented: creating distinctive infographics


You’ll no doubt have noticed the increasing popularity of infographics both in print and online over the past few years. 

This is a product of two important trends in the world of content – the growing use of storytelling techniques and the rise of data gathering and analysis.

Infographics, when done well, combine visual storytelling with data presentation to make information more accessible and to deliver content in fresh and compelling ways. However, getting it right is notoriously tricky so we’ve put together eight tips to help you create great infographics that will get you noticed.

1. Take time to plan
Most infographics involve multiple elements that share a common theme. Before throwing yourself into the creative process, spend some time planning how you’ll link these elements together and consider the formats – graphs, flowcharts, diagrams, maps – that might work best. Use a wireframe to sketch out your ideas and only start designing once you’re happy that all the elements are in place. This is also a good time to think about how your infographic will work as part of your brand identity or a wider campaign.

2. Maximise value and reach
ROI looms large on every marketeer’s agenda, so squeezing every last drop of value from the visual assets is vital. Ask yourself: can they be animated to create a mini-movie? Could you re-purpose the assets to create a Prezi presentation? Can the visual narrative be chapterised to feed into an ongoing social media campaign?

BP Energy Masterclass Prezi. See more BP work here

3. Look for the hook
As with any piece of content, you need to think about what will draw people in. Whether it’s highlighting a particularly arresting stat (did you know that men who kiss their wives in the morning live five years longer than those who don’t?) or using a bold interactive element, try to find the visual hook that will capture people’s imagination and attention.

4. Keep it simple
Telling a good story is often as much about what you leave out as what you put in. If you find things are becoming cluttered ask yourself if you’re including anything that doesn’t serve the story – or if your busy infographic would work better as a series.  Also resist the temptation to use complicated graphical devices for the sake of it. The humble pie chart (if it’s good enough for Florence Nightingale…) or other more conventional graphs and charts can often be the best way to communicate complex data in a simple way.

5. Make your assets your own
While it’s now possible to choose from a range of off-the-shelf clip art assets – and these library images can save lots of time – there is the risk that your infographics end up looking the same as everyone else’s. This is where a little tweaking can go a long way. If you don’t have the time or resources to create bespoke assets, customising your library images to fit your needs will help ensure your work stands out.

Shipshape in numbers. See more Shipleys work here.

6. Know your audience and the competition
A little research should reveal some clues to the kind of visual content your audience likes and shares. It should also help identify where there may be gaps that you can exploit to surprise them. We would also recommend a competitor audit to ensure the content you create is distinct from your peers.

7. Don’t forget about colour
Colour is an important but often overlooked ingredient in creating a successful infographic. Start thinking about colour at the planning stage and make sure you set a simple and distinctive colour logic for your work.  In particular you need to make sure your background colour complements (rather than dominates) your text and graphics and that your colour choices are aligned with your brand.

8. Share the love
Infographics are particularly suited to social media and are often shared widely. But it doesn’t happen by accident. Make sure you ask people to share your work and use social plug-ins to make it easy for them to do so. Another useful trick is to include an embed code so people can easily host your infographic on their site.

Bright crop Big Bang Fair Instagram sharing #MyFutureSelfie. See more Bright Crop work here.

Looking for more guidance on how to create the right infographic that tells your story and sets your business apart? please get in touch.