Infographics are not a new phenomenon. Some may even argue that the roots of infographics lay in ancient pictorial storytelling, even in the first cave drawings of our early human ancestors. Luckily our methods of portraying information with graphics have become slightly more sophisticated since the stone age, amongst other aspects (but not all) of civilisation. So in the interests of progressing the species just a little more, Patch Agency wants you to understand how you can harness the ancient power of visual aids and build infographics that entice and inspire your consumer base. But where to start?
1. Know what you want to showcase
The first step in entering the world of infographic creation is to have an idea of what you are wanting to express. Ultimately this comprises two aspects. One, that the topic is in a field or category you have expertise and therefore authority in. This will not only give weight to what you are compiling but also align the topic to your business category. Second, is that the topic you choose is something you find interesting, and if it is new news for your audience, they will likely find it interesting too.
2. Source your information
Now that you have chosen a topic, the next step on your infographic making journey is to source your data. Infographics are very often used as a showcase of statistics and research results. So it is important to ensure that the interesting facts that align with your topic are not only relevant but accredited. Make sure that your statistics are coming from reputable sources (i.e. peer-reviewed studies, government-funded research etc.). You can lose a lot of personal credibility in your area of professional expertise by quoting false or fake data points (although you might get elected).
3. Create a layout (wireframe)
After you have compiled your interesting facts, you need to align them into an order that tells a story. This comes hand-in-hand with choosing a visual layout, so it might be a good idea at this point to grab an old school piece of paper and just draw out where you think everything should fit. For example, a whole lot of data around planetary bodies stacked next to each other is probably not super exciting. But turning the data into a visual journey through the solar system, starting with Mercury and ending with Neptune (or Pluto if you want to be contentious), suddenly your infographic becomes exciting. Depending on your topic, I’m sure you can find a number of templates or concepts to get you inspired.
4. Set the tone
After you’ve laid everything out, and the flow or narrative makes sense, you need to focus on the main strength of the infographic… the graphics. You have a topic, so let your topic and your own branding visuals be your guide. Using the planetary example, you can see how easy it could be to envisage a merging of Patch Agency’s style, and that of a space/NASA theme. And depending on the topic and the audience, you need to choose whether you want a happy tone, or a serious, clinical one (for medical info for example). The visual tone is the first piece your audience will grab on to, so as a rule if you find it aesthetically pleasing and relevant to the information you’re presenting, your audience likely will too.
5. Beware of TMI
You should now start seeing a more finalised version of your infographic materialise. So it is probably time to enact the golden rule of infographics… strip it back! It is very easy to overload your page with heaps of interesting data points, but be aware of your audience’s attention span, so try to not input too much information. And from a graphic design perspective, negative space is your friend.
Now that you have the foundations of infographic creation at your disposal, go forth and give it a whirl! And keep in mind, graphic design, statistical analysis, and data storytelling are not skills easily learned, so if all else fails, reach out to the creative young experts at Patch Agency to help you showcase the professional skills you and your business already excel at!