Infographics present complex data or information in an easy-to-read visual format. When your organization shares infographics with your current audience and potential customers, it helps to establish your brand, amplify important information, and create backlinks that bring traffic to your website. A creative infographic is a great, cost-effective marketing tool that any business can use.

Like any content piece, however, some things work in infographic design and distribution, and others do not. Here are some rules to follow to help ensure your infographics have the most significant impact possible.

Infographic Design: What Works and What Doesn’t

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Tips for Infographic Success

Tell a Story

The best infographics tell a visual story. Storytelling is an effective way to change people’s minds or to direct action. Your infographic’s story will depend on the type of information you wish to present. For example, you may want to use a metaphor or analogy to build your visual story.

Another option is to model a classic story arc. A classic story involves a hero and the conflict that the hero faces. This type of story format has a beginning, middle, and end. A classic arc can build awareness and motivate readers. If you wish to educate your audience about a problem you could help them solve, this might be the right story type to use.

A people-centered story focuses more on characters than the action. You could use a people-centered visual story to reference someone’s feelings or way of life. Stories like this focus on connection and community. This is a good option if you wish to motivate an audience based on emotions.

Keep the Design Simple

The strength of an infographic is the ease of quick visual understanding. An infographic design that is too complicated defeats its purpose. Keep the data you present and all design elements simple and to the point.

For stories with a lot of data or a complicated idea, break them down into smaller, digestible bites. Be sure to include summaries to emphasize your message and takeaways.

It may be tempting to focus on visual creativity in your infographic design. Any designer wants to flex their muscles and create something exciting and new. While creativity is important, simplicity and understanding are essential.

The platform you plan to share infographics on should also impact design choices. Whether the graphic will be included in an online article, posted on a blog post, embedded into an email newsletter, or shared on social media should determine the formatting and the amount of content included. Social media infographics should be short and quick, while articles allow for more content-heavy pieces.

Use Multiple Visual Elements

Not every data set will fit comfortably into a pie chart or bar graph. Consider using multiple graphs, icons, and images to communicate a clear story. Even font choices and typography can be representative of a message or a mood.

Almost as important as the individual visual elements in graphic design is the space left between them. A cluttered infographic will be confusing and hard to read. Keeping visual elements to a minimum and leaving breathing room will help to ensure a legible design.

Present Clear and Concise Explanations

When you post infographics, don’t assume that the viewers understand their topics. It is crucial to introduce readers to the message or data by giving background information.

A successful infographic will present a specific data set or a large amount of information and clearly highlight the important bits. If your messaging does not immediately jump out to a reader, then it is too complicated. Rewrite text and rearrange your visuals to provide clarity.

Inspire Your Readers

A story should inspire people. An impactful visual story of an infographic will present a problem, a solution, and social proof of both in an inspirational and convincing manner. Focus on issues and topics that your readers will relate to and understand. The takeaway from a successful infographic will be the inspiration to act.

End with a Clear Call to Action

What do you want your audience to do after reading the infographic? Visit your website? Sign up for a newsletter? Follow your organization on social media? Subscribe to your podcast? The desired action should be evident in the infographic summary. Be sure that any contact information or interactive forms are easy to find and use.

With shorter attention spans in the general public, an infographic is a great tool for sharing complex information quickly and clearly. Infographics can make difficult issues and large data sets seem less overwhelming and provide readers with actionable solutions.

When infographic design is done well, it will be visually appealing and helpful to your audience. This will help establish you as a trustworthy source and, ultimately, increase your conversions.