October 23, 2013 | Melanie Chandler

How to Make an Infographic in 4 Steps

How to Make an Infographic

So, what exactly is an infographic?

An infographic (or “information graphic” for those non-lazy speakers/typers) is a visual representation of knowledge, concepts, data, or just general stuff. They’re used to present information quickly and clearly, in an appealing visual format. Like 65% of the population, I am a visual learner. I prefer to look at pictures, charts, and diagrams rather than a big block of text. Just thinking about reading a block of text without any images makes my eye twitch!

I’ve made lots of infographics in my time – our Inbound Marketing clients like that they can be cool and fun as well as informational. Here are a few that I’ve made:

What's in Your E-Cig InfographicInside a Mistic InfographicSome Choices are Obvious Tooth-tastic InfographicAnatomy of a Tooth Infographic

As you can see, they work for all kinds of businesses, and each infographic can look totally different and achieve different goals. Infographics are great for explaining a product or visually representing a concept that can be hard to communicate with just text. They can also make great premium content for your Inbound Marketing campaign.

Want to make one, but not sure where to begin? Read on for my guide to creating an awesome infographic. If reading isn't your thing, you can also check out the infographic I made to go along with this blog. It's an infographic on how to make an infographic (Ha! Get it?).

I'll just pretend that you got my humor and move on.

By the way, I am assuming that you can use Photoshop, Illustrator, or another type of design software - if not, you'll need to work with someone on your team who can help you create your infographic.

First Step: Brainstorm.

Not sure what to make an infographic about? Think hard about your intended viewers and the things they find interesting. You want to make sure you relate to them. If your target audience doesn't find your topic interesting, they are most likely not going to view or read it.

Second Step: Research.

Have a topic? Great! Now, the next step is to gather information. This can be your industry knowledge and expertise, or information from outside sources. Just remember to site your sources, because no one likes a plagiarist.

Third Step: Copywriting.

I'm quite lucky and have an awesome copywriter who helps me out when it comes to the copy for my infographics, and I know everyone can't be as lucky as I am. Since infographics are mainly images, there's not much copy you will need to write. Just remember the two Cs: Compelling Copy. You want engaging headlines and subheads.

Fourth Step: Design Time.

Now that you're done with what I call the boring steps, the fun can begin! Visualize your end product and where you’ll be distributing it. Social media sites have made it easy for users to spread infographics to people around the world. For example, Pinterest is one of the most common platforms for sharing this type of content. If social media is your infographic's final destination, vertical layouts at 600 pixels wide work best.

Font choices need to suit your topic. However, there are some to avoid no matter the topic - just say no to Comic Sans and Papyrus! Make sure the fonts you choose are easy to read. If your final output is web, sans serif fonts are easier to read than serif fonts, and the opposite applies if print is your medium of choice.

Color choices are important, and like the fonts you choose, they need to suit your topic. Color psychology could be the topic for a whole blog by itself, so I’ll keep it short and simple. Colors and color combinations can affect people's moods and behaviors. Keep your color palette simple and choose combinations that don't attack the senses. Keep them eye-friendly and pleasing to look at. Kuler by Adobe is a good resource when it comes to choosing color combinations.

Illustrate statistics and other information. Make numbers more appealing - use pie charts for percentages and flow charts for procedures. Charts are your friends! Use thought bubbles to show opinions. The purpose of infographics is to share information visually, so you want to use more images and less text.

A few final thoughts about creating infographics:

You're telling a story, so maintain order. Know when to elaborate and when to keep it simple. And don’t forget, the human race has a short attention span, so keep it brief!

Click here to view my “How to Make an Infographic” infographic!

Don't forget to reuse your infographic content elsewhere—like in a SlideShare.

Click Now for 7 Slideshare Tips!



Melanie Chandler

Melanie Chandler

As design director, Melanie Chandler leads the design team and works with them to create consistently compelling and engaging website designs, images for digital marketing, and other visual content to communicate corporate identity and drive traffic on websites and social media.

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