Infographics can be one of the most effective forms of communicating your ideas. They pose as creative ways to break down complex groups of information into snackable, visual facts. However, they can turn into expensive, frustrating, and time-consuming projects without proper planning.
Here is a step-by-step process to make creating your next infographic just about as pleasant as having a doughnut.
Step 1: Pick a flavor. What do you want to say?
One of the most important parts of an infographic is the message. You need to know what you want to say before any research or copywriting. Summarize your message in one sentence, such as “doughnuts are the best.” Think short, simple, and to the point.
Step 2: Pick a type (mapel bars, bear claws, etc). How do you want to say it?
The second most important step to your infographic is deciding how you want to express your message. This step will heavily influence not only your research and copywriting, but the structure and look of the graphic. Think of it as choosing a lens to view your message through.
Example: Doughnuts are the best.
A. History Lens
B. Comparison Lens
C. Flowchart Lens
D. Map Lens
E. List Lens
Step 3: Choose your ingredients. Research and collect supporting data for your infographic.
Data can be a really exciting to work with. In this day and age, you can get tons of data on anything your heart desires. However, it is extremely important that you only collect data that supports your message through the lens you have chosen.
If you are going to compare two subjects, such as doughnuts and pancakes, you need to have the same type and quantity of data for each subject.
Data is what makes an infographic useful and educational, so it is incredibly important that you do a lot of research, check your facts, and provide citations.
Step 4: Make it easy to read, like a recipe!
Remember that the reason you are creating an infographic is to create snackable and easily digested information to make a point, so keep it short!
Step 5: Pop that dough in the oven by finalizing the copy!
A graphic designer cannot even begin to touch an infographic until all of the copy is finalized. This is probably the most important step of creating an infographic. As soon as a designer touches the copy, it is immediately broken up into tiny pieces and spread all over their workspace. To designers, letters are just shapes on a page, and each shape takes up a certain amount of space.
Step 6: Frost it with some kick-butt graphics.
Once you have finalized the copy, make some graphic magic. This is not an overnight process and can take anywhere from 10 to 20 hours of uninterrupted creative time. Focus the brunt of your graphics on the recipe / data points in the graphic, but be sure to throw in a theme or feeling as decoration. The decoration tells the story, and the data makes your points.
Step 7: Share and market your infographic.
After all this work, you’d hope the infographic grew legs and ran around the Internet. It won’t. Publish, share, create social assets, blog about it, share it in a newsletter, and upload it to Visually. Get it out there!
With a clear message, supporting data, kick-butt graphics and the foundations for viral success, your infographic will be an awesome tool for your viewers and a piece of work to be proud of.