I’m an email designer and that means I’ve stopped counting the times a client has said “I saw this great infographic and want to do something like it in our next campaign. What do you need from me to get started?”
Infographics are a great way to create excitement about your brand and drive email engagement. From a design perspective, I really appreciate that they get a message across easily and in a memorable way. To help you make the best of infographics, I’ve pulled together four useful design tips on creating them.
The Story Determines the Design
Infographics are more than just an eye-catching grouping of pictures, numbers and text. They’re about telling a story – one that has meaning to your audience. They differ from traditional illustrations in that their style is typically simplified and icon-like; and their purpose is functional rather than purely aesthetic (but more often than not, they’re also great to look at).
Put yourself in your readers’ shoes to discover a question they may have or a challenge they face. Consider what your audience should learn from the visual or what action they need to take.
- Do they feel rushed getting ready for work? Help them take back their mornings.
- Are they not getting a good night’s rest? Explain the best sleeping positions for different types of people.
- Are they confused about how to sign up for a class and rate the teacher on your yoga studio’s app? Break down using the app into visual steps.
- Do they want to feel safer in their home? Walk them through expert advice and advances in technology to ward off intruders.
Marketers should be able to pitch their idea for the infographic in simple language. The designer, in turn, should have a firm grasp on what the story is. In the end, a good infographic shouldn’t have to rely on too many words to get the message across. Show; don’t tell.
Data Illustrates the Story
Infographics make data interesting for the reader. Readers’ habit to skim content means that numbers and figures in a paragraph may be lost on your audience. Pulling the data out into visuals undoubtedly improves the chance that it is absorbed. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that data alone is the story. What counts is what the data signifies.
True and well-organized information is the heart of any great infographic. Whether the data is from your company or from an outside source, make sure it is objective and relevant to the point you want to make. Incorrect or irrelevant information can’t be improved by the strongest of designs.
Don’t forget to cite the information source at the bottom of the infographic to demonstrate the legitimacy of your story.