Earlier this year I said that visual marketing would be the next big thing – and it’s become just that. We’ve seen the quality of accompanying images become increasingly competitive between publications. We’ve seen the record-breaking rise of Pinterest, a purely image-based social media platform and now the third biggest one despite the hundreds that have come before it. We’ve even seen the attention toward typography pairings, where different types of complementary fonts are paired together to make text pop even more, so much so that text is now an art form.
And then there are infographics – or infographs, depending on how you refer to them. Infographs have become the only way to really communicate information. It’s a creative and attention-grabbing way to draw readers into a plethora of data without causing their eyes to glaze over minutes in. Quite the contrary, infographs get readers curious and make them want to read more, learn more and share more (especially with the social shift toward knowing more, but we’ll save that for another day).
So how exactly are infographs used? Maybe you’re thinking your company doesn’t really have a lot of information to share, let alone information people want to know. Though here’s the thing: your infograph could be on just about anything and people would be curious.
Rhode Island based Caster Communications, a savvy PR company, did a really fun and creative one over the summer entitled “When is it Too Hot for Your Dog?” It had nothing to do with PR, but it was a fun way to incorporate their fluffy pooches, which are often found steadily guarding the gates – as they’re napping on plush pillows. Even without the PR factor, it does incorporate their office culture and love for dogs, providing others useful and timely information. I’m betting any dog lover shared that one.
When it comes to infographs, you’re really only limited by your imagination.
Creating Your Infograph
There are half a dozen free and affordable tools out there to help you create your infograph, starting with:
- Visual.ly – Just sign up and connect your social accounts. Visual.ly makes it easy to know how to format your infograph by allowing you to shoot for an end goal. What type of story you’re looking to communicate will determine your graph structure. While you’re there, take a look around at all the other great visuals and get inspired. If you’re looking for something just simple and beautifully designed, but not quite as broken down in its approach, then try out Piktochart.
- Easel.ly – Simple graph creation and the best choice for beginners with little experience and design knowledge.
- Dipity – Best for creating timelines.
- Infogr.am – If you’ve got a data heavy site, this one’s for you. Infogr.am lets you import data straight from your website.
- Venngage – Perfect for creating Venn diagrams. As an extra plus point, Venngage also lets users track infograph performance.
If you don’t have the time, hire a graphic designer – though it can cost you a pretty penny. You can also go a cheaper route by hiring a talented high school or college student with knowhow. Just be sure to give them direction regarding information and design details.
Designing Your Infograph
Even though your infograph can be on just about anything, you have to make it visually appealing if you at least want readers to click on it once let alone share it.
Stick with 3-5 five colors using a color wheel to determine complementary shades. If you have no idea where to start, start with the colors in your brand and inject in a few neutrals or grey tones accents. Next up is font pairing. Start with the font you use for your logo and throughout your website. For a more creative mix, add in one more.