An infographic is a striking visual that conveys information in a quick and clear way.
Familiar examples include the food pyramid, the red and blue map that displays U.S. election results by state, and the signs we see on highways and public transportation.
The message of an effective infographic is immediate and obvious: eat more fruits and vegetables than dairy and meat each day (or make sure your driving speed does not exceed 65 MPH.) The viewer doesn't have to study it to discern the meaning.
Beyond these simple parameters, try not to get hung up on what "makes" an infographic. Deliver your message in an interesting and eye-catching way, and people will enjoy and share it, greatly enhancing your brand. How can you take advantage of these data visualization tools?
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To begin, you'll need to conduct some basic research to determine the keywords that are most relevant to your company's brand, service or product. Google's Keyword Tool can help you to determine which keywords belong in your title. (See this article for SEO copywriting tips.) Your goal is to develop an infographic that presents a new solution or idea using these keywords as the foundation.
When you've developed a clear, concise and powerful message based on the most appropriate keywords, it's time to arrange your content. Try using PowerPoint to organize your information, as it allows you to move slides around until you find the most logical sequence. Use the Notes feature to keep track of your ideas for visuals for each slide.
Your infographic should be primarily about the visual content-not the text. So make every word count: use only as many words as you need to complement the graphics, which should pull the viewer's focus and tell your story. When was the last time you shared (or even made it through) a dense, visually unappealing paragraph on Facebook or Twitter? Probably never, right? Make sure your illustrations really pop, and explain concepts with words only where necessary.
Proofread Your Content and Fact-Check
Next, be sure all components of your infographic are flawless-be on the lookout for typos, misinformation and confusing visuals. Fact-check every point you make, and be sure to cite reputable sources. Proofread for typing, spelling, and grammatical errors, and make sure the illustrations convey the correct message without causing any confusion.
Design and Layout
Now it's time to design your infographic. Your next goal is to find striking images that convey your message, but you don't want to use art or photos that belong to someone else. To be sure that you aren't using copyrighted property, you can purchase your graphics and images from sites that offer images for free use.
- Use a consistent theme throughout the design, so that the finished product feels "whole."
- Choose colors that complement one another.Repetition is a key principle in infographic design, as are big, bold headers, images that tell the story, and a legible font.
- Your design should be readable at 650px wide, so that blogs can display it without resizing. Use higher resolution for distribution in other mediums. For example, we published a hi-res PDF of this hairstyle poster that salon owners can hang in their shops.
- It's a good idea to include a QR code to generate web traffic if you think people will take notice and capture it. You can use a service like bit.ly to shorten the URL.
Bio: Dennis Consorte is the founder of Consorte Marketing, an online marketing and web design agency in Hoboken, New Jersey. They emphasize quality over quantity and use creative ways to promote their clients through SEO, affiliate marketing and social media channels. Connect with Dennis on LinkedIn or follow Consorte on Twitter or Facebook.