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Infographics: Creation and Consumption of Visual Information

This guide contains tips for creating infographics, lists free infographic tools, and gives examples of different types of infographics. In addition to this, the guide gives tips for analyzing infographics in your everyday life.

About this Page

              Infographic explaining characteristics of a good infographic

"What makes a good infographic?" by DashBurst is licensed under CC By-ND 2.0.

This page of the guide covers the Gestalt Principles of Design and free infographic tools. 

Tips & Resources for Creating Infographics

General Tips for Creating Infographics:

Thinking through a plan iconPlan out your design before completely before you start creating your infographic! Think about the information you want to include and how you want it organized. If you have this figured out before you start designing your infographic, things will go smoother and you will probably have less edits.

 

 

 

 

writing iconBefore you start thinking about the design of your infographic, make sure you can summarize the main theme/idea of your infographic in two to three sentences. If you can't, you may be trying to cover too much in one infographic. 

 

 

 

 

 

Icon for image editingAlways review and edit your infographic! This is a really important step to take before you publish your infographic.

General Tips for Creating Infographics:

Idea:

Every great infographic starts with an idea! It is helpful to concretely define your idea before you start designing your infographic. Make sure your idea is conveyed clearly and strongly communicates your message. When thinking through your idea, consider the following:

Have a purpose for your infographic. Why do you want to tell the story?
  • Is it to make a complex idea understandable? Does it add value? Is it going to inform? Or, is it going to entertain? It needs to do at least one of these things, and knowing which one it is going to be can help shape the rest of the process.
  • Is the message concise enough to be communicated in a short sentence?
  • What are the key questions or main theme on which you plan to focus?
  • Can you narrate your graphic and use illustrations to visualize the words and ideas?
Identify your audience. Understand the position and perspective of your potential audience to help you design the story line and later build the campaign to promote and attract that audience.
  • How will your intended audience approach the concept?
  • Will it bee completely new to them?
  • Will they be skeptical and need convincing?
  • Are they experts you are trying to convince?

Research:

Make sure to research your topic and gather your data completely before you start designing your infographic.Your content is important and research makes the subject meaningful. 

Find a unique or clever angle to make the data meaningful.
  • Does the topic or concept something interesting or urgent?
  • Have you showcased a trend or a truth that needs to be told and, more important, needs to be acted on?
  • Have you thoroughly researched the topic?
Identify statistics to provide legitimacy for your topic.
  • Are your statistics supported and verified with legitimate facts? Which facts will you share?
  • Is the data from reliable, authoritative sources? How was it collected? What are its limitations? Is it biased?
  • Have you analyzed the data? The Internet makes research easier, but you need to dig for credible data and use a variety of sources.
  • What concepts emerge from the data?
  • Is research and data suitable for creating visuals? Do you need to convert the data in any way?

 

Edit:

Make sure to go back and edit your information as needed! Remember, if you can't summarize your idea in two sentences or less, you need to edit.

  • Is the topic focused on one main idea?
  • Does your data support the topic's theme?
  • Have you looked for more information you think will support and illuminate the topic and the infographic as a whole?

Outline:

Create an outline and flowchart to organize your infographic.

1. Begin with the most impactful piece of information to engage your audience.

2. Select points that will be interesting to visualize and group similar points together.

  • What form of visual will best tell the story?
  • Should the data be interactive to make it more meaningful?

3. Order information logically and build to a clear conclusion at the end.

4. Write the connecting narrative so data points flow together from one section to the next.

  • How will you portray your argument? Can you use a visual metaphor or analogy?
  • How will you reveal patterns or relationships? What type of infographic is more appropriate?

5. Indicate the sources of data

Complete a Draft:

Create a draft that puts all of the pieces together. Feel free to make one or more drafts if needed!

1. Gather or create graphics. 
  • What color palette will blend the content and graphics? Choose two or three primary colors with one for background (usually the lightest color), and the color two colors to break up sections. If needed, use shades of these three colors for variety.
  • Which visuals (e.g. images, icons, symbols) can you use to represent different sets of data? All sections of the infographic should feel part of the same theme.
  • Where will you find your visuals? Take into account copyright and check for images allowable under Creative Commons.
2. Create layout.
  • Is all of your content present within the graphic? Check for its accuracy.
  • Is it readable?
  • Can it persuasively educate the reader about the topic?
  • Can you automatically understand what the graphic is about?

Review and Refine:

1. Check and refine editorial content.
  • Is the most compelling information included?
  • Does the narrative have a beginning, middle, and conclusion?
  • Are your sources included? Are they cited correctly? Make sure to check for spelling as this will interfere with viewers of your infographic finding the information.
  • Does the theme work for the topic? Are the right sections included?
  • Is there a primary takeaway?

.2. Perfect the visuals.
  • Do the illustrations help you understand the topic, have no impact, or distract from really getting the information?
  • Are design elements used wisely, specifically in a way that helps illustrate your message and organize information clearly?
  • Do graphics and text tell the story, answer main questions, and support your main idea?
  • Is the typography appropriate to the text and graphics?
  • Is all material that is not vital eliminated?

Resources:

Crane, Beverley E. Infographics: A Practical Guide for Librarians. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016, 32-36.

Accessibility Tips:

  • Use text that is easy to read. Make sure to use language and font that is appropriate for your audience.
  • Include image captions and alt text.
  • Make sure that your color palette has contrasting colors between your foreground and background.
  • Any hyperlinks should be clear that they are hyperlinks.

Accessibility Resources:

Gestalt Principles of Perception/Design

 

 

                            Screenshot of Gestalt's Principles of Design Infographic

The Principles:

 

Closure:

The Principle of Closure explains that the human eye prefers complete shapes and naturally fills in gaps between elements to create a complete image.
Similarity:
The Principle of Similarity focuses on the tendency of the human eye to group like-images together as having shared characteristics. 

Proximity:
The Principle of Proximity states that the human eye groups together elements that appear close together. This causes viewers to separate elements that are closer together from those that are farther a part. 

Figure/Foreground:
The Principle of Figure/Foreground teaches that the human eye dislikes uncertainty which causes us to look for solid and complete images.Unless an image is ambiguous, the eye sees its foreground first. Designers can apply this principle when trying to contrast elements in a visual.

Common Region:
The Principle of Common Region says that the human eye groups elements together that appear in the same visual region. These elements are related in some compacity and are put in the same closed region to separate them from other elements listed.

Continuity:
The Principle of Continuity points to the characteristic of the human eye to follow lines and pathways. In other words, our eye will naturally follow lines in images and visual representations. 

Focal Points:
The Principle of Focal Point(s) explains that the human eye will be drawn to elements that are highlighted in some way or that automatically stand out. 

Common Fate:
The Principle of Common Fate states that the human eye groups together elements that are pointing in the same direction.

 

Bibliography:

Chapman, C. "Exploring the Gestalt Principles of Design", Topal, accessed July 29, 2021, https://www.toptal.com/designers/ui/gestalt-principles-of-design.

"Gestalt Principles," Interaction Design Foundation, accessed July 29, 2021, https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/topics/gestalt-principles#:~:text=Gestalt%20Principles%20are%20principles%2Flaws,pleasing%20and%20easy%20to%20understand.

Udoh, Iniobong, "What You Need to Know About Gestalt Principle", UX Planet, January 21, 2019, https://uxplanet.org/what-you-need-to-know-about-gestalt-principle-c440f5d7fc1d.