Infographics have the ability give information to your audience in a way that is easy to digest and aesthetically appealing.
Infographic on Food Insecurity in the US | Tiffany Farrant via Flickr
1. Go through the data
So you have information you are wanting to translate into an infographic that is easy to read and doesn't take long for the audience to absorb. For example, if I was thinking about making an interactive infographic that shows which hip hop artists have the largest vocabulary, I would figure out a way to collect and go through the data I've found as a start.
In this example, the creator of this interactive infographic took the first 35'000 words from a whole bunch of rappers, old and new, in order to figure out who had the most unique words compared to Shakespeare. By taking the 1st 35'000 words from each artist, the creator gains an even amount of data from each artist and puts a limit to the amount of data they can attain.
2. Cross check your information
Once you've collected all the raw information you want to put into your infographic, make sure you cross check it against different sources. If you are the first person to collect data like this, double check all the figures you've collected. This will avoid you kicking yourself later on when you've finished and notice you forgot to add a zero.
3. Plot before you play
If you're making an infographic using one of the websites we recommended, use the are where you make the infographic as a canvas. You can always erase, go over and redo the bits you don't want. Drawing out how your infographic is going to look on paper is a good idea too.
4. Make sure your message is clear - try explaining it to someone in a sentence
The beauty of infographics is that they convey an idea simply. You should be able to easily tell someone what your infographic is trying to portray. For example if you are doing a multimedia project on different people living in your building you might want to make an infographic that depicts the top 10 highest apartment buildings in the world.
5. Match the tone - if the content is serious, make it look serious
Infographic on mobile marketing | GDS Infographics via Flickr
Infographic on Sexual Violence | UK Home Office via Wikipedia Commons
IG 1 covers really serious stuff. Notice there are no cartoons or animations, the colour represents the women affected by sexual violence and the font is one that was specifically chosen to conjure a feeling of unease and danger.
Compare this to IG 2. Its layout takes the shape of a Monopoly board, a whole bunch of colours are used and the author also makes use of animation and comedy to lure in the audience.
When you are making infographics, you need to make sure that the tone of the visual matches the mood of the data you're trying to convey.
6. Leave space
Busy infographics are scary and do the opposite of simplifying complex data. By leaving physical space in your infographics, your audiences eyes will be able to take a break from the information they're trying to take in.
7. Spend time on it
Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day. Rushing to create an infographic can seriously compromise its quality. If you don't have time to make an infographic, simply don't do it. You should dedicate at least a couple of hours to creating a decent infographic.
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