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Using infographics?

“a visual representation of information or data, e.g. as a chart or diagram.”

Infographics simplify information into something that is memorable and visually striking.

How often do you react to a sign or symbol?

How often do we understand a complex meaning through a simple image?

Think about road signs; different shapes and illustrations are used as signifiers for a much more elaborate meaning. Triangles for hazards, circles for prohibited traffic, octagonal stop commands.

Through the internet, TV and media, we are exposed to more information than ever, each advert is trying to grab our attention. We no longer need to visit a message board or library to get information, it’s in our pockets, on our TV’s, our social media networks. What’s more is that our brains are constantly having to filter this information; what’s important; what to ignore. Because of this, businesses are having to get more creative about how we engage our audience and potential clients.

That’s where using infographics step in. If you can get your message to resonate with your audiences’ visual memory, they will absorb information clearly and more effectively. Unique and coherent visuals also set you aside from the competition, they tell your audience that you ‘make sense’ amidst a world of visual incoherency and overwhelm.

Core benefits of using info-graphics

Infographics drive traffic to your website: When shared on social media, they are excellent ways to spread your message. Because they are designed to be engaging, even playful at times. It gives bloggers and writers something to talk about, by including your logo, backlinks and URL, wherever on the internet it goes, it will always point back to you.

Infographics let you show off your knowledge: Which in turn boosts your credibility and profile.

Infographics appeal to visual memory: According to PM Lester’s Syntactic Theory of Visual Communication, people recall a huge 80% of what they see and do, compared to 20% of what they read and 10% of what they hear.

Infographics inform and educate: They show you know what you’re talking about enough to simplify to visual cues

When to use infographics

  • Constantly explaining and describing what you to do potential clients?
  • Need to show statistics in an engaging way?
  • Struggling to visualise your unique processes to clients?
  • Bored of bar charts?

Using infographics can help! They simplify complex information, whether that be statistics, processes,  financial reports, summaries or research findings.

And they do it in a way that engages and involves your audience.

A note on content…

If you’re looking to use it to boost traffic to your site, keep the topic universal. Your audience will shrink if you choose to talk about a specific situation to your business. For example ‘How I set up my business’ is less likely to appeal to a wider audience than ‘How to set up a business’. We’re already thinking how it applies to us, so by aiming it outwards you’re making that step easier for your audience.

Briefing a graphic designer to create your own info-graphic

Context: Work out where your infographic will be used – will it be on your website? Sent in an e-newsletter? This way your designer can work out the correct dimensions for the context so that your infographic doesn’t get stretched and squeezed into different sizes and shapes. Squashed and squeezed graphics are off-putting and jarring. Good preparation and briefing means this doesn’t need to happen!

Information hierarchy: As with any written information, it’s good to consider the structure of your infographic and really give this some thought – your designer will love you for this because it will show that you’ve thought carefully about the information (and it will mean they are less likely to misinterpret meaning!). Designers have tonnes of tricks up their sleeves to emphasise prominence of a certain piece of information. They help things stand out or stand back through use of colour, scale and space.

  • Structure your infographic with around three to five subtitles around your chosen topic. The designer will use to break up into sections.
  • Keep paragraphs short and concise – if your reader is looking at this on their phone, they won’t want to read reams or to zoom in to read tiny text!
  • Conclude it with a summary of three (the magic number) snappy statements to leave your reader with a clear ‘take-away’.

Give the fairies space to dance…

If there is some space your designer has left free – don’t ask them to fill it! A creative director once described empty space as ‘where the fairies dance’. Empty space within a design gives the audience room to rest their eyes, it means they aren’t feeling completely bombarded with information and it helps them take it in.

Keep it consistent with your brand

Your brand is valuable, it’s how you are visually represented to the world. It’s how clients recognise you aside from the crowds, so make sure any design work you commission fits perfectly within your branding. At its simplest, it should use the same colours, fonts and clearly link with other branded materials you have had made. This way

Icons Icons Icons!

Using a designer who specialises in illustration means they can create bespoke illustrations and icons that are relevant and unique for your information. It also means that they can create something that fits within your branding, colours and style.

Yorkshire PowerhouseTop tips

Don’t forget to include your logo and contact details! This way it’s always traceable to you.

Cite your sources and make sure they’re credible!

Ask your designer to output the illustrations as separate images – that way you can use the statistics or graphics separately and make the most of the designs you’ve had made!

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Using infographics helps you simplify information into something that is memorable and visually striking – seek expert help from skilled designers to help your business stand out and get noticed!

Tips on using infographics from Yorkshire Powerhouse

You’ve read our article on Using Infographics – have you any questions?

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