I’m now on to episode 4 on showing you how you can create beautiful infographics. Last episode I showed you the steps to take before you create your Infographic. Now we get to the cool stuff: How to Design your Infographic!
We are going to be go over design, colors, and how to frame your infographics. I’m going to also show you some great examples and confident by the end of this, you are going to have a much better idea on how to create your own infographic.
Hi. This is another episode of A Beginner’s Guide To Creating Shareable Infographics. The last episode, I talked to you about the steps of how to create your infographics. But today, we’re going to have some fun. We are going to talk about How To Design Your Infographic. This is where we are going to be doing some cool stuff, talking about design, about color, about how to frame your infographics. So just follow with me. I’m going to put a lot of good examples. And I promise you by the end of this, you are going to have a much better idea on how to create infographics.
CREATE A WIREFRAME
The first thing that I want to talk to you about is creating a wireframe. Now, as far as wireframe goes, this is very similar to creating presentations. It is actually very similar to… Historically, I have created a lot of websites, that’s how I started. Getting to design in the past and so when you create a website, it is very similar to how you create homes, there is going to be a blueprint, there is an architecture of that setup. And the same principle follows through infographics. So you are actually going to set up a wireframe and that is going to allow you to translate your text into visual elements.
Now, when it comes to setting up your wireframe, there are different ways that you can go about it. But what you want to do is to kind of try to use visual metaphors and symbols that allow you to set up the actual foundation of your infographic and then from there on, you can start going into the different steps of setting it up.
Now, infographics, very similar to web pages. There is a header, there is a body and there is a footer. I’m going to concentrate a little bit on the header and the footer. If you look at this example here, what you want to do first is concentrate on the header. That is the place for your title, your subtitles and your introduction and then from there, what you want to do is to get into the actual – the meat, the body of it. The body may be set up of different blocks, so you may want to set up rough sketches of illustrations or icons. You want to then go into the rough sketches of charts and graphs. And again, this may be initially a bar chart but you can always switch that through. Then from there on, you just kind of layout the rest of your content.
Then, you will be talking about the placement of highlighted stats and figures. You may have repeating columns, but basically, that is the meat of the content. And that allows you to, later on, go back and set up the design.
1. DECIDING ON A VISUAL THEME
Let’s go through a few ideas. I showed you a few wireframe concepts but from thereon, as far as the end result, in order to get there, let’s just show you a few visual themes. The visual theme is where you are going to combine colors and design together and that is going to allow you to achieve a better end result.
Here are a couple ideas. If you look at this one, this one is about the “Save the Bees”. You look at the color scheme that actually follows that scheme and also you’re using visual elements in this case. It is related to honeycombs and bees.
Now, in the example here, it’s “A Deadly Snake Bite” infographic and there is an overarching forest theme. And if you look at this next one, talking about “The World Needs Mining”, that’s an infographic, it’s pretty neat and so that one is actually using imagery of mining machinery. If you notice, there’s actual following theme from the color to the actual types of images and even the fonts that all follow through. They are a little bit different but they actually follow similar principles.
2. CHOOSING A COLOR SCHEME
Next is about choosing a color scheme. I talked about color schemes a lot. There was the “19 Design Mistakes” where I talked about the colors you should or shouldn’t select as far as how you combine them. And also in the presentation series that I did, it was a 3-part series, I talked a lot about colors. If you have watched those, you will notice that it is very similar, following a similar concept. In fact in design, there is an interconnection between the mediums where you actually follow very similar principles.
As far as colors go, colors speak volumes on their own. If you look at a few colors here, at least in Western culture, and again, it is a little bit different in different cultures but in this case, using that as an example. Some color associations, they exude different types of emotions. For example, red in the Western culture is associated with passion and with romance, so you think about Valentine’s Day. You think about green that’s associated with fertility and with nature. You think about the force and so on, landscapes. That allows you to actually speak volumes, allows you to exude certain emotions. You want to carefully select the colors.
Now, this is going back to the color wheel. The color wheel is another series that I did. An episode on that where I showed you about how to select colors in a wheel. It is a really neat tool and just to kind of touch on that real quick, what you want to do is create the most visual interest when placed side by side. You want to select varying tones and shades of tints. So you think about one area and that allows you to select similar shades. But then what you also want to do is you want to go a little bit further to the side and then select another pure color and at least 3 spaces away from it. So that allows that to be your accent color.
As far as color scheme tools, again if you’re not very familiar or you find it difficult, you can tap into a lot of online sources. One of my 3 favorites are Adobe Color CC, Cooler Zaco and also Paletton. You can just Google those and allow you really quickly to find some complimentary colors that you can easily use in your tool.
Keeping it simple
Next thing is about keeping it simple. Less is usually more when it comes to design. Don’t use too many colors and also 3 or 4 colors is really the maximum you want to do. I recommend maybe 2, a third color that will be your accent. Look at this example here, it is really using one blue color and another darker one and just using tints of it.
The 60-30-10 Rule
Now, the 60-30-10 rule. And this one is very easy to follow concept. It basically follows this: 60% of your primary color, you want to apply that to your design. Out of a hundred percent, 60% or approximately, in this case, the turquoise, that is your primary color. And the 30%, it will be your secondary. This is the beige in this case. And them your accent color, in this case, is the orange and that is utilizing a few different areas. You look at the 60-30-10 rule, it allows you to have a nice balance of the colors.
3. CHOOSING FONT COMBINATIONS
Next, is choosing font combinations. I’m going to spend just a couple minutes on this one because there is a lot talk I have done in the prior episodes, but fronts are extremely important to proper and clean design. Here are a few tips:
You want to combine the Serif with San Serif to create contrast. Serif fonts, in general, you think of Times New Roman. They have these little tips to them. And then San Serif fonts to explain, they basically don’t. So San Serif fonts, they don’t have the little knobs to them. So you think about the font like Arial. if you combine these together, it’s very hard to go wrong. And you also want to avoid choosing typefaces from similar classifications.
Achieve Contrast & Visual Hierarchy
Now, let’s talk about achieving contrast and visual hierarchy. Varying point size between different fonts, you know, headlines, subtitles, and body text. You look at the headline, the word “wasted”, that is larger than the subtitle and so on. So that allows you to have a nice contrast and varying point size that allows you to focus the user on the different elements that you want to present to them. It also allows you to give a certain level of priority to different content. So your headline, being the largest text.
Assign a role to each of the fonts
Now, also you want to do is same font for subtitles. You want to assign a role to each of the fonts. This is a perfect example here. You want to use a same font for titles, another font for the subtitles or at least a different size. And then also another one for the body text. And that allows you to have a nice contrast between them and have roles for those elements.
Pair a distinct font with a more neutral one
You want to pair a distinct font with a neutral tone. This one example shows you that clearly.
Use different fonts from the same typeface
And also, you want to use different fonts from the same typeface. This infographic here shows you a good example of that.
Stick to two-three font combinations
Next, you want to keep it simple. Just like when it comes to the different colors and different design. Your fonts, keep it simple. So really stick to two, maximum three color combinations just like you have noticed here.
EXAMPLES OF FONT COMBINATIONS
So, examples of font combinations behind me. Here are a few of my favorites. Oswald, Rokkitt, Volkorn, so these fonts are pretty cool to use and you can actually use them in large sizes and they will still look clean and nice.
4. HOW TO SELECT AND USE THE RIGHT ICONS
Number 4, how to select and use the right icons. Again, in terms of infographics you’re creating, snackable, easy to understand content, icons really allow you to create visually easy to understand content.
1. Replace names and titles with icons
So, you want to replace names and titles with icons as much as possible. And sometimes it does not make sense but wanted to make that to be one of your goals. Instead of trying typing each of the lines of text or list or charts, try to utilize icons next to them.
2. Use icons in graphs and charts
And you can also use icons in graphs and charts. If you look at this chart here, instead of having texts and legends next to it each time, it’s actually using visual cues such as icons.
3. Use icons to communicate a theme
Next is you want to use icons to communicate a theme. In this case, you look at a “Smart, Scaleable Client Intake Process” and instead of writing a long paragraph, this could have been just a bullet list or a long paragraph is actually been presented into a visual format.
4. Use icons in lists
Next, you want to use icons in lists. This is in our tool Visme, we see a lot of people very easily create this type of infographics. It’s kind of cool and easy to create because it’s just basically text with icons. It’s very common among beginners. So what you do is have simple verse of text and you have visuals next to it, that way you can create lists.
5. Use icons in headers
You can also use icons in headers. That allows you to illustrate the main concept such as the example over here.
6. Use icons in the background
Also, you can use icons in the background. So if you use icons in the background as a header or in a section, if you do that, make sure that the icons behind the scenes, such as the top here, they have a lot of transparency to them, that way they’re not overtaking the front of the title.
7. Use icons to explain a concept
Also, you want to use icons to explain a concept. Create a customize images, use icons, in that way you can illustrate a concept such as this example here.
8. Stick with one icon style
You can also stick to one icon style. That is one of the common design mistakes that I see in presentations, infographics and so on. People just basically mix and match different icons. But you got to think about the tone of your infographic and try to utilize a similar style icon. So what you don’t want to do is on the left side here, that is where you have outlined filled with different types of icons that really clearly do not go with each other. But if you look at the next one on the right, you can clearly see that there is a similar style icon. They are all flat and actually colorful. They actually have a certain level of consistency and give you a clean and overall professional look. You want to follow that throughout your entire infographic.
9. Pair icons with fonts
Also, you want to pair icons with fonts. Fonts and icons, in order for them to go together, there has to be a certain harmonious design to them. You want to determine the style and the tone. And you want to choose your fonts and your icons accordingly such as these two examples down here.
10. Pair Icons with a color palette
Also, try to match your infographic’s color schemes with icon. Pair the icons and the font with a color palette. If you look at the two different icons here, they actually have two different colors and each of these of colors has a corresponding one.
5. ACHIEVING A BEAUTIFUL (AND FUNCTIONAL) DESIGN
Now next, number 5 is achieving a beautiful and functional design. Let’s talk about that, I will show you a few examples.
Again, one of the important parts about images in the background is that they should not overtake the front and it should be a certain level of contrast. You also want to convey a certain mood and it helps you to develop your visual theme such as a couple of images here. Next, what you want to do is want to utilize images that correspond to each other. The example here is utilizing images of European cities. There’s a feel of in evocative of scenic white winters here. It kind of follows through. There’s a random usage of photo but it actually corresponds together even the top one and the one at the bottom.
And the example here, what its utilizing is attractive, cloth-like texture in the header section. And also here are a few tips.
1. Choose images that evoke the right emotions
You want to select well-chosen photos. And because they actually speak volumes on their own, so if you use the right image, that allows to evoke the right emotions such as the example here.
2. Use fonts that reinforce your message
Also, you want to use fonts that reinforce your message. If you look at the “Animal World” infographic here, the actual font itself, it kind of goes with the image and the tone of the infographic.
3. Make text readable.
Also, make sure the text is readable. So if you have text in your infographic, make sure it’s readable, easy to understand, shorten as much as possible and also utilize shapes and frames. You can put rectangles underneath so that if there wasn’t a rectangle, they would be very hard to read the text in the screen. The rectangle shape behind which has a little bit of a transparency under the text allows you to more easily read that information.
4. Use a degree of transparency to create contrast
Use a degree of transparency to create contrast. You want to create a more uniform surface of typography, apply text colors that provide contrast with the background. In this example here, there’s a certain level of contrast with the elements in front of it and instead of the text, for example, being black on the sides and it’s actually white so there’s a certain level of contrast for that
5. Place text in portions that are less busy
Also, you want to use backgrounds that are relatively empty. If you look at the example here, the photo was selected where the elephant is a focal point as a photo and there’s is enough real estade around it so you can actually utilize elements. Notice, there is nothing actually place over the elephant’s trunk or in the center of the head because on purpose, it is utilizing the empty space for that. So you want to concentrate on this image selection.
6. Integrating photo elements
Now, integrating photo elements. Create a dynamic and cohesive design such as the example here
And also, you want to utilize section dividers as necessary. An infographic they can be as tall as you want them to be. You want to make sure that you actually divide them into snackable pieces of content. So you can utilize dividers. A divider may be utilizing colors, it might be blocks, separated by lines, by arrows, you may utilize ribbons and numbers. I have a few examples that I’m going to show you.
This one here is using actual arrows. If you look at the little icon here, you clearly see that it’s pointing to the right and so you look at that and then it veers your eye towards the right side.
Also, dash, data curvy and zigzag lines among others are dividers so you can utilize. An example here, it is talking about water, It is communicating in terms of water, so the visual as far as the divider is utilizing a wave. It just sort of follow through with that.
You want to utilize flat icons or flat ribbons, you can also go with the more in-depth ones that have drop shadows but I recommend you stick with the ones that have a very little gradient and very solid. This is a filled color ribbon and it actually goes with the rest of the design which is utilizing a flat design.
Use numbers to separate each section. There’s a utilization of numbers between a section that allows you to actually follow through more easily.
Additionally, you can actually utilize geometric shapes. Basic element, you’re going to frame the content, highlight important points such as the example here. You can utilize figures and stats and you can highlight those figures and stats with rectangles and hexagons. There’s an actual hexagon under this number here. It could have been a circle, could have been a rectangle, it just works in this design to utilize a hexagon.
Also, frame key points. You can use circles and rectangles and you can actually have stats and figures stand out more that allows you to veer the eye towards that focal point.
And visualizing numbers. This is a very good example here. You have numbers and again, a lot of infographics are about data visualizations, so it is about stats and figures and so what you’re doing is using a larger size numbers and that allows you to attract attention to the important figures. You’re actually creating snackable, easy to understand content.
Also, you can use radials, dials, gauges, clocks and meters so in our own tool Visme and again among others, we have all these little widgets that allow you to just drag and drop and actually visualize those little pieces of stats and figures. That’s kind of recommended in infographics.
And also use icons and objects of people, In the example here, there’s an array of people and that’s allowing to visualize statistics and large amounts of data. So you could talk about a million people and each person could reflect maybe 10,000 people. That allows you to actually have and correlate the statistics or proportion of populations between one versus another.
That was a lot of information but I kind of utilize a lot of examples as I could. If you grasp at least a part of this, it’s fantastic. Feel free to watch this video again and I’m going to be talking a little bit more about creating shareable infographics and get a little bit more in-depth to some of the items in the next episode and again, we have a really good e-book that this video series is based on. The link is going to be at the bottom. Feel free to download it. And I will see you guys again next time.
Here’s the slide deck used in the video lesson