Creating Great Infographics: How To Get Your Ducks in a Row

Creating Great Infographics: How To Get Your Ducks in a Row

Infographics are everywhere—from government reports to high school classrooms. We’ve even seen infographics about infographics. At Hoffman, we’re seeing an uptick in demand for these infographics. See our infographics page for some samples that may inspire you.

The subject of this post: how to put together more impactful, motivating infographics as a part of your ongoing content marketing strategy. Like all content forms, infographics have some key components that either make them stellar or stale. Here are some “do’s” and “don’ts” we’ve discovered at Hoffman when we get our ducks in a row to create infographics for our clients over the years.

DO…have a strategic and specific communication goal in mind. You can’t spill all your company’s beans in one infographic and have a lasting impact. The key is a carefully orchestrated flow of information that leads to an inescapable (or at least highly convincing) conclusion. Pick a topic that reflects well on your company or one of its products—not the entire market you’re in.

DO…use a writer to work closely with the subject matter experts and marketing folks to make sure you are delivering a distinct and clear message. There’s nothing worse than just dumping a project on an unsuspecting graphic artist by saying “serve-up a jaw-dropping infographic for us, please. Take a look at our web site!” It’s rare that companies have graphic artists that have both a keen sense of messaging and artistic ability. So get a writer involved early. Have the writer and marketing team decide the theme, flow, and end message you want to deliver.

DO…have that end-goal message in mind, then work backwards to find supporting facts, figures, and statistics that will lead to your blockbuster conclusion. This is Internet grunt work at its best: combing the web internal resources to find just the right nuggets of info that will make your graphic conclusion pop.

DO…provide a mock-up of the infographic to the artist, including all references and attributions for your info-message. Take the time to actually include placeholder graphics, icons, and even typefaces you might use, clipped from other sources.

DON’T…shackle the artist. Once the designer has the message in hand, give him or her free-reign to play with the elements, original art, and especially use of white space, icons and other graphic elements.

DON’T…forget about your corporate style guide, though. Is the infographic using the approved color schema, typefaces, and logo? It’s best to make sure you’re not running afoul of corporate guidelines after hours of intense graphic design. Arm your designer with the style guide before the first arrow is drawn.

DON’T…forget to make sure the actual graphics, icons, pictures, and other elements and quotes are licensed, you have obtained permission for, and are correctly and legally attributed.  No sense going to market with a message that ends in nasty legalities.

In short, the best infographics tell a story—where do you start, but most importantly, where does the story end? Often a good infographic is a colorful invitation to explore the topic more fully—a natural lead-in to your other, more meaty content. If you’re interested in incorporating custom infographics into your content marketing, please visit us here to learn more about what we can do for you.

What are your “do’s” and “don’ts” for creating great infographics? Did we miss any ducks? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

For the last 30 years, Hoffman Marketing Communications has created white papers, collateral, and more recently multimedia and infographics, on complex business issues and technologies. See some samples of our infographics here.