Five dos and don'ts of infographic design

Feb. 3, 2016

Over the past decade, our screens have been filled with an influx of infographic-led storytelling. Yet, not all infographics are created equal. While some can turn dull data into beautiful visualisations, others leave audiences confused or underwhelmed. Before you dive into your next visualized data project, take a look at some dos and don'ts for infographic design.

1) Design for your platform
The size of your infographic will largely be determined by the amount of information you wish to showcase. Take advantage of vertical space so the infographic will fit on a majority of monitors – whether they'd be desktop, tablet or mobile. Also make sure you haven't selected too much data for your design.

2) Stay proportionate
The best infographics differentiate between data visually – using proportionality and contrast to delineate stats and facts. Stay proportionate by using accurate percentages, spacing and get your sizing right with bar charts, graphs and timelines. Expressing your data in an inconsistent fashion will ultimately confuse your audience.

3) Color choice matters  
You may have a truly interesting topic and an awesome infographic – but if your colors are bland and lack contrast your design will fail to make an impact. Choose colors that pop and pick contrasting tones in order to differentiate data and make it easier for eyeballs. Use color picking tools like SpyColor or Adobe Color CC to help you choose the right palette for your infographic.

4) Show, don't tell
One of the biggest mistakes infographic designers make is that they tend to overuse typography to tell a story instead of creating something visually appealing. Stay motivated, get inspired and think how you might be able to visually show the story while using text sparingly.

5) Be a storyteller
All good stories have a beginning, middle and end. Infographics are no different. At the beginning of the infographic, introduce the problem or thesis. From there, back it up with your clean data set. Finally, end the infographic with a conclusion. 

To learn more about data science and dataviz, why not take our free courses taught by The School of Data and award-winning designer Stefanie Posavec. Find out more here.