The Art of the Infographic: 9 Compelling Characteristics You Need to Know

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Posted: August 1, 2011 | Content Marketing

American composer Stephen Sondheim once said, “Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos.” That said, the true art of an infographic is in finding a way to tell the real story behind the numbers. There are a number of things that should be taken into consideration when creating an infographic. Here are nine key characteristics to keep in mind:

    1. Visual Interest.

Think about the sorts of things that catch your attention. When you’re walking past a rack of magazines or scrolling through a web page, take the time to notice the colors and formats that grab and keep your attention. If you want people to pay attention to your infographic, you can’t just do the same old thing – you have to be engaging and innovative.

    1. Theme.

Be as specific as you can be when it comes to theme. Just like when you write blog posts, if you keep your facts too general you won’t attract as much attention. A targeted theme that combines your company’s interests with a creative flair is always a great choice.

    1. Detail.

The ability to share a lot of information in a small amount of space is part of what makes infographics so powerful. Be sure to invest equal amounts of time and consideration into both the data you share and the manner in which you share it.

    1. Meaning.

There are a lot of ideas that could have insightful visual representations, but not all of them are relevant to your business and what it is trying to convey. Give your design some weight by relating it back to your company and its goals – anecdotal evidence is a great way to get people to listen and relate to what you say.

    1. Action.

An infographic that just repeats information without putting any spin or analysis on it is not something that people will be interested in. In order to be interesting, a design has to have “action” – it has to do something. It can compare or define or teach or list, but it must serve some sort of interpretive function.

    1. Color.

Color is a powerful thing. An easy go-to color scheme will include colors that are already in your company’s logo or website design, but in different shades and tones so they won’t blend in too much with your website, blog or print media. If you want to go further, consider that different colors are known to convey different moods. Blue, for instance, calming  – if your goal is to communicate a calm vibe, then a blue color scheme could work for you.

    1. Typography.

Fonts can go a long way toward supporting different themes. For example, a font like Courier New is great for a graphic that uses a lot of technical information, because it has a clean look and is legible even at very small sizes. As you would with color, experiment with typography to find the right blend for your infographic.

    1. Distribution.

Throughout the entire creation process, keep in mind how you plan to get your infographic onto the web and make it easy and appealing for people to share..

    1. Social.

Social platforms may be the best way to share your infographic once it has been published – tweeting, bookmarking, sharing, and posting to B2B social media platforms. There are a number of different social channels that can serve as vehicles for your infographic, from Facebook to Twitter to Tumblr to Flickr and beyond.

Creating an engaging infographic doesn’t have to be difficult or confusing, as long as you keep it targeted and innovative. Taking all of the above characteristics into consideration can help you create an infographic that is both informative and appealing, whichin turn will help you to optimize your lead nurturing and lead generation.

Do you have any suggestions of important infographic characteristics to add to this list? Let us know in a comment!

Want to see some of ours?  Check our marketing infographics out here.

Maria specializes in Inbound Marketing for Marketo, leading efforts in adoption of social media channels for brand awareness and demand generation. She has worked in marketing for over ten years, and specifically in online marketing including social media, search marketing, and lead generation and nurturing for the past six.

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The Art of the Infographic: 9 Compelling Characteristics You Need to Know

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