Three Guidelines for a Great Infographic

 In Concepts, Creative, Design

Effective infographics are challenging to create. The most successful infographics not only display important information and data, but they do it in a way that is visually interesting and simple. Both the data and the design need to be compelling. The best infographics level the playing field between analysts and the public, bringing complex information to a reasonable comprehension level. The next time you’re creating an infographic, consider the following tips from The Best American Infographis 2013:

1. Reflect the subject matter in every design element.

Periodic Table Infographic

Periodic Table Infographic

The Breaking Bad Body Count infographic is clever in that every aspect of the design is a callback to the show’s focus on a chemistry-teacher-turned-drug-overlord. This graphic, which recounts the death toll in the first 54 episodes of the show, uses a chemistry-like compound formula to tell the reader not only who died, but also how, when and by whom. Underneath the figure (human, pink bear, turtle) and name, readers learn what season the death occurred (S followed by a subscript of 1-5), the cause of death (Sh for shot, Ps for poisoned, etc.) and who was responsible (H for Hank, Ma for Multiple Assailants). The Periodic Table of Death guide and formula key help readers determine what the symbols in the death toll portion of the infographic mean.

[divider_smooth] 2. If the concept is complex, make the design simple.
Simplify Your Infographic

Simplify Your Infographic

Wind Map was an ambitious infographic: It shows the what the wind is doing across the country in near-real time. That’s right. If you’re wondering whether it’s a good day to go surfing in the Pacific or just how brutal the Windy City’s namesake weather condition is before you leave the house, this infographic has you covered. Hell, they’ve gotten fan mail from scientists who track butterfly migration, so you know it’s going to work for whatever you need to know. But in order to keep from overwhelming viewers with an infographic that’s constantly in motion, the designers chose a muted, monochrome palette. They also were conscious of how much information they wanted to display. In the end, they created an infographic that’s easy to read and understand.
[divider_smooth] 3. Use the design to tell the story.
Story Design Infographic

Tell a Story With Your Infographic

And the Oscar Goes to…New York City is a fearless depiction of how people in New York City view the world map: NYC is both hugely important and the center of the world. I jest… The infographic here actually depicts how many Oscar-nominated films were shot in various locations. While New York City steals the show overall, California, the U.K./London, France/Paris and New England all give it a run for its money. The best part, however, is that the shape and size of each location gives the reader information without forcing them to dive in. Even from a distance, people understand that some places have more Oscar nominations than others. I don’t need to look closely to see that NYC-shot films have a good chance of taking home a little gold statue, but if I want to know more than that, I can look closely and see other locales that set the scene in some kick-ass movies. The authors here do a good job of creating an infographic where the design—not the text—is the real star.
[divider_smooth] Need help creating a visually interesting and informative infographic? Valiant can help. Give us a shout – 972-390-7410. Or, send us an email at

Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment