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On this subject, here is an article about infographics: It’s simple: people remember 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they read, and 80% of what they see and do. So, if you want to make information memorable, turn it into something the audience sees and does, not hears or reads.
But wait: before you just load up Venngage’s free graph maker, there are rules. Infographic creation is an art these days, and if you want to make one that people will stop and read, you have to do it right. First…
1. Make one big point
Ideally, you should have a single, coherent message that the entire infographic serves to deliver. Think of it as a story: it’s told with data and visual metaphors, but the structure is still the same.
First comes the hook: Every infographic worth reading is designed to illuminate some fact or to lead the viewer to some conclusion they otherwise wouldn’t have reached.
Then there’s the meat of the story, which comes in at the middle as the reader continues through to the supporting data. Then, at the end: the conclusion.
This plot can be as simple or as complex as you want, and more complex isn’t always better. In many ways, road signs are the perfect infographics: they convey exactly the information they need to convey, with a clearly visible premise and conclusion, at a size that can be read at 70 miles an hour. They’re done big, with bold colors and easily readable fonts, and their design language is so iconic. it’s imitated the world over.
But if you need to convey something more complicated than the speed limit, that’s where the rest of these rules come in.
2. Use simple combinations of primary colors
One more lesson you can take from road signs, though, is color palette design: you might have noticed they use as few colors as possible, they’re all eye-catching primaries, and there’s a clear logic to how they pick them.
Yellow: take notice. Orange: you should probably look at this. Red: Stop what you’re doing and read this now. That’s exactly how colors should be used when it comes to conveying data: simple ones, arranged by importance, with a clear sense of which color means what.
“If picking a color palette is hard for you, stick to the rule of three,” says Smashing. Choose three primary colors: a light one as a background and two more for the base of your infographic and your accents, such as headings.
Use four at most, suggests Venngage’s own guide to the subject. (This guide goes into the different types of color scheme, like monochrome, adjacent, and tetradic, in much more detail than I can here, so we recommend you give it a read.)
As a general rule:
- Use as few colors as possible and,
- if you must add another color, make sure there’s a reason behind it, like if you find another piece of data that has to be separate from the others.
3. Space it out
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