If you’re not a designer by nature, creating a great infographic can be very time-consuming and very daunting. I had a chance to talk to the designer at Venngage to pick his brain on the top 5 stylistic fundamental infographic design strategies to keep in mind if you want to be able to create great visual content.
1) Use no more than TWO different font styles
The problem with using too many different font styles in your infographic design is that it can be very visually overwhelming. Our designer said that by limiting yourself to two font styles at most, you still have some room for creative play between serif and sans-serif styles. It makes sense though, just imagine reading a paragraph in a novel where every other word was a different style. It can get PRETTY annoying, right?
Notice in this example how two different fonts add a tasteful contrast to the infographic. By using colour, boldness and size, it makes the fonts contrast but work cohesively in terms of design.
But in this example, there are five different font styles being used.
I don’t know about you, but my goal when I design an infographic is certainly not to make the reader want to regurgitate their lunch!
2) Pick a simple but strong colour scheme to work with
But what does that mean, you ask? Well it means that you need to pick colours that generally compliment each other. If you have no idea how to do that, or you’re colour blind, there are tools out there that will do the work for you. Try Paletton.com, which is a colour scheme designer. If it helps, think of it this way- when you wake up in the morning and you start getting dressed, if you have any sense of style, you naturally choose clothing that matches. You’re probably not going to show up at work in a canary yellow t-shirt and sky-blue trousers, right? Unless you’re a hipster, then maybe you have an exception.
See how the colours in this example don’t make you wince.
But the ones in this example make you want to rip out your eyes?
3) Negative space is your friend
Negative space is the space that exists outside of the content you are adding to your infographic canvas. This space nicely frames the work that you are doing. If you go back to the example above, you will see that there is a lot of clutter in the YouTube example. It’s almost as if the keyboard exploded onto the canvas.
The spacing is not cohesive at all, and some of the icons and text are between two different colour backgrounds, making it very difficult to read. In the NHL example, however, the space around the text creates a noticeable and consistent border for the text and the images. Nothing is overlapping in sickening ways.
4) Understand your page parameters
If you’re designing an infographic that is going to be displayed online, you need to keep in mind the dimensions of the infographic. Try not to go over 850 pixels in width, because people generally don’t like to scroll from left to right. The more natural way to scroll is from top to bottom, so if you need to add more information to your sheet, add lengthwise not widthwise. If you are creating an infographic for a blog post, a lot of the generic blog templates are 624 pixels in width, so that’s is another thing to consider.
5) Illustrations can enhance statistics
You can use different illustrations to enhance statistics, or to suggest a metaphor for the facts that you are providing. In the NHL example, donut graphs are used to visually represent the data.
In the YouTube example, there is an attempt to add some visual data, but it doesn’t really work. There is no data really being represented, or any comparison being made, there are only 10 people in the pictogram, yet the statistic states that there are 1 billion users.
So if used right, illustrations and visuals can get your point across stronger, but if you just throw illustrations at the screen, your reader will just be distracted and more confused by the information you are presenting.
You can check out the full NHL infographic in the templates section when you sign in at www.venngage.com.
[Article original published on socialbarrel.com]