People love statistics. A good statistic can be a powerful backup for an argument you’re making. A statistic can make people pause and think about a problem, or a solution.
But to get people to stop and pay attention to statistics, you need to present them in a visually engaging way.
Infographics are one of the most popular ways to share statistics with your audience, and for a good reason. Not only are infographics eye-catching, they make data more engaging and impactful.
There are plenty of examples of statistical infographics that have gone viral. Remember the World’s Deadliest Animal infographic that Bill Gates posted on his blog a few years back? It went viral because it presented a shocking statistic in such an impactful way.
Meanwhile, in the business world, we were excited to see one of our statistical infographics gain some serious traction: 10 Visual Content Marketing Statistics. A year after being published, this infographic still pulls in some of the highest traffic on our blog.
That’s because the infographic is highly relevant to marketers. It’s easy to scan for stats that marketers can cite in their own blog posts, ebooks, and infographics.
One of the best things about infographics? Anyone can make them, even if you don’t have a design background.
Follow these four steps to create your own statistical infographic:
- Pick an infographic template that fits your topic.
- Customize the icons, charts, pictograms and maps to fit your data.
- Customize the color scheme, fonts and decorative visuals to fit your brand.
- Share your infographic in a blog post, on social media, in a white paper–anywhere you need to communicate data in an engaging way!
Here are 20 statistical infographic templates to get you started, along with some helpful design tips and inspirational ideas.
1. Use icons to illustrate and emphasize key statistics in your infographic
Icons are simple vector visuals that convey concepts. They’re perfect for illustrating and reinforcing statistics on your infographic.
- Pick an icon that reflects the theme of your statistic.
- Place the icon beside your statistic to draw attention to it.
- Pick a font style and color that matches your icon for the statistic text.
For example, look at how this infographic template uses icons to draw attention to each statistic:
2. Divide your statistical infographic into sections using colored blocks
A simple but effective way to organize your statistical infographic, while also making the information pop, is to divide the data into segments using solid colored blocks.
You can pick a different color for every section, or alternate between two. Take a look at what this infographic example does to emphasize each of the 6 statistics:
3. Create a pictogram to visualize your statistic
Pictograms are data visualization where each unit is represented by an icon. They’re a creative way to visualize a statistic, especially if you’re creating an infographic for social media.
To create a pictogram for social media:
- Focus on one shocking, surprising or empowering statistic.
- Use icons with a darker shade and a lighter shade of the same color to show a percentage.
- Include descriptive text under the pictogram and pick a bold font to emphasize the number.
Take a look at how this social media infographic combines a pictogram with big, bold text to create an infographic with impact:
4. Use a variety of chart types to give your infographic variety
Looking at a row of bar charts with the same style can make it easy for your eyes to skim and miss information. Finding different ways to visualize your statistics will help make your infographic design more engaging.
Try using a bar chart or pie chart for one section and a map for another section, or a pictogram to highlight a particularly important statistic.
For example, this statistical infographic combines two types of charts and a timeline to make the information engaging:
5. Clearly frame the problem or question that your statistic addresses
It’s important to give your audience context for why they should care about your statistic. That’s why, if you’re presenting your data in a chart, it’s good practice to include a description under your chart. If you’re pressed for space, at least include a descriptive header.
For example, this powerpoint slide template provides context for the chart in the side bar by explaining the problem (dealing with customer complaints). Then, a description under the chart describes the data and suggests what readers should take away from it:
6. Use a contrasting color to highlight a point on a chart that you want readers to notice
If you’re using data to back up an argument you’re making, then you want to make sure that people take away the right information from your charts. In that case, using a color that highlights the particular data point you want them to look at can help.
Pick one color for the rest of the bars, sections or points on your chart, and pick one contrasting color for the particular point you want to emphasize.
Take a look at how this statistical infographic chart uses a contrasting color and an icon to draw attention to “Big Data”:
7. Annotate your charts so people know what they data means
While you should generally include a description of your chart to give your readers context, you may also want to annotate your charts to give readers a deeper understanding of particular points.
This is particularly helpful if you want to explain outlier points on a chart.
You can annotate your charts by simply as adding a label or brief description and highlighting particular points. For example, look at how this statistical infographic template uses a red circle to highlight two particular points, and a label to explain why the numbers dip so much at that one point:
8. Incorporate quirky icons into your statistical infographic to give it personality
Just because you’re working with statistics, doesn’t mean you infographic design has to be dry. Especially if your brand is known for being fun and approachable.
Icons are the perfect way to introduce some personality to your design. Pick icons that reflect the theme of your data, with colors that match your brand and/or the mood you want your statistical infographic to convey.
For a fun example, take a look at how speech bubble icons are used in this coffee-themed infographic:
9. Create an illustration about your statistics using icons
Another creative way you can use icons is to use them as the building blocks for an illustration. Simply search for icons of objects you want to include, and arrange the icons the same way you would arrange parts of a drawing.
(Venngage has a library of over 40,000 icons!)
For example, this statistical infographic template uses speech bubble icons to illustrate conversations happening:
10. Group your statistics into sections based on the topic, key information, or region of the data
To encourage people to find patterns and make connections with your data, it can be helpful to group the data into sections. Look for connecting characteristics or theme in your statistics and group them into sections in your infographic, with descriptive section headers.
A few ways you can group data in your statistical infographic:
- By topic
- By region
- By demographic
- By time period
For example, this statistical infographic template groups data by region and topic:
11. Use directional cues to guide readers’ eyes
Smart infographic design means thinking about how your audience will read your infographic.
- What is the biggest thing you want them to take away from reading your infographic?
- What information do you absolutely not want them to miss?
- What order do you want them to read the information in?
In all of those cases, directional cues can guide readers to the information you want.
Directional cues are visual indicators of where a reader should look. Think visuals like arrows, lines, pointing, numbers, and eyes looking in a certain direction.
For example, this statistical infographic template uses lines to guide readers from section to section. The zig-zag layout also helps keep readers engaged, since it’s a break from your typical right-to-left layout:
12. Use one bold color on a neutral background to make numbers, icons and key text pop
When set against a neutral or greyscale background, color highlights really stand out. If you want specific number or text to stand out, make those key parts a bold, bright color. That way, even if someone is just skimming over your infographic, they won’t likely miss those parts.
Take a look at how this infographic template uses color to make a few key elements pop out at you:
13. Use color highlights and matching flat icons for a modern, minimalist design
Do you want to put your statistics forward, without too many distractions? Then you may want to opt for a more minimalist design.
Use a neutral background color and make fonts and a few flat icons the backbone of your design. For example, this infographic uses a light blue accent color to emphasize the statistics:
14. Overlay charts on a background image that reflects the theme of the data
A simple hack for making charts more engaging is to place them over a background image.
Make sure the background image has muted colors, so the chart numbers and points stand out. You can do that by selecting the background image and adjusting the image opacity to make it more see-through.
The result is a chart with a background image that reflects the theme of the data, but doesn’t take away from the data.
15. Pick one shocking or game-changing statistic for a social media infographic
When you’re creating infographics specifically for social media, the key is to not go overboard with your design. Since people will probably be looking at your infographic in mobile, you need to optimize your image for mobile viewing.
A few key things to keep in mind when designing a social media infographic for social media:
- Keep your infographic brief and focused on one key statistic.
- Use brief text in bold, easy to read fonts.
- Use one focal visual to stop readers in their tracks and draw them in.
For example, this social media infographic template uses an eye icon to grab people’s attention. Then, the infographic pulls them in with a relevant statistic to the audience (in this case, marketers):
16. Number your list of statistics to make it easier for readers to scan your infographic
Articles with numbers in the titles are popular. Using the same token, you can number the points on your infographic to encourage people to want to read it.
Something about a numbered list just feels nice and organized!
According to a study we conducted, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 10 are actually the best numbers to use in a blog article title or an infographic. This statistical infographic template uses the number 7:
17. Try using a light text and visuals on a dark background for a boldly contrasting design
We’re all used to designs with stark white backgrounds and cool, metallic accents. If you want your design to stand out, try making your infographic design unexpected.
One way to do that is to use a dark background, with light accent colors. Just make sure that your text is easy to read!
For example, this statistical infographic template uses a bold color scheme of white text and charts on a black background, with shadow-like grey icons:
When you set out to create a statistical infographic, the most important thing to focus on is making the data easy to understand. When in doubt, ask someone to look your infographic over and see if they understand the information.