Everyone knows that pictures and images are great for capturing the attention of a reader – in fact, often times, a reader will skip through text entirely, on the hunt for enticing pictures alone. As the graphics craze grows, one trending way to represent information (that the audience will actually take the time to read!) is in the form of an infographic.
An infographic is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – a graphic image that contains information that’s relevant to the reader. An infographic is eye-catching and educational, attractive and noticeable. Infographics can be beneficial anyone in the online world, from business owners to bloggers. There are multiple types of infographics, many advantages to using infographics, and several online tools for creating infographics.
The Eight Types of Infographics
Infographics can be an incredibly effective way of sharing information with customers, potential consumers, or other audience members. However, with a variety of different types of infographics out there, knowing which type of infographic to use might feel overwhelming. To help you decide which type of infographic is right for you, the following eight types are listed below:
1. Visualized article: A visualized article is, simply put, a lengthy piece of content or information that’s broken into small pieces and made to be visual. For example, the following infographic, published by OtherMedia.com, is a great example of a visualized article.
2. Flowchart: Flowcharts are used to represent relationships between different concepts, ideas, words, or objects. Flow charts are typically simple and light-hearted, and very easy to follow.
3. Timeline: Everyone knows what a timeline is – a visual representation of a sequence of consecutive events. Timelines can be great for providing customers with information about the history of a product or company, a current trend, or even future company plans. A timeline can be simple or complex, serious or humorous. A rather creative timeline, published by LCS’s Blog, is shown below.
4. Useful Bait: Useful bait could be renamed as a how-to infographic, as its primary purpose is to show the user how to do something, or to explain the answer to a question. Here’s one on How to Tap a Watermelon, provided by BestInfographics.co
5. Versus infographic: A versus infographic is a comparative infographic that’s used to compare and contrast two or more things side by side. Acute Geek vs. Hipster infographic designed by DesignTaxi.com is shown here:
6. Number porn: Despite its rather racy name, “number porn” is an incredibly useful type of infographic, especially for those who love statistics and facts. As its name suggests, this type of infographic presents hard data in the form of numbers about a company, product, trend, etc. Social Mediology has designed this one about the number of Australians who watch YouTube—
7. Photo infographic: A photo infographic uses a photo to visually tell a story. In order to be effective, a photo infographic must use very powerful, or a very visually appealing, image. The sandwich infographic below, provided by Brafton.com does the trick – while a sandwich certainly isn’t the most powerful photo in the world, it sure does look tempting:
8. Data vis: Finally, the last type of infographic is one that is designed to be beautiful. In a data vis, information and content are put in visual context that focuses primarily on design. The one below, which won an award from Kantar for sheer beauty and creativity, is a perfect example:
Each type of infographic has its benefits, and the type of infographic you make is dependent upon your goals, business needs, audience, and type of information you want to present.
Benefits of Using Good Infographics
There are plenty of reasons to use infographics, first and foremost of which is that infographics are visually appealing, drawing a reader in and attracting them to your content effortlessly. Because research shows that the average person only reads 20 percent of the words on a webpage, an infographic can overcome the lack-of-reading hurdle. Oh, and research also shows that 40 percent of readers will respond better to visual information than plain text alone. Additionally, infographics are easily transferable, and can be shared and uploaded simply, quickly, and efficiently. And, infographics can help to aid your business in its search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, as search engines like Google love infographics.
So, how do you create an infographic that’s awesome? Despite the different styles of infographics, the different businesses that rely on infographics, and the many different types of information shared, great infographics all share the same qualities. An effective infographic will:
- Highlight a lot of data
- Be centered on a relevant/interesting topic
- Be simple to understand
- Be creative
- Keep length in check
- Incorporate keywords and branding
- Be obvious in its purpose
- Cite its data
Follow the tips above when making an infographic, and then make sure to share that infographic on the web (social media sites are great for promoting infographics).
Online Tools for Creating Infographics
You may have a great infographic idea, but are lacking the skill set required to make an infographic that is as successful as it could be. To help you along the way, there are some great online tools for creating infographics out there.
Infogr.am can help to create online charts, graphs, and posters that can be customized to your needs and preferences. Easel.ly, like Infogr.am, helps you make your own infographic but provides some premade themes that can be awesome for someone who’s not skilled with graphic design. A few other great sites that can be used for making infographics (and other graphic images, like posters, flyers, and slides) are Canva, EWC Presenter, and Piktochart. One huge plus of Piktochart is that it provides seven free templates to help you get started. If you’re not a graphic genius or don’t have a graphic design team on hand, using the online tools is a fantastic place to start.
If you’re not a graphic genius or don’t have a graphic design team on hand, using the online tools is a fantastic place to start.