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Why do communicators habitually add infographics to their campaigns? Visual content typically receives 94% more readership than words alone, which is likely because we can process them 60,000 times faster than text.

While infographics provide ample opportunity for companies to share their news in a more digestible manner, some still bite off more than they can chew. Infographics must be well-researched, visually appealing and readable for your audience. We break down the anatomy of a successful infographic into 6 key parts:


1. Catchy headline

Like you would a tweet or news release, make sure your title is descriptive yet catchy. You want to persuade your audience to read your infographic. Feeling stuck? Here are some tips to get you started.

2. Accurate data

You’d be surprised how many infographics fail to add up to 100%, or display incorrect statistics. Pull your data from reputable sources and fact-check before making it visual. Often these mistakes are easy to spot and you don’t want to risk your credibility for timeliness.

3. Well-structured layout  

Remember the hamburger method for writing essays? A wireframe will help you organize your thoughts visually.  A good structure will help guide the narrative of your infographic. It doesn’t need to be fancy – a simple sketch will do! Wireframes are essential when working for a client as it helps them adequately communicate their ideas and information.

The layout also dictates the logistical flow of your infographic. Fonts and colours will help you do this, but don’t be afraid to use more white space and images than text. After all, it is an infographic!

The type of data you’re including will dictate what chart format you need to use. For example, your infographic will contain a line graph if you’re sharing time series data (e.g., social media usage over the years). If you’re comparing a set of data (e.g., link clicks per platform), share it as a bar graph.


4. A limited colour palette

Most designers recommend no more than three colours for your infographic, and one should be a contrasting colour.  A general rule of thumb is to choose three primary colours: the lightest should be your background and the other two will break up each section. Consider using the same colours as your company’s logo or website in order to reinforce brand awareness and identity. Be sure they aren’t too light or bright – no one wants to read something written entirely in highlighter yellow!

5. Attractive (but legible) fonts

Pick two fonts to help communicate your content; one for your headlines and the rest for your body text. Ensure that your fonts are complimentary, yet different enough to establish a level of hierarchy. Psychology points to certain fonts evoking different emotions for readers. Serif fonts are seen as more traditional, respectful and reliable whereas sans-serif fonts are clean, modern and objective. Canva compiled a few font combinations to help you jump start your design choices.


6. Size matters

Each social media site contains different image size requirements for optimal viewing, which will ultimately dictate the appropriate dimensions for your infographic. Consult this guide to ensure that your image won’t look distorted.

Have you considered mini infographics? Many have called for the death of the long scrolling infographic. Why? Long infographics are hard to share on social because they tend to be too large and require a user to click or zoom in. Simplify for social media with single statistics and then link to your larger infographic to draw your audience in. Here’s an example of how we’d break down ours:


About Melissa Meyer

Melissa Meyer is Cision’s Manager of Community and oversees Cision’s online customer community, Cision City. She has over 5 years’ experience in PR, writing, community and social media management. You can find her chatting about all thing PR, pop culture and basketball @_MelissaMeyer

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