Infographics are about ensuring that comprehension is quick and broad. The creation of an infographic requires you to collect large amounts of information on a subject, and then condense, parcel and visualise it. Your mission is to make it easier to understand while not losing meaning.
I find that it is best to keep this in mind before I start my design. Condense. Parcel. Visualise. You need to create a comfortable introduction to the information, which in turn assists in introducing your viewer to greater complexity, later on.
You’re basically creating schematics. In a metaphorical sense, think of it as adding extra gears to a bicycle so that you can tackle steep hills with less difficulty. However, don’t think of it as putting training wheels on, since this is not a process of dumbing information down.
Make sure you stick to your hierarchy of knowledge. In our industry, this means a collaborative relationship needs to exist between your Designer and Learning Specialist. Information needs to be separated into categories: immediately important, important, very detailed information and superfluous information and so on and so forth.
Pick up a pencil and sketch out a rough drawing. How do these little parcels of knowledge relate to each other? Can some of them be grouped? Use arrows, clouds, circles and colours that go together – go nuts! However, be sure to clear away the confusion and avoid making visual ‘noise’. It might turn out that you need to two, three or more infographics to speak about your subject; make sure those infographics speak to each other.
Your last step: makeover time! Pick your favourite image-editing software, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Corel Draw or Canva and design your final infographic. Keep it smart. Keep it consistent. Make sure you don’t read the design before the information. Turn that casual, dishevelled drawing into a stilettoed, tuxedo-wearing, macchiato-sipping infographic!
Author: Simon Pienaar