A guide to making infographics

both infographicsIn my time at Yatter I progressed from making simple images for social media to more complicated infographics. I made my infographics in Photoshop but there are alternative pieces of software out there. Here are my tips for making a good infographic:

Start with content

The first step is in making any infographic is content.  You can brainstorm on a notepad, or type notes into a Word document. The key is to focus on how to split your content into sections. Afterwards you have to think about how you can structure your content. In my first infographic I decided to split my whole text up into five parts and in my second one there you will find three sections of content. My advice is to keep the text as short and easy as possible as this is not an elaborate article but rather a short guide. Your users should be able to get a quick idea about your chosen topic right at the first glance.

Grid and Layout

After you have decided on your content and split it into reasonable blocks you can start to think about your layout. Choose a proper size for the file that gives you enough space to fill in your content and layout. I chose 1080×1920, which is 16:9 in a portrait mode and fits perfectly on most mobile phone screens. Additionally what’s very helpful is the extra function in Photoshop called ‘grid’. When you turn it on whilst you’re working it’ll be easier to create symmetry on your infographic.  Create border lines, centre lines and lines divide your document into equally sized sections.

First of all I created my four border lines at 5% horizontally and vertically. After your borders and centre lines are in place then divide the document up depending on how many stages there are in your infographic. In this GIF you can see how guidelines can aid your design process.

photoshop file with and without guide lines

 

After your document is set up you can look for some suitable pictures, edit them and integrate those properly into your infographic. You can find a lot of nice and free stock photography at allthefreestock.com if you don’t want to pay for stock photography.

Stay on Brand

It’s important that your infographic reminds the user of your brand. To achieve this you can use your company’s colours in your layout as I did in mine (green, white and dark grey). But it is also very good to integrate the logo of your brand like I did on top of my infographic. However, the most important thing is that you remain true to your company’s philosophy even in your infographic. Your company’s perspective will dictate the design style of your graphic. If you’re designing for a dynamic and young company, for instance, you have to create the layout differently than you’d do it for a traditional one.

Make components that can be replicated

It is very helpful if you create a template with components which you can use in your next infographic again. As you can see in mine, I used, for example, some wavy green connector lines and the circles that outline which step we are on. By having reliable templates and design components you can save a lot of time that you can spend on other things (like scheduling posts with Yatter).

Additionally, a template supports that you stay on Brand because you don’t have to change a lot when you create another infographic. It is easier and it saves a lot of time!

 

template for green rectangles

 

Once you’ve finished with your design then remember to group your layers and name your layers properly. This makes it easier to use the infographic as a template and means other people can understand your how the file is made. As you can see in the GIF above, it looks clearly arranged with all those groups and designations.

 

Keep it simple, have some discipline and you can create an infographic template you can use over and over again.

final infographic

 

Summary

In conclusion, the first step is to come up with good content and to split this into convenient components. Use the guidelines in Photoshop to aid your design process and come up with some nice free stock photography. As soon as you got all your separated parts you can start to put them together into a clear infographic. Keep in mind that it’s important to stay on Brand, what means to use your company’s colours for example. My final advice is to create templates that you can use in the next infographic. That saves a lot of time.
I hope that this guide is helpful and you can read about my internship at Yatter here.

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Kathleen Happel

Kathleen Happel

Kathleen interned at Yatter in Summer 2017, coming from Frankfurt, Germany. She specialised in graphic design, creating templates for social media imagery and infographics.