Early decisions to make.
So far we have covered when to make an infographic and things to know before you start. In this blog, we will cover the next step of the process; branding and planning decisions.
If you don’t have any branding already in place, you may want to start thinking about that now. Colours can determine the layout and scale of graphics and illustrations. If you have a vibrant, bold colour like Optimal orange, you will want to use it sparingly. This means designing with borders and highlights, rather than solid blocks and bodies of colour. The branding might also indicate what secondary colours are appropriate. Optimal orange, for instance, might go nice with a splash of purple or a soft blue, but because these are not in line with brand guidelines they are not appropriate. This more or less leaves orange and shades of grey; something which, unsurprisingly, heavily affects the design outcome.
Beyond colour, branding may also define the fonts you can choose from. The font has a lot more meaning than most people would assume. As a rule of thumb, serif fonts are for more formal/classy applications, sans serif is cleaner and stripped back, and themed fonts are exactly that; for themed applications.
Besides colour and content, we need to know what media the graphic is intended for. I have seen a lot of long, slim, web oriented infographics which look amazing online, but they never print well because they were never intended to be printed. On the other end of the spectrum are A3 landscape graphics. A3 landscape fits a screen very easily and may be more appropriate for embedding in a body of text. But the real strength of the ‘A standard’ ratio is it prints and scales perfectly.
A final decision to make early on is the layout. There are plenty of basic layouts, the key is finding one that tells your story best. There are certain layouts which are better suited to order-specific content. Other layouts are great for unordered content.
Because my infographic will be targeted at web use, I will be free to make it as long as I like. Because the order in which contents are read, I will use a snakes and ladders style layout.
If you enjoyed this blog or found it useful, keep and eye out for part 4 where we will delve deeper into the different layouts you can incorporate into your infographic.
In the meantime, we have another blog on infographics by Kathryn Greenbrook – How To Make an Infographic. You can also read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 4 of this series.
From hard data to fluid design – Scott.