Infographic Design Guide: How to Create Compelling Infographics From Scratch

Written by:
Chloe West

infographic design guide - header wide

Nearly two-thirds of the population are visual learners, which means it’s important to put a heavy emphasis on showing, not telling.

An infographic is the perfect way to visually represent important data and information so that your audience has a greater chance of understanding and retaining it.

And the best way to do that is with an infographic design guide.

Follow along with our ultimate infographic design guide to learn how to put together each piece of your infographic seamlessly and professionally.

We recommend you bookmark this infographic design guide so you can easily come back to it each time you create an infographic.

 

How to Use This Infographic Design Guide

One of the biggest roadblocks marketers often face when it comes to creating compelling infographics is design.

Without graphic design experience, it can seem overwhelming to put together such a large graphic, considering the mass of elements it must include.

But when you look at the importance of including infographics in your content strategy, they simply can’t be overlooked.

That’s why we’ve put together this infographic design guide. This guide is built to help marketers and non-designers create compelling infographics, that are both informational and aesthetically pleasing, from scratch.

We have divided this infographic design guide into four parts. Each part is focused on a specific section of an infographic so you can learn about infographic design in detail.

Happy reading and creating!

 

1 Your Infographic Header

Let’s start at the top of your infographic and work our way down. Sound good?

Your infographic header is an extremely important part of your overall infographic because it’s the first thing that your audience is going to see.

You need to figure out how to draw them in with just this one piece of your infographic.

Let’s dive into a few ways to do this.

Craft an alluring title.

What will grab the attention of your audience while still remaining true to the infographic’s main point or topic?

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind when creating a title for your infographic is to keep it short, snappy and relevant. Using numbers, keywords and power adjectives are other great ways to entice your audience with your topic.

You also want to make some sort of promise for what your reader will learn or how they will feel about your topic after reading through your infographic.

For example, this infographic title lets readers know that the productivity apps it covers will help them to recover and better manage their time.

infographic design guide - craft an alluring title

Ready?Customize this infographic template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Titles like “6 Infographic Best Practices for Creating Jaw-Dropping Infographics” and “7 Ways You Can Write Compelling Infographic Copy” are also great examples that share numbers, specific things you’ll learn and a promise for what you can do once you read the information.

Pick your header font.

Your header font needs to stand out. Picking a large, bold font is ideal for your infographic header as it helps your title to really jump out at your audience and draw attention.

Because even if you have a great title, what use is it if your audience can’t really see it on your infographic header?

When it comes to picking a header font, focus on bold fonts that take up a lot of space. Fonts that use all caps can also be a great idea for headers. If the font you choose is naturally thinner, try using a heavier version in order to make the letters stand out even more.

infographic design guide - pick your header font

Check out the infographic header example above. The font is large, bold and in all caps. This helps it to stand out from the body text and grab your audience’s eye. They’re able to easily read your infographic title and understand what information they’re going to learn.

Here's a list of some tried and true header fonts:

  • Montserrat
  • Bebas Neue
  • Oswald
  • Playfair Display

Choose your background.

How do you want the background of your infographic header to look? Some infographics keep the same background color from top to bottom while others have a different look and feel behind the header to help it stand out even more.

There are a few different ways you can design the background of your infographic header. For one, you could use a photo as the backdrop behind your header text.

infographic design guide - choose background

Ready?Customize this infographic template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Take the above infographic header as an example. The background photo has a translucent overlay so that it’s still decorative without being overpowering and drowning out the content on top of it.

After all, your header’s background is much less important than the title.

Another way to design your header is simply by using a solid background color that sets it apart from the rest of your infographic.

infographic design guide - choose background 2

Ready?Customize this infographic template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Do you see how the infographic header above has a different background from the body?

This helps to set it apart and make your infographic more noticeable. When there are multiple colors in an infographic, it catches more attention.

The different colors in the header versus the body help to create depth in the design, helping it to stand out better.

This is especially important on a platform like Pinterest where graphics and visuals are set side by side in a long feed.

A third tactic when deciding on your header’s background is a pattern. Perhaps you don’t want something as realistic as a photo, but you want a backdrop with more going on than just a solid color. A pattern is the perfect solution.

infographic design guide - choose background 3

Ready?Customize this infographic template and make it your own!Edit and Download

infographic design guide - choose background 4

Both of the infographic headers above include different patterns in the background. One is more relevant to the topic as a whole, while the other is simply decorative.

Either way you want to take your patterned background works; it still provides a different look and feel for the infographic that helps to attract attention.

Add visual elements to represent your topic.

It’s also a good idea to include some type of visual representation of your topic directly in your header, whether it’s an icon, photo or any other graphic element.

infographic design guide - header add visual elements title topic

The example above includes a laptop icon in the header of an infographic that talks about remote jobs. Adding an icon like this to your infographic header helps to let your audience know what your infographic will be about before they even read your compelling title.

And you’re in luck, because Visme has hundreds of thousands of icons and graphics for you to choose from when creating your own infographic.

infographic design guide - header add icons visual elements title topic

Access thousands of high-quality icons and graphics

  • Vector icons to spice up any Visme design or document
  • Great for both print and web
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2 Your Infographic Body

Now let's get to the good part: the body of your infographic.

This is the part that definitely takes the most time of the full infographic because it includes all of your data and information, and it needs to accurately represent the main point you’re trying to convey.

This part of our infographic design guide will walk you through the process of putting together a compelling infographic body.

Determine the best visual representation of your information.

Knowing the best format for visualizing your data is essential to creating an infographic that makes sense and is easy to read and understand.

There are so many different types of data visualization options to choose from, so find the one(s) that best depict your argument.

Bar Graphs

infographic design guide - bar graphs

Ready?Customize this infographic template and make it your own!Edit and Download

A bar graph is the perfect visualization type to use when comparing different numbers between groups, or when you’re tracking changes over time. Take the above example that compares social media usage by platform and by age range.

Pie Charts

infographic design guide - pie chart visme template

Ready?Customize this infographic template and make it your own!Edit and Download

A pie chart or circle chart is perfect for visualizing broken up parts of a whole.

In the example above, the whole is electric vehicle sales. The pie chart has broken them up into the various retailers, and the amount of sales each company does in electric vehicles.

Line Graphs

infographic design guide - line graphs visme template

Ready?Customize this infographic template and make it your own!Edit and Download

A line graph is used to track changes in time.

This can be of a single piece of data, like growth in social media followers, or it can be a comparison of data as well, like in the example above. This line graph compares four different store locations and their overall sales throughout the year.

Maps

infographic design guide - maps

Ready?Customize this infographic template and make it your own!Edit and Download

A map is perfect for visualizing the differences between states, provinces or countries. This can be related to temperature, population, social media usage and so much more.

Visme’s infographic design options include dynamic maps of every country in the world, allowing you to share a visual representation of nearly any location in the world.

infographic design guide - maps 2

The above preview shows what it looks like when you select a country, and how you can edit the colors to identify whichever part of the country you want.

Scatter Plots

infographic design guide - scatter plots

Ready?Customize this infographic template and make it your own!Edit and Download

A scatter plot is a great way to represent data points that aren’t related to time. In the infographic example above, the scatter plot is comparing gestational age with birth weight.

Venn Diagrams

infographic design guide - venn diagrams visme template

Ready?Customize this infographic template and make it your own!Edit and Download

A Venn diagram is a great way to represent comparisons and contrasts between two to four objects. The above example is comparing three different types of sustainable development, and how they work together and separately.

There are so many more different types of data visualizations like timelines, flow charts, heat maps, anatomical diagrams and more. You can check out our full list of 44 different types of graphs and charts here.

Plan out your design.

Once you know how you want to represent your data and information, it’s a good idea to plan out your design on paper or by creating a wireframe. Knowing where you want to place each piece of data before you start helps you to create an infographic that makes sense and looks great.

infographic design guide - plan out your design

Wireframes are often used in pre-designing the way website pages will look and how they’ll work together, but this concept is extremely useful in infographic design as well.

You’ve got your header designed—that was the easy part. Now you need to take a look at your topic and the data/information you want to share, and how you can visually represent that in your infographic body.

Play with both symmetrical and asymmetrical balance. Does it look better when elements line up evenly on each side, or do you want your data/visuals on one side and text on the other? You can also alternate to create a cohesive look.

Symmetrical Balance

A symmetrical design has the same design elements on both the left and right sides of your infographic.

Take a look at the example below.

Although the information on each side is different, the design is the same. We have the graphic design of the coffee type, headline and copy. Each element mirrors the other side of the design.

Asymmetrical Balance

Asymmetrical balance is the opposite. The design elements on the left and right side do not mirror each other, instead showing two very different items.

Here’s a great example of asymmetrical design.

See how the visual elements are on the left side, while the copy is on the right side? This is a classic example of asymmetrical design within an infographic.

Find a complementary body font.

You’ve already chosen your header font. Now it’s time to choose a font for your body copy that’s different enough to be able to differentiate between the two, but still complements your initial type design.

infographic design guide - find a complementary body font

Finding complementary fonts is one of the hardest things for experienced designers when creating infographics, let alone marketers and business owners doing it alongside the rest of their jobs, so don’t worry if it feels overwhelming.

The above font pairing ideas and this guide to choosing the perfect fonts for your infographic should help you find the best complementary typefaces.

Use consistent coloring throughout.

At this point in our infographic design guide, we’ve already designed our infographic header. That likely means you’ve started choosing your color scheme. That needs to be your color scheme throughout the entire infographic.

It doesn’t make sense to have a header with a red and orange color scheme, then switch to a blue and pink color scheme in your infographic body.

Instead, you need to use consistent coloring throughout, and stick with a single color scheme for the full design.

In Visme’s infographic design center, you can even set various color schemes that automatically change your colors throughout the entire design, rather than having to go in and change each element’s color at a time.

infographic design guide - use consistent color scheme

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You can choose from one of the above preset color themes, or you can create your own.

Working with a cohesive color scheme with just 2-3 colors helps make sure your design doesn’t end up all over the place. Trying to fit an entire rainbow of colors into one design looks crowded and isn’t visually appealing to your audience.

The infographic template example below uses a mixture of dark purple, turquoise, and light green to create a cohesive color scheme. Check out our article on infographic best practices to find a few great resources for finding your perfect color scheme.

infographic design guide - use consistent color scheme 2

Ready?Customize this infographic template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Leave plenty of white space.

You don’t want to crowd your infographic until it’s completely full of text and design elements. Margins and white space are extremely important in any design, and that includes infographics.

If you browse through our infographic templates, you’ll notice one thing: clear, white space between elements. This includes appropriate line spacing in your text blocks, even spacing between sections and along margins and more.

You see an infographic like the one below, with little to no white space in between elements, and your mind doesn’t know where to look first.

Although the actual point of the above infographic is to be overwhelming, when it comes to design, the closeness of the elements is just poor design.

Instead, you want your infographic to look something like this.

infographic design guide - leave plenty of white space good example

Ready?Customize this infographic template and make it your own!Edit and Download

There is plenty of space in between each element. There is padding above and below text blocks, the icons are not smushed together and your eyes know exactly where to look next in order to understand the infographic’s main point.

Stick to the most important information.

Infographics can easily become overwhelming to the reader, as you want to include as much information as possible. However, that quickly leads to information overload, and can instead have a negative impact on your reader.

When you’re designing an infographic, you want to stick to your one main point or argument. Avoiding information overload is key to designing a quality infographic.

Take a look at the infographic below as an example. The main point is tips for emotional self-care. The body of the infographic discusses five tips to help with self-care, focusing exactly on what the main point is.

There aren’t any tangents or diversions that the author is also trying to cover under the same infographic. This is what you also want to work to achieve—focusing only on the most pertinent information to your topic.

Take a step back.

When you’re designing an infographic, you’re often zoomed in, paying attention to only one piece of the infographic at a time. Being that close to something for a long period of time can make it difficult to tell if there is any inaccurate information, charts that haven’t been updated or typos that distort your message.

Taking a break from your infographic design before you proofread the body section helps make sure you don’t miss anything before publishing.

Once you’ve stepped away from your design for a few hours, go back and make sure that all of your copy makes sense and your data is accurate. Ensure you’ve utilized white space properly, your text combination looks immaculate and you’re happy with the overall design.

 

3 Your Infographic Footer

Now that you’ve completed your infographic’s header and body sections, there’s only one part left. Your footer!

Don’t worry—this is the easy part. You’ve got all of the grunt work done. Now you need to finalize your sources and add your name to your design before you’re all done.

Include your company information.

You want to let people know where this data visualization came from, right? Don’t let your hard work go uncredited.

While you may not have found the actual data included in the infographic, you did put the entire design together. We’ll get to sourcing in a minute. Right now, it’s time to focus on you, the designer.

Add your company name, URL and social media icons so readers know where they can find you online. You can also add your company logo for even more brand recognition.

Be sure to include any information you think is pertinent to your company. A lot of people are going to see this infographic and you want it to lead them back to you.

Cite your sources.

Unless you conducted a survey or put an experiment together to gather all of the data used yourself, you need to cite the sources you used to find your information.

Add an area in your footer that includes every URL to every study and website that you used to find your data and information that you put into your infographic.

infographic design guide - cite your sources 2

This doesn’t have to look especially fancy. In fact, this is probably the easiest part of your entire infographic design.

Just like writing a paper back in college or high school, it’s imperative to give credit where credit is due.

infographic design guide - cite your sources

It’s a good idea to save your sources throughout your infographic design process so that you can easily input them into your footer at the end.

Let people know where to find you.

We glossed over this briefly, but you should always include social media icons in your footer to let your readers know where you live online. If new audience members find you via this infographic, putting your social media presence out there is a great way to grow that audience as well.

Although you can actually provide direct links to your social media profiles in your infographic, sharing the icons as well as your handle (i.e. @VismeApp) is an easy way to let people know how and where to search for you.

infographic design guide - cite your sources 3

 

4 Browse Visme’s Template Library

Are you ready to get started designing your own infographic?

Mixed with our infographic design guide, Visme’s infographic template library is a great place to start. Starting from scratch can be overwhelming, but utilizing a template can be extremely helpful.

infographic design guide - browse visme template library

Find a template that uses the same types of charts and visualizations you’re going to need, and play with Visme’s data visualization library for the rest.

 

Get Started with This Infographic Design Guide

Creating compelling infographics from scratch doesn't have to be difficult.

If you follow this infographic design guide carefully and use one of Visme's pre-designed infographic templates, you'll be able to create a beautiful and effective visual in less than an hour.

Sign up on Visme today to create your first infographic. Try it for free!

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About the Author

Chloe West is the content marketing manager at Visme. Her experience in digital marketing includes everything from social media, blogging, email marketing to graphic design, strategy creation and implementation, and more. During her spare time, she enjoys exploring her home city of Charleston with her son.

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