Adding an infographic to a long article, visualizing complex information, and illustrating statistics are just a few of the ways graphics can complement content. Since many people are visual learners and respond well to images, adding a visual infographic can help explain complicated topics, create breaks in lengthy text, and draw attention to important information.
Infographics are meant to be easy to digest and a way to highlight main points. Adding a graphic within an article should not take away from the content itself, rather it should support the copy and not replace it. As the brand steward for your association, your designer will ensure that the infographics are consistent with branding and are created to support the content.
Types of Infographics
While there are many different ways to visualize content within content, here are a few common examples that can create an impact with your content.
- Pull Quotes: Draw attention to a specific part of an article by stylizing it into a graphic embedded within the text. This creates a break in copy and allows the reader to have a take-away point from the content.
- Charts/Graphs: Pulling statistics and numbers into a stylized chart or graph visualizes information in an easily digestible way. Having your designer create charts or graphs will bring consistency within the piece and ensure the information is comprehensive and readable.
- Visualized Statistics: Identify specific statistics that can be pulled into a graphic with large numbers and/or icons, giving facts proper attention.
- Flow Charts: Flow charts create visual hierarchy and a pathway for readers to follow, leading them through information and to a specific conclusion or call to action.
- Steps/Lists: Having a graphic created with specific steps or points–often paired with icons or images–gives readers a clear idea of the process or main ideas.
- Timelines: Take a sequence of events and have your designer create a timeline. This gives context to important dates and helps the reader visualize the order of events.
- Animated Gifs: Gifs (ideally less than 5 seconds) are an increasingly popular way to add depth to an online article. Quotes or statistics animated in a gif format grabs the reader’s attention and is a unique way to display information.
How to Include Infographics in Content
- Identify the information of the article to highlight and given hierarchy (this could be pull quotes, statistics or any type of process).
- Determine the format that will best suit the information. For example, a pie chart versus a numbered list. Also decide if visual additions such as arrows or icons should be included to help maximize impact rather than distract from important information.
- Confirm which branding and style guidelines the designer should follow. Do the colors, fonts and styles of this graphic need to match your association’s corporate branding, content hub branding or event branding? Identifying brand styles ensures consistency across all platforms.
- Remember requirements for ADA compliance (color contrast, size minimums, alt text, etc.), as well as any size restraints for responsive websites. This website has more information on accessibility.
- Note placement within the article. Where does adding in a graphic make the most sense? If there is a need for a break within the text to add a pull quote or if a chart is referenced, add in the graphic where it is most appropriate.
Tips for Success
For infographics to have the most impact on the reader, keep the information simple and to the point. Infographics should be digestible and support the content. Your designer will ensure the readability and consistency of the design, highlighting the main information to align with the copy. By utilizing white space, color, icons and visual paths, infographics can be the perfect addition to your content piece.
Including an infographic will explain complex ideas and information, maximizing the reader’s understanding of the most important points, ultimately increasing the retention of valuable content and enhancing your association’s impact.
Alaina Kornfeld is in the Marketing & Communication Services unit at Smithbucklin.