Infographics

A picture truly tells a thousand words. From pie charts to cartograms, infographics have been around since the first humans learned to scratch symbols into the dirt. After all, an infographic is composed of only three vital elements: visual, content and knowledge—qualities shared by the earliest of cave drawings and the most technical of modern computer-aided data visualization.

Today online tools (such as Lucidpress) empower anyone to create infographics, but this visual format is not new. In fact, they are among the oldest forms of communication, and it only makes sense that they’ve retained their function throughout human history. People are visually wired.

An astonishing 50% of the human brain is involved in visual processing, and 70% of its sensory receptors are in the eyes. It takes less than one-tenth of a second to take in new visual scene: 150 milliseconds to process a viewed symbol, and another 100 milliseconds to attach meaning to it.

Every day, people are exposed to increasing amounts of information. In fact, the average person is exposed to five times as much information today than in 1986. As our brains adapt to process more information, the infographic’s efficiency at quickly and clearly conveying a message makes it a more vital form of communication. It’s no wonder the use of infographics in literature has increased by more than 400% since 1990. Likewise, the use of infographics on the internet—where users are barraged with a constant stream of changing information—has grown nearly 10x since 2007.

People of earlier times may have had less data to deal with, but that didn’t make the infographic any less useful for them to share their understanding of the world. Early forms of visual communication helped people of long ago tell stories, document the lay of the land and visualize scientific discoveries. Here are 6 ways infographics changed the course of human history.

Cave paintings

In its most basic form, an infographic is a visual communication method that tells and records a story—and isn’t that precisely what prehistoric cave drawings did? Forty millennia ago, the first storytellers painted the tales of early human culture, recounting births, deaths, massacres and celebrations, as well as plants and animals living among them in the Ice Age. Those early recordings provide invaluable information to modern audiences. For example, the paintings within Brazil’s Serra da Capivara, thought to date back as far as 36,000 years ago, challenged the theory that humans first migrated into South America in about 9,000 B.C.

Cave paintings in Serra da Capivara

But cave paintings are more than mere artwork; they were also informative to ancient men. Western European cave drawings depicted complex designs that archaeologists believe are primitive maps of the stars. One particular French cave contained thousands of drawings of people, animals and abstract representations believed to be part of the Summer Triangle constellation. Other cave paintings studied by archaeologists are now thought to be the earliest-known depictions of volcanic eruptions and help modern scientists understand volcanic activity in the early days of human history.

Hieroglyphics

It’s been 5,000 years since the ancient Egyptian civilization thrived, but the society left vast recordings of its culture. Hieroglyphics are a form of infographic used to describe ancient Egyptians’ lives, work and religion, while fabulously preserving their way of life. Not only did hieroglyphics feature drawings that represented objects and ideas, the written language also evolved to represent sounds with symbols.

Like many infographics, Egyptian hieroglyphics were meaningless to early archaeologists without a key. Therefore, the Rosetta Stone, the 1799 discovery that deciphered Egyptians’ pictorial language, is without a doubt one of history’s most valuable infographics.

Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs

The stone engraving, a decree from King Ptolemy V, features three scripts: Egyptian hieroglyphs, Egyptian Demotic script and Ancient Greek. By comparing the pictorial decree to other known written languages, archaeologists were finally able to decipher the ancient hieroglyphs uncovered across time.

Just as the Rosetta Stone unlocked the secrets of Ancient Egypt, translation and common understanding are key in today’s global society. According to K International, translation can make or break a brand now more than ever before—all because of the e-commerce market. Since 2007, global online sales have increased 17%, and China is now the largest global consumer of luxury goods—25% of all sales.

While words and phrases may vary, images are universally understood around the world.

Maps

Maps were one of the first infographics early people designed and distributed, and cartography has remained an integral science for thousands of years. From primitive maps drawn inside caves and the ancient maps of Babylon to the Age of Exploration’s changing maps and 21st-century maps of the universe, people draw diagrams to help them navigate the world.

The earliest-known maps don’t depict cities, roads or waterways at all, but the heavens above. Dots drawn within caves map out parts of the night sky and its constellations. Dots drawn inside a French cave more than 16,000 years ago map stars as seen by ancient Europeans. The oldest atlas ever discovered, the Dunhuang star atlas, was created on an ancient Chinese scroll almost 1,400 years ago.

The earliest-known map representing the natural landscape was a crude representation discovered in the Czech Republic and has been dated to 25,000 B.C., and ancient Babylonians were already using accurate surveying techniques by 600 B.C.—although their view of the world was limited to the known environment of the time: a circular area surrounded by water.

Regional maps retained the primitive qualities of the Babylonian Map of the World for centuries, but by the end of the medieval period, Europeans were mapping their nautical trade routes using accurate navigational directions.

Ortelius World Map 1570

With the discovery of the Americas, Europeans’ interest in mapping piqued as nations struggled to control new lands and resources. The first-known cartographic representations of the Americas—as well as Europe, Asia and Africa—were designed by Spanish cartographer Jean de la Cosa, who sailed across the Atlantic with Christopher Columbus. Were it not for him and a handful of other Spanish and Portuguese explorers, the New World would have remained in darkness, discouraging the settlement that followed.

Even today, maps are one of the most common forms of infographics. Easily-recognizable locations form the basis of many efficient infographics that instantly convey a message. For example, when Fractl needed to create an infographic that was not only timely but could appeal to a large audience, it chose to map the hometowns and locations of 75 Marvel characters. The infographic was highly effective, and the map was featured in 365 publications.

“Maps are great for compiling a lot of information into a single graphic,” explained the map’s designer. “When you look at a map of the United States, you are effectively viewing 50 different data sets at once, but because we see maps all the time, the mind can easily absorb the information being presented.”

Early charts & graphs

Throughout most of human history, data visualization was limited because data was limited. Then, thanks to various sciences, scads of information—about demographics, economics, geography and weather patterns—emerged. And people needed a way to more easily analyze all this information.

By the end of the 18th century, most charts used today—histograms, pie charts, bar and line graphs—were already in use, introduced to the world in William Playfair‘s 1786 publication, Commercial and Political Atlas.

A Scotsman schooled in drafting, Playfair decided to use his skills to illustrate economic data. At the time, such information was commonly represented in tables, but Playfair transformed the data into infographics. In one famous line graph, he charted the price of wheat against the cost of labor, countering the popular opinion that wages were driving up grain costs and demonstrating that wages were, in fact, rising much more slowly than the product’s cost.

Playfair's Time Series

Playfair held a keen understanding of data visualization for his time, and he speculated that the brain can process images more efficiently than words. He argued that good data visualization is about “giving form and shape to a number of separate ideas, which are otherwise abstract and unconnected.” According to Playfair’s writings, data should “speak to the eyes,” because they are “the best judge of proportion, being able to estimate it with more quickness and accuracy than any other of our organs.”

Political diagrams

One of the greatest social issues of the 19th century, slavery was the subject of one of America’s most historical infographics. After the southern states seceded in 1860 and 1861, Union military leaders needed a strategy to invade Virginia.

Meanwhile, the federal Coast Survey department produced a map of Virginia that would prove pivotal in the Civil War. Based on data from the 1860 census, the map depicted slave populations in each of Virginia’s counties, one of the first to represent population with shading—the darker the county was shaded on the map, the more slaves were held there.

Coast Survey Slave Map

By examining the map, it immediately became evident that eastern Virginia was a slavery hotspot, while the western portion of the state was relatively slave-free. Therefore, Union forces deduced that Virginians in the western counties would likely fight for slavery less ferociously, and they might even change teams.

“It was a breakthrough map,” noted Susan Schulten, University of Denver historian and author of “Mapping the Nation.” “It was an attempt to influence how the government saw the nation, and how the military understood it. It drove Lincoln’s attention to where slavery was weakest.”

Later, when the U.S. Coast Survey produced another map that charted slave density across the Confederacy, President Lincoln consulted the infographic throughout the remainder of the war, relying on it to understand in which areas Southerners would be more and less dedicated to a fight.

Political maps and diagrams continue to influence public policy today. Although the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees consists of an 8,000 person staff that collects enormous amounts of data on global refugee displacements, the organization has struggled to communicate its information in a meaningful way.

In a new approach, the agency commissioned an infographic to narrate 40 years of refugee data. The interactive graphic highlights where and when refugees emigrate and tells the complex stories of political, social and economic turmoil that lead to each displacement.

Since launching in 2014, the project has accrued more than 5 million page views, has been shared on Twitter to millions via humanitarian organizations such as Amnesty International, and it was even awarded a Gold Medal for Interactive at the prestigious Molofiej 22 Infographic Awards.

A message from Earth

The 20th century saw the advent of mass media, and publications quickly adopted infographics to efficiently convey complex information and data. As programming languages were born, computer-generated graphics pictorially depicted massive amounts of data, advancing all aspects of science and technology. But throughout all the advancements in visual storytelling, one thing remained clear: infographics are a universal language.

Thus, when NASA decided to send a message from mankind to extraterrestrial lifeforms, it determined an infographic would most likely do the job. In 1972 and 1973, aluminum plaques were placed aboard the Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft, each depicting a pictorial message. Each plaque featured simple drawings of a nude male and female human, as well as symbols designed to indicate the Sun’s position in the galaxy.

The Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft were the first human-built objects capable of enough velocity to escape the solar system. NASA turned to world-famous cosmologist Carl Sagan to design the ultimate message in a bottle. One diagram depicted the chemical makeup of hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe.

The drawings of the humans included a diagram that pictorially calculates their height compared to the spacecraft, and the man’s right hand is raised as a sign of good will. (Of course no person on Earth can know if extraterrestrial intelligence will identify that raised hand as a peaceful symbol, but scientists hope the gesture is universal.)

Carl Sagan holding the Pioneer Plaque

A radial pattern on the plaque consists of 15 lines emanating from a center origin, indicating the distances of pulsars to the Sun, allowing recipients to pinpoint the location of launch in space and time. Finally, a diagram of the Solar System was inscribed on the plaques, depicting the launch location and trajectory of the two spacecraft. With any luck, the universal languages of mathematics and visual storytelling will tell unknown intelligent life that we are here, and we come in peace.

We most certainly live in an era of data visualization. Graphics charting everything from election polls to physical activity are found everywhere from the newspaper and television to the computer and smartphone. But in order to understand the elements of a successful infographic, we must remember that visual storytelling isn’t a new phenomenon, and the elements that worked for the ancients are still at play today.

Ready to make history with your data? Try Lucidpress to create gorgeous infographics for your brand—no expert design knowledge required.


From Facebook posts by old friends asking you to try products that “really work,” to those email subscriptions you’re sure you never signed up for, people are constantly bombarding you with information from all platforms. Everyone wants your attention, and it’s up to you to determine what makes the cut. Our eyes can only process so much—and our brains can interpret even less.

This fact is well-known to marketers, who constantly work to create new and exciting content to be consumed by target audiences. The job of marketers is growing increasingly more difficult as the days of simply creating interesting, insightful, witty, easily understood yet informative content are over. On top of everything their positions entailed before the age of social media and email campaigns, marketers now have the additional task of differentiating themselves from everyone else who is trying to do the exact same thing.

So, how is it done? How can one business’s content stand apart from the overabundance of black-and-white text being hurled at consumers across the globe?

The answer lies in visual content—like infographics. We’ve compiled a list of 32 stats and facts that demonstrate the importance of visuals in your marketing messages. These stats can help you disseminate content that is read instead of skipped.

How do we process information?

Why should you use infographics?

The importance of visual content in social media

How does this affect marketing?

The statistics speak for themselves: visual content is essential to capturing and holding the attention of potential readers. As the data shows, however, over 17% of marketers spend more than five hours per week creating visuals in order to brand their business and disseminate information. Five hours per week spent creating infographics is five hours per week not spent improving your business.

So how do you keep up with the stunning visual content of competitors but also spend significantly less time in the creation process? The solution is Lucidpress: a web-based design platform that empowers even the most novice of designers to create impressive visual content. Using our simple drag-and-drop formatting will help you spend less time branding your business and more time building it.

Create striking visual content in minutes with our easy-to-use infographic templates. Get started for free today!

Infographics are a creative, interesting visual presentation of your ideas, statistics or research. These can be used throughout your brand’s marketing plans—whether on Pinterest or in proposals.

You don’t need to be an expert graphic designer to create your own infographic, as there are several pre-made infographic templates available in Lucidpress. The key is to find an infographic design that best suits your communication goal.

To give you a dose of inspiration, check out these unique and creative infographic ideas you can use to set your brand apart.

For the business startup: develop your brand.

Infographic design ideas

Give a clear, brief breakdown of your product or brand development with this clean infographic template. Creating a visual map of your business brand will help keep things on track, as well as provide an overview for your contractors, investors or employees.

This infographic template is clear, clean and includes enough room to get into the details without overloading your reader. Use each section to outline your brand vision from brief to delivery. Include this infographic in your marketing strategy or print it out for a quick reference.

For the chef: share your recipe.

Infographic design ideas

Share your passion for the delicious by customizing this infographic template with your own recipe, step-by-step. Food, drink and other recipes make up some of the most shared content on social media sites like Pinterest, Tumblr and even Facebook.

This template has room to break down even complicated recipes. Each step has room to expand with details, as well as editable titles. Share this infographic on your blog, or print and fold into the size of an index card for your kitchen.

For the entrepreneur: sell your product or pitch.

Infographic design ideas

Minimize your speech anxiety by using this infographic template to plan out your business pitch. Using an outline is a proven speech tactic to look and feel more confident in your presentation. Notate your key points to keep yourself on track.

Each of the ten bullet points has room for a short paragraph. The clean, colorful and professional design is perfect for leaving with your audience to review later. Print it out after easily customizing it, and fold it into the size of an index card.

For the financial advisor: break it down step-by-step.

Infographic design ideas

Build trust with your clients by helping them understand complicated processes without causing an overload of information. Educating your clients will help them make decisions and build your credibility as an expert in your field.

This template allows full paragraphs in a beautiful, professional presentation. The right side features steps, while the left serves as an in-depth description. It is color-customizable to accommodate your brand colors. Create a handout with this infographic template to explain taxation, loans, collections and other processes.

For the manager: guide your team to success.

Give your employees clear direction with this visually interesting infographic. This roadmap to success may be used to outline goals, instructions or steps. Your team will love the change of pace, and you’ll love the results.

Provide a title and in-depth introduction, then edit the short descriptions under each of the colorful five steps. The leading lines guide your reader to the next step. Print this out for your staff members’ desks or include it in the new hire orientation.

For the marketing specialist: present your audience demographics and traits.

Infographic design ideas

Buyer personas are often used in marketing strategies to organize audience characteristics, goals and needs into a visual representation, based off real research and data. Help your team picture clients or customers with this vibrantly professional infographic template.

This template gives you plenty of room to play, while leaving enough space to breathe. Each persona has a customizable title and description. The simple illustrations prompt your mind to imagine your real clients. After making this infographic template your own, add it to your annual marketing strategy plan, board presentation or product proposal.

For the personal trainer: remind your client of their goals.

Infographic design ideas

Help your clients visualize their health success with a visualization of their plan. Starting a new health and fitness routine might seem overwhelming, but this infographic will simplify instructions into an easy-to-digest quick guide.

This infographic features blocks of text and in-depth instructions without clutter. Use each segment to outline forbidden foods and daily exercise routines. After customizing the infographic template, print or email a digital version to your client as a portable, visual reminder of their game plan for success.

For the professional: stand out against the competition.

Infographic design ideas

First impressions are important—and most employers expect one page that briefly summarizes who you are in the workplace. Make your resume stand out with a beautiful, unique resume.

This template takes advantage of the full page with multiple sections and columns. It feels professional but with a modern twist. Make it your own by customizing the color scheme, graphics and, of course, the text.

For the real estate agent: educate your client.

Infographic design ideas

Real estate agents and realtors are well-known for providing personalized customer service. Educate your client on their new neighborhood or city with a quick guide to the local population, population density, area and other demographic insights.

Using this infographic shows your clients you care about taking the extra step. Each section is customizable and easily changed so you can update it as needed. The clean layout makes it easy to focus on the numbers. Add this infographic template to your client’s portfolio or to your personal website and listings.

For the teacher: give tips to success.

Infographic design ideas

Help your students prepare for the SAT, ACT, SASVAB or other test by outlining effective study habits and tips. Outline a timeline or provide six different methods—it’s up to you with this very customizable template.

Knowing how to study is half the battle. Update the six titles and descriptions with your tips and other helpful information. Each segment allows for several lines of text. The thin dimensions make this a great bookmark for your students.

Ready to wow your audience with beautifully designed infographics? Lucidpress will help your brand send the right message.

Visual communication and storytelling are critical for any business in this day and age of social media and short attention spans. Infographics are a popular way to visually share information, but creating an effective one isn’t easy. This guide will walk you through what you need to know to understand what an infographic is and provide tips to create a great one.

What is an infographic?

In the simplest terms, an infographic is a visualization of data or information. Infographics can take on many different layouts but ultimately include visuals, charts, icons and brief sections of text to convey an idea. 

Like any piece of content, every element used should help contribute to the reader’s overall understanding of the topic rather than simply being an addition to the content already there.

Take this infographic as an example. The design uses a road to direct the reader to each piece of information, but it also does more than serve as a visual cue. A quick glance immediately tells the reader that the infographic is about movement and transportation. The visuals of the car and bus quickly help the reader know where to find information about a specific type of transportation. The copy is brief and to the point building off of the message the visual has already created. 

transportation infographic

Use this infographic template

Why use infographics?

Creating an infographic should never be an end unto itself. Instead, carefully consider which medium makes the most sense for the content you are trying to create.

Creating an infographic makes sense when you have:

Infographics can be used across a wide variety of use cases and contribute to many goals.

Infographic examples

Marketers seeking to drive awareness of a brand or drive backlinks to their website can create infographics with unique stats and data. By presenting this data in a visual form, it not only makes the research more compelling but also makes it easy for other blogs or publications to share your infographic and link back to your website as a source. For example, this infographic provides interesting comparisons and stats from Marvel movies that only a fan willing to watch all of the movies and count the stats could create making it a unique piece of content to reference.

stats of the mcu

Marketers can also use infographics to create useful educational content for potential customers. For example, a company that sells cookware could create an infographic showing how to create a specific recipe. The graphic is then easy to promote on social media or in a blog to help drive brand awareness and loyalty.

recipe infographic

Use this infographic template

Business owners can also use infographics to tell their stories to investors or provide a product comparison to potential buyers. Here you can see an example of a simple timeline infographic showing how a company has grown over the years.

Timeline infographic

A geographic infographic like the example below can show how many customers a business has or how many countries it’s located in.

Geographic infographic

How to create infographics

Once you’ve decided that creating an infographic is the right medium for your marketing content, how do you go about creating a high-quality infographic?

Lucidpress offers a video tutorial with our professional designer that can walk you through the process in our drag-and-drop infographic maker. We also offer a variety of free infographic templates to get you started and outline best practices for designing infographics below.

Infographic outline

Start by creating an outline to help you focus your topic and stay concise.

Create an outline with the following

Once your outline is completed, you’re ready to start putting the infographic together. In general, an infographic should include the following elements.

Elements of an infographic

Explainer: Brief introductory text that explains what the infographic is about. Being concise is critical. Using complete sentences is not.

Sections: Create separate sections for each idea. Use icons, color and lines to clearly separate each section.

Explanatory Text: Use copy to briefly describe the idea for each section. The copy should support the graphic not the other way around.

CTA: Include a call to action at the end of the infographic to move your reader to the next step.

Headline: Write a brief, compelling headline

Subhead/Labels: Use subheads and labels for each section, icon and chart.

Backbone: Use a unifying design element that ties your infographic together.

Sources: Briefly cite your sources at the end of your infographic.

Elements of an Infographic

Types of infographic designs

While there are no hard and fast rules of how an infographic must look, infographics tend to fall into specific categories and layouts that can serve as a starting point for creating your infographic’s backbone and defined sections. 

Infographic types

Use these templates

A timeline or roadmap layout uses a single, visible line either straight down the middle or on a meandering path to guide the reader from one point to another. A checklist or visualized article style infographic, uses a series of icons or visuals to organize information. Typically, a comparison-style infographic will use a symmetrical layout forming a natural line down the center of the graphic. To learn more about different types of infographics, visit our in-depth guide.

Infographic design best practices

Follow these design best practices to create a professional-looking graphic that is easy to read. 

Infographic design checklist

Two columns & a backbone

For beginning designers, divide your infographic into two columns with a large title card on top. Remember, the two columns don’t need to be symmetrical. Next, form a background with a single design element that helps the reader move through the content. A backbone can be made of a line, icons or visuals.

Clearly-defined sections

Just like a paragraph in a blog post, divide your infographic into specific sections based on topic. Distinguish each section by breaking them up with lines, alternating colors or borders. Each section should have a main subtitle or label and accompanying icon or image.

White space

White space is any area that is left free of any text or design element. White space gives your content room to breathe making it easier to consume and more visually appealing. Include plenty of space around headlines, between sections and avoid extensive text.

Font and color palettes

To start, keep your font selection and color palette simple. Use one font for the headline and one for the body. Your color palette should include one primary color, 2-3 secondary colors and a neutral color. Neutrals are typically white, black or gray. Be sure to use icons that match your color palette and have a similar style to each other.

Clean alignment

Once you have a draft of your design done, go back and make sure all main elements align on the same horizontal and vertical axis and that spacing is the same between each section. A perfect alignment will make the final design more professional.

Simple charts

Keep any charts or data you add to the infographic simple and clean. Be sure to stick to your color palette by using different shades of your chosen color rather than adding in a random assortment of colors. Always include labels with the chart, so the reader can understand the topic of the data.

Data visualization strategies

Using an infographic to visualize data is a common use case, but creating data visualizations that are useful and easy to read is its own art form. Selecting the correct chart for the data you are displaying will go a long way in making your infographic effective.

Types of data visualizations

Line chart:

Use to compare data over time.

Line Chart

Bar chart:

Use to compare quantitative data from several categories.

Bar Chart

Scatter plots:

Use to show relationships between two data sets.

Scatter Plot

Pie charts:

Use to show parts of a whole. These should not be used for comparisons or changes over time.

Pie Chart

Additional data visualization tips:

Infographic publishing & promotion strategies

Once your infographic is designed, it’s time to publish and promote. 

When publishing your infographic, remember the following:

Your infographic promotion strategy should ultimately be defined by your objectives. A few to consider:

Ready to start

Ready to get started creating your infographic? Lucidpress offers a free infographic creator with free infographic templates to choose from to help you level up your infographic design.

Infographic design doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Like other types of content, infographics follow typical structures and layouts as a starting point for arranging your copy and visuals. Instead of jumping right into your infographic design, start by determining which layout works best with the type of information you want to convey.

We’ll walk you through nine different styles of infographics and what information they’re best for.

Related: What is an infographic? A comprehensive guide

Timeline infographic

A timeline infographic is the best layout to use when you’re showing the history of something, placing events in chronological order or showing the steps of a project plan. A timeline can be arranged along a vertical axis as shown in this example.

Timeline infographic

Use this infographic template

Or it can be displayed horizontally like in this example.

Horizontal Timeline Infographic

Use this infographic

Tips for creating a timeline infographic:

Comparison infographic

Coke vs. Pepsi, pancakes vs. waffles — sometimes a direct comparison is the best way to help your audience make a decision. A comparison infographic has a symmetrical layout that compares two different options on the same data point. Comparison infographics can be used to compare your product to a competitor’s or to help a customer understand the differences between two products you offer and decide which option is right for them.

A comparison can include small sections of text on specific topics or if you have data, use charts and graphs like in the following template.

Comparison Infographic

Use this infographic template

Tips on creating a comparison infographic:

Roadmap infographic

A roadmap infographic layout works best for anything with a start and end point, such as the steps of a process or project milestones. You can use a large icon to represent each step in the road map like shown here:

Roadmap infographic

Use this infographic

Or combine icons with a numbered list as shown in this roadmap infographic example:

Use this infographic template

Tips on creating a roadmap infographic:

List infographic

A list infographic layout has a broad range of use cases from creating a checklist of things to do, to explaining how a process works, to creating a list of the top 10 reasons to create an infographic. A list can be arranged vertically like a traditional checklist.

List infographic

Use this infographic template

Or you can alternate the copy and image for each section like in this template:

Alternating list infographic

Use this infographic template

Tips on creating a list infographic:

Geographic infographic

A geographic infographic works for any comparison or dataset specific to location. The infographic uses a map of the continents, countries or states you’re describing as the main data visualization element. Use lighter and darker shadings within the map to visualize differences.

Small callout boxes or reference points can be used to provide additional context and information.

Geographic infographic

Use this infographic template

Tips for creating a geographic infographic:

Numbers-heavy infographic

A numbers-heavy layout combines multiple types of graphs and charts to tell a story with data. This layout works best for summarizing a research report, synthesizing data to support an argument or sharing data that’s entertaining or insightful.

Charts can be relatively simple such as a scorecard or bar chart.

Numbers infographic template

Use this infographic template

Or you can get creative and use visuals specific to the data set, such as a graph made up of a person icon to show population density.

Numbers infographic template

Use this infographic template

Tips for creating a numbers-heavy infographic

Article summary infographic

The article summary layout works best for providing a brief overview of a blog post or other in-depth article. The layout provides plenty of space for copy while incorporating imagery to create some visual interest. Each section can cover a different topic discussed in the longer article. This type of infographic is great for repurposing content to post on social media or send in a sales email.

An alternating layout can work best for disparate points that don’t necessarily build off each other in a particular order.

Article summary infographic

Use this infographic

A linear layout works for summarizing a series of points or sequential steps like in this explanation of the taxation process:

Article summary infographic

Use this infographic

Tips for creating an article-summary infographic:

Resume infographic

A resume infographic tells the story of a person’s work experience and professional skills in a visual way. Common uses include adding icons to represent each section, using charts to show relative experience with certain tools or incorporating a timeline. Job seekers in creative fields will frequently use this layout to stand out in the pile of resumes.

resume infographic

Use this infographic

Tips for creating a resume infographic:

Visual backbone infographic

This type of infographic uses a single large image as the center backbone of the piece with each point or data set breaking down one component of the visual. This style is best to use when visualizing parts of a whole, like interesting facts about a building or the layers of a sandwich.

For example, this infographic uses an illustration of the body as the center backbone and then uses symmetrical callouts to describe points relevant to different parts of the body.

Visual infographic

Use this infographic

This layout example uses layers of a hamburger to discuss interesting stats about the fast food industry.

Image center infographic

Use this infographic template

Tips for creating a visual-backbone infographic

In summary

Feeling empowered … overwhelmed? While creating infographics does require some extra lift, remember that eye-tracking studies show internet readers pay close attention to information-carrying images. In fact, when the images are relevant, readers spend more time looking at the images than they do reading text on the page. So get your audience engaged!

Sign up for our free infographic maker for an easy design tool and free templates to get you started.

We live in a visual world. Whether it’s through social media, popup ads or posters at the bus stop, we are constantly bombarded with visual information. And there’s a reason for this: Images help our brains retain information — this is what makes infographics such effective communication tools. 

If you spend any time on the internet, you’ve likely seen dozens of infographic examples. They’re everywhere.  

Infographics pair visuals with written information to present data in an easy-to-digest format. The good ones do, at least. Poorly made infographics can be confusing and, frankly, pretty ugly. 

So what makes a “good” infographic design? 

It’s a big question with a bigger answer. Rather than dive into a long-winded explanation, let’s take a look. (Show, nottell, right?) 

In this post, we’ve collected 30 of our favorite infographic examples from across the internet and provided a brief explanation of what makes them effective. Whether you work in marketing, journalism, or something else entirely, look through our list to get inspiration for your next infographic!  

30 great infographic design examples

The Sustainable Development Goals Report

The Sustainable Development Goals Report

This infographic shows the power of restraint. The limited color palette and simple layout give the infographic a clean, striking look without distracting from the information being presented. 

More Than 40% Of U.S. Renter Households Are At Risk Of Eviction

More Than 40% Of U.S. Renter Households Are At Risk Of Eviction

As soon as you see this infographic, you start to absorb information. It’s easy to see that it’s a map of the United States; the colors, ranging from yellow to dark red, clearly represent some data points (in this case, the percentage of renters facing possible eviction). By using familiar images and colors, this infographic says a lot without relying on blocks of text. 

Coronavirus infographic

Coronavirus infographic

Font color helps guide the reader through an image. As you look at this infographic example, notice how the red text pulls your eyes towards the headers.

This is how alternative energy works infographic

This is how alternative energy works

A striking background can be visually appealing and informative — just look at the map used as the backdrop for this image. To avoid a cluttered appearance, the designers placed the infographic’s diagrams and key in a dark area of the background. 

What you need to know about COVID-19 infographic

What you need to know about COVID-19

We’ll be the first to admit it: From an aesthetic standpoint, this infographic could use some improvement. What it lacks in visual appeal, however, it makes up for in functionality. The information presented in this infographic flows logically, allowing the viewer to absorb crucial information about COVID-19 quickly. 

The ABC of Design infographic

The ABC of Design

Nobody would trust a poorly designed infographic about design. Fortunately, this infographic example walks the walk. From the colors to the geometry, it’s clear that every visual aspect was rigorously thought out, thus putting into practice important graphic design concepts.

Design Roadmap infographic

Design Roadmap

This uncomplicated infographic example makes use of a simple linear design to visually guide the reader from top to bottom, while the muted colors give the design a cohesive appearance. Click here to customize this infographic template! 

How to build a human infographic

How to build a human

Any infographic depicting a process — be it abstract or easy to understand — needs to carefully direct the viewer through graphics. The spiral design of this infographic example is a creative way to do just that.

The daily routines of famous creative people infographic

The daily routines of famous creative people

An infographic that has it all: a simple key, appealing color palette and straightforward layout. Out of all of our infographic examples, this one best highlights a key principle —  Simple isn’t necessarily boring.

Famous writers’ sleep habits infographic

Famous writers’ sleep habits

The sketched portraits of each writer on this infographic are an excellent use of accessible and user-friendly visuals. They add both information and style to the graphic without breaking the established color palette.

Food and wine pairings infographic

Food and wine pairings

Though this infographic is visually busy and a bit loud, it’s never disordered or too chaotic. It conveys a lot of information, but there’s a logic to it, which prevents it from overwhelming the viewer. 

Transportation infographic

Transportation infographic

Between the visual cues and large header text, it’s immediately apparent that this infographic is about transportation. The road casually leads the viewer from one block of text to the next — customize the text to make this infographic your own!

How often do the French kiss infographic

How often do the French kiss

Most of our infographic examples are somewhat serious. So here’s a fun one! This infographic doesn’t take itself too seriously, both in subject matter and presentation. That being said, it still gets its message across.

The ten commandments of UI design infographic

The ten commandments of UI design

If you’re trying to pack a lot of info into a small space, geometry is your friend. By using a grid layout, the infographic’s designers included ten UI guidelines, as well as examples of each guideline. 

The charted cheese wheel infographic

The charted cheese wheel

Out of our 30 infographic examples, this one pairs content and design best. The cheese wheel design is clever, relevant to the subject and still effective!

What your brand colors say about your business infographic

What your brand colors say about your business

The grey background of this infographic makes the colors — which are used sparingly — really pop. There’s a lot of information that could otherwise look and feel as though it’s competing for the reader’s attention, but instead it’s easy to find what you’re looking for based on the visual cues. 

Millions of lines of code infographic

Millions of lines of code

Bar graphs are one of the simplest, most effective ways to compare and present data. That said, there’s a small problem in using bar graphs: Visually, they can be, well, lacking. This infographic dresses the bar graph up a bit, making it visually appealing while maintaining its effectiveness.

Guide to moving infographic

Guide to moving

What do you get when you combine vertical and horizontal design elements? An infographic that boasts a  simple and visually pleasing layout. Want to replace the generic information with your own? Try the template!

10 easy homemade soups infographic

10 easy homemade soups

Most of the infographic examples in our list stick to charts and illustrations. But did you know that you can use pictures as well? This infographic uses photographs in a fun, relevant way. 

The essential herb and food pairing guide infographic

The essential herb and food pairing guide

Sometimes wordy descriptions just don’t cut it. Plus, imagine if you tried to describe what most herbs look like? All your descriptions would sound the same! The small, simple illustrations on this infographic provide the viewer with information that couldn’t be conveyed in writing: the actual appearance of each herb. 

Best in show: the ultimate data dog infographic

Best in show: the ultimate data dog

This infographic is both fun and informative. A two-axis grid is a simple way to organize data — but you might not expect that data to be dogs!

How-to healthy lifestyle infographic

How-to healthy lifestyle

A strong central image immediately grabs the reader’s attention. This infographic uses visuals to pull the reader in, but only has filler text. Want to try adding your own text? Click here to try personalizing this template.

History of life infographic

History of life

If you want to cut down on writing and clutter, color coding might be the move for you. Just don’t forget to include a key! The keys can be placed at the edges of your graphic, as seen in this example, to keep your visuals from becoming cluttered. 

30 shots infographic

30 shots

This is a deceptive little infographic. In very little space, the graphic carefully conveys each recipe and what the final product should look like. 

Inform and educate: stop the spread of COVID-19 infographic

Inform and educate: stop the spread of COVID-19

This infographic pairs a vertical layout with minimal text to clearly convey its message. It only takes a glance to take in the information presented. Want to take a stab at customizing this template? Click here!

A world of languages infographic

A world of languages

Proportional comparisons make for effective visuals. Without reading anything but the largest text, I can tell you that a lot more people speak Chinese than, say, Bengali. If I look a little closer, I can tell you exactly how many more. 

42 butterflies of north america infographic

42 butterflies of north america

The standout element of this infographic is obviously the beautiful illustrations. But the graphic has substance too, providing scale, location, and other important details.

Cheetah: nature’s speed machine infographic

Cheetah: nature’s speed machine

If you’re going to go heavy on the information, sticking to minimalist design can help you illustrate your point or end goal more succinctly. For instance, this infographic example is jam-packed with info, but the two-tone color scheme keeps things feeling visually clean and simple.

Learning to code infographic

Learning to code

It’s worth noting that out of all the infographic examples on our list, this is one of the most text-heavy. Notice how the written information is organized into columns, making it easy to digest. So if you can’t find images or visuals that fit your infographic, there’s no need to fret. You can still organize information in an easy-to-digest manner.

Numbers infographic

Numbers infographic

Balancing charts and graphs with text can be tough — the layout is everything. This infographic example pairs visuals with text in a simple but effective way. And the best part? It’s completely customizable! Check out this template  to make it your own.

Try it, you know you want to!

Feeling inspired? To start creating your infographics, you’ll first need an infographic maker — this is where Lucidpress comes in. Lucidpress is a cloud-based content creation platform for designers and non-designers alike who need to make pamphlets, infographics, and much more. And the best part? You can get started for free!

If starting your infographic from scratch feels a little daunting, don’t worry — we’ve got plenty of templates to get you started.

Infographics are used by companies small and large to educate their audience, build their brands or simply entertain. They’re basically “eye candy” that compiles different data visualization into a whole. 

As more and more companies are using infographics to reel in consumers, it’s important to learn how to create one. We’ve pulled together the best do’s and don’ts of infographic design in this comprehensive guide to creating your very own infographic.

Choose a layout to match your topic

Infographic types

There isn’t an exact set of rules for how infographics should look, but they do tend to fall into specific layouts. Picking from the types of infographics is a great starting point as they’re all tried and true. Remember that as you consider each layout, you want to pick one that matches your topic. For instance, if you’re creating an infographic about the top places to live in the US, you’ll most likely want to use a geographic (not a resume) infographic.

Timeline infographic

A timeline infographic is best used when you’re showing the history of something. You can use this infographic to put events in chronological order. Or to outline the steps of a project, how-to and more.

Comparison infographic

This type of design infographic template has a symmetrical layout and is used to compare two different options on the same data point. Use this infographic design idea to compare your product to your competitor’s. Make sure that you don’t just list random facts but choose attributes that both options have.

Roadmap infographic

Use this infographic design if you’re showing data with a start and end point. Unlike the timeline infographic, this one focuses on stages rather than dates.

List infographic

A list infographic is one of the most used infographic templates. It can be used to create a checklist, explain a process, or show the top 10 reasons for x,y and z.

Geographic infographic

If you have a dataset specific to location, a geographic infographic is the best template to go with. You can use a map of the world, country, or even counties in a state. 

Numbers-heavy infographic

If you want to tell a story with data, a numbers-heavy infographic is your best bet. You can use graphs and charts to summarize reports, share data that’s insightful, or synthesize data. Creative icons can help these kinds of infographics feel more fun than simple bar graphs.

Article summary infographic

An article summary layout is best for giving a brief overview of an in-depth article or blog post. This layout provides enough space for copy while also using imagery to create visual interest.

Resume infographic

Just as the title infers, a resume layout is meant to highlight an individual’s work experience and professional accomplishments in a visual way. Unlike a traditional resume, a resume infographic can use charts to show experience, a timeline for job experience, and icons to represent each section.

Visual backbone infographic

This kind of infographic centers around a single large image as the backbone of the piece. All points of data will break down one component of the visual. Use this layout to help consumers visualize parts of a whole.

Include these basic infographic elements

To make sure you don’t leave any pertinent information out of your infographic, double-check that you include each of these main elements: headline, explainer, subheads or labels, sections, backbone, explanatory text, CTA and sources. Each of these elements ensures that your infographic isn’t just a cool-looking piece of design but also includes entertaining or insightful information with a clear takeaway.

Headline: Include a brief headline that gets your audience to keep scrolling.

Explainer: This is a quick introductory text that explains what your infographic is about. Since concision is critical, feel free to skip complete sentences.

Subheads and labels: Using subheads or labels for each icon, chart or section can help break up your infographic while also providing a distinct outline.

Sections: Create sections for each idea in your dataset. You can use icons, lines or colors to separate them.

Backbone: No matter what layout you pick, you need a unifying design element to tie your infographic together. This is different from a visual backbone layout. 

Explanatory text: Include brief copy to describe the idea for each section. Don’t let the copy take away from the graphic; instead, make sure the copy supports the graphic and not the other way around.

CTA: As with most of your content, include a CTA at the end of your infographic to move your audience to the next step.

Sources: Always cite your sources at the end of your infographic. These are often in small text at the bottom of your layout.

Choose a color palette

Once you have a layout and general outline for your infographic, it’s time to choose a color palette. A color palette can make or break your infographic. The right palette can reinforce the topic, organize information and solidify your brand. You don’t have to stick to your brand’s colors with infographics, but that color palette could be a good starting point.

Another good place to start is checking out the different types of color palettes. The most common color palettes in design are monochromatic, complementary, split complementary, analogous, triadic and tetradic.

Color Pallette

Source: https://www.picmonkey.com/blog/create-a-brand-color-palette

Follow these tips for picking the right color palette:

Here are a couple examples of some great color palettes:

Color Palette

Source: https://blog.graphiq.com/finding-the-right-color-palettes-for-data-visualizations-fcd4e707a283?gi=3a981055db84

Pick your typography

Focus first on titles and headings. You can use a fun, eye-catching font for the title of your infographic with a complementary sans serif or serif font for the rest of the text throughout your design. Try to stick with only two or three fonts total: one for the title (this can be bold and fun), another for the body text that’s easily legible, and if you want, pick another for headers. Remember, your visuals are what people should be focusing on, and a cool font can distract from that.

Additionally, don’t allow typography to become your crutch when you create infographics. Definitely be intentional with the fonts you pick, but don’t always default to flashy typography to show off an important date or number when you can visualize it a different way. Percentages can be visualized as pie charts, numerical values as bar graphs. The best infographic designs rely on icons, headers and dates with minimal explanatory text.

Here a couple infographic design ideas with great typography:

study methods infographic
transportation infographic

Icon do’s and don’ts

When it’s time to pick which icons to use, follow these do’s and don’ts.

Do:

Use labels

lables

Provide context

provide context

Use icons as anchors

anchors

Use background colors

backround-colors

Provide visualizations

visualizations

Be mindful of sizing

sizing

Don’t:

Use random icons

random icons

Use multiple styles

multiple styles

Forget to pair with text

pair with text

Use random colors

random-colors


Data visualization best practices

It’s important to understand data visualization best practices as one size doesn’t fit all. And it’s not about simply providing information to the masses. Here are five of the top data-visualization best practices to keep in mind as you learn how to design an infographic:

Emphasize the important points

Direct your reader’s attention through visual cues. This will make it easier to follow the story you’re trying to convey. Our eyes are drawn to symbols that send us important details at a glimpse. To build off of this, make sure that the style or order you show your data in makes sense to your audience.

Make use of color

Color is one of the most useful tools in data visualization. You can effectively communicate important info about your data through different color combinations (e.g., use a monochromatic color palette for sequential data.) Just be sure that your color choices enhance the differences in your data rather than make them more cluttered.

Ensure your data is readable in any format

Remember that your infographic may be viewed on multiple different devices. It’s vital that you create mobile-friendly content.

Keep dashboards and visualizations simple

Content should be snackable. Too much information in one place causes people to click out or just skim by. With a simple design, you can grasp your audience’s attention, pique their interest with the right facts, numbers, graphics, and then get them wanting more, ultimately leading them to follow through with your CTA.

Provide context

Your audience needs to understand the context of your recommendations or shared information. In order to get them to act on something, they need to understand how this information affects them or how they can affect it. “Donate today” or “Click here for more information” are some of the most common CTA’s used, but they won’t be clicked on without the right explanation for why your audience should care. 

Infographic design principles

If you’re interested in designing your infographic from start to finish rather than using an infographic maker, here are some basic design principles that will help you create the best infographic no matter your design skill level.

White space

White space is the area that’s free of any design element or text. It gives your content room to breathe, making it easier to consume. Include enough space around headlines and between sections.

Alignment

As you create your design, double-check that all of the main elements align on the same vertical or horizontal axis. Also make sure that the spacing is the same between each section.

Show don’t tell

Your copy should support the visual, not the other way around. Too much text can make the infographic feel heavy and cause your reader to become disinterested. If you can say it visually, do so and ditch the text.

Contrast

Contrast creates visual impact by placing different elements beside each other. If you choose a light background, then have your shapes and icons be in darker, bold colors. You can also create contrast through typography by putting your headers in larger text, followed by the subheader and then your body copy.

Consistency

Consistency is key to keep your design flowing from start to finish. Your icons should be in the same style throughout your entire infographic, headers should be in the same font, and all your body text should be in one font too. Your color palette will also help your infographic remain consistent.

We’re sure that you’ll be able to create stunning infographics whether you just want to share stats on cat videos or optimize your search engine ranking. If you need some help starting your design, try our infographic templates.