As social media continues to grow the type of content you release is becoming the determining factor whether or not you get noticed. Unfortunately that is only half the battle. Making your content attractive enough to catch your audiences’ attention; while on average only having 10 seconds to do so is becoming the most difficult task, as Neil Patel always says, “A masterpiece is not a masterpiece if no one sees it”.
I remember a decade ago social media was primarily just used by teenagers who wanted to know the latest gossip and rumors surrounding their social circles or used to post manic depressive ideas and topics to garner empathy for the most pedantic things. Social Media now has become so saturated with information, both utile and non-utile, that it is growing harder and harder, like an adolescent boner, to get noticed.
Infographics are becoming a great way to attract viewers to your content; the analogy that comes to mind is the Instagram phenomenon, people love pictures and images! Yes, this is in part due to the fascination of taking “Selfies” however, social media images are becoming so popular because of the utility they provide. In our fast paced society we want information but we want it now! Infographics provide us a medium to create just enough information with just enough visuals helping expedite the communication of ideas with our audience; it’s like they say, “Pictures are worth a thousand words.” Lets take a look as some easy and subtle ways, to spruce up your infographics and get your content looking professional.
This was one of the first infographics I created. Can you spot the differences between the infographic on the left, my first draft, and the infographic on the right, my final draft? HINT: It can be described with one word.
The key to an aesthetically pleasing infographic is Layering. Living in a multidimensional world we have always had a fascination of taking things to the next dimension, we’ve seen this in art, movies and even science (look up string theory) so why shouldn’t our content...
1. Lets start with the background. Ironically the background is the first layer of an infographic yet it is the last layer you should worry about. The purpose of layering content is to put the most important content in the foreground and make it “Pop” and garner attention using the layers behind it.
Focus on the background after you have finished inserting your content and subsequent layers. This is useful because when all your content and layers are static you can alternate through different background options to see which background flows or feels right.
Make the background transparent. Your background should not take focus away from the first and most important layer, the content. By adding transparency to the background you can add subtle eye catching design without distracting the reader from the content.
Boxes and sections are important organization tools to ensure your information flows in the appropriate manner. To make these sections stick out add a drop shadow to your boxes or sections to add yet another layer to the infographic and make the info or text in the boxes seem to “Pop” or be closer to the reader. These tactics can also be used to format text and headers to have the same sense of depth.
Titles and Headers are some of the most important pieces of content in your infographic. On average your Title or Header has about 1 sec to catch the attention of your reader to entice them to read your content. Make sure that your Titles and Headers are formatted in a banner so they will attract eyeballs.
There are only two essential elements to an infographic, the content and everything else that simply brings the content to life! When I make an infographic I start by laying out the content in the manner that best helps my future readers digest the information. Once the Content Skeleton is laid out I begin adding layers from the foreground to the background.
Infographics are becoming easier and easier to make you just have to dive in and be creative. My preferred program, which was used for the examples above, is Pik-To-Chart, I used to use Adobe Illustrator CS6 however Pik-to-Chart has created a great program that provides both novice and advanced users the basic tools they need to create awesome infographics. I still use Adobe Illustrator if the infographic is complex however Pik-to-Chart is my go to program for most infographics.
There are a lot of resources out there for infographics and I recommend you try them all before setting into one. Martin Cooper, at Creative Bloq, did a great job summarizing the available options for infographics and I highly suggest you check out his blog post 10 Free tools for creating Infographics as a reference point.