Follow the Fellows

Infographic Secrets



Last year, while infographics were widely used in the U.S. and Europe, they were just getting popular in China. Twelve months later, I’ve found more than 1,000 Chinese infographics via baidu, with most being used for social platforms. Some were impactful, but many were not. What’s the secret behind creating this visual tool that features charts, lists and graphs so it effectively tells a client’s story?

Recently I spoke with two colleagues at the Edelman in Atlanta office: Craig Thomas, senior project manager and infographic professional, and Marlon Manuel, content and creative specialist. Both advanced my knowledge about infographics, and I’d like to share those insights with you.

a) Deliver a relevant story

People look for something that is relevant to them, so making the infographic’s story appeal to a target audience plays an important role in securing their interest. Doing intensive research and having an in-depth conversation with your client can uncover key demo- and psychographic data as well as trends that will drive messaging.

b) Be business creative

A picture tells a thousand words, and infographics are snapshots of important facts. Select visuals that represent the look, feel and content of a company’s business, style and culture. For example, Edelman in Atlanta produced an infographic (right) for about a controversial ruling on E15 – a blend of gasoline and ethanol recently approved by EPA.  Under the Consumer Beware message, the graphic focused on people’s main concerns – the cost of gasoline and how frequent trips to fill-up could create damage to a car’s engine.  By using a gas pump as the focal point, the target audience’s eye was drawn quickly to a visual they knew and then specifics about biofuel policies.

c) Interact and engage

Infographics need to involve people in a call for action. That’s why social media placements are important, but don’t overlook your client’s own website, posters or hand-outs and be sure to consider imbedding a QR code so the reader is able to click for more information instantly. I hope these tips help and perhaps shorten the three to four weeks it normally takes to create and then design an infographic.  If along the way, you have any question, write me.

Rain Wang is an Edelman global fellow in Atlanta, from Shanghai.

  • Infographic has become my favorite thing to look at. Intuitive, straight-forward, and focuses on the most important information.

    • Publish

    • ain

      Reading is a good way to learn and improve. We can learn more and advance our skills from thinking through the rational behind it

  • Ellie Boggs

    Through my studies at the University of Oregon I have previously been assigned the task of designing an infographic; however, my designs were always missing something that I wasn’t quite able to articulate. This post finally made me realize that I have been missing the story aspect. Every piece of information and every feature of design must contribute to the overall story being told. I need to define the core message before anything else. Thanks for the spot-on blog post!

    • I’m glad it helps. Thank you for the comment. – rain

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