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1. Determine your subject

To make an infographic you need to have something to say. It may be art, but it’s art that is meant to get a point across. That’s why you rarely see an “abstract” or “interpretive” infographic. They’re not Rorschach tests. If there’s no info, there’s no graphic!

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“Hmm… I see a line graph of the quarterly earnings projections of the top 5 UK-based financial institutions. Do I need therapy?”

For our infographic, let’s focus on the Top Ten Spenders in Space Exploration.

2. Get your data

When making an infographic, it helps if you have quantitative and measurable information. Numbers, when presented in the right way, can tell a really compelling story.

Here’s the info we’ll use for our infographic:

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Source: http://www.therichest.com/luxury/most-expensive/the-10-countries-that-spend-the-most-in-space-exploration/

3. Decide which kind of graph or chart is most appropriate for your data set

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Depending on the type of info you have, you will need to use a different type of graph. For percentages, pie graphs work wonderfully. Comparing changes over time is the perfect task for a line graph. Our space exploration graphic is a side-by-side comparison of different amounts of money, so for this one, let’s use a bar graph.

4. Brainstorm an interesting way to present the information in the format you choose

Spice up a bland graph by throwing some artistic flare into it. If the subject lends itself to artistic representation, see if you can replace elements of the graph with illustrations of relevant objects. If you’re talking about the proportions of different types of fish in a certain body of water, maybe replace the wedges of the pie chart with a school of the type of fish it represents.

In our bar graph example, let’s opt for replacing the boring rectangles of a bar graph with piles of cash.

5. Sketch out your design

You can work out the kinks of your idea by seeing how it works on paper. How do you want your idea to look?

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(Crudely drawn countries and piles of cash are WILDLY not to scale)

6. Follow graphic design principles to carry out your vision

Notice how the art tends to follow the rule of thirds, meaning that our info isn’t dead center. This is more interesting for the eye. Also, the color scheme is relatively consistent. All the money looks the same and the countries themselves are a similar color.

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7. Add annotations where relevant

It helps to know what the graphics actually mean. That’s where the info portion comes in! Numbers, titles, brief explanations, whatever helps get your point across in a constructive way and gives you a readable layout, feel free to include it.

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And voila! You have yourself a simple infographic!

What could we have done differently? Do you have any suggestions or examples of good eLearning infographics? Tell us about it in the comments.

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