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Visual Story Telling Before the Design

Infographics are here to stay. They have become part of the digital ecosystem, securing a solid place in online communications when there is compelling content and good design.  Simply put, data visualization is a great way to simplify complex ideas. This is highly valuable in the short attention-span world of the blogosphere. Every infographics project should start with the same three questions that are as important as the data collection and design phases that follow.
1. What type of infographic do we want, and what type of data will we be collecting?

There are 4 basic types of infographics:

  • Statistical – Numerical data and statistics compared to each other
  • Timeline – Data and statistics compared to a period of time
  • Process – Data and statistics compared to a workflow
  • Location – Data and statistics compared to geography

Often times the type of infographic depends on the data that is available. And more often than not, an infographic is a combination of these 4 types of infographic. Here is an example of one that has all four elements built into it.

2. What parts of the infographic do we know already, and which parts will the designer determine?

The core infographic is composed of 3 parts, each of which have various pieces.


  • Color coding –color used to represent data comparisons
  • Graphics – imagery used to represent data comparisons
  • Reference icons – used to orient the reader within the infographic
  • Time frames – timelines, calendars, clocks, etc.
  • Statistics – numbers used on their own or in charts and graphs.
  • References – graphics used to show location, size, quantity, etc.


  • Facts – realized from the data and used to support the message
  • Deductions – the point of the infographic, the main message

This example shows the use of various graphics, reference icons and images to tell the viewer about the results of a survey on people’s thoughts about insurance.

3. What basic graphic elements would we like to use and how?

As far as organization and layout, infographics use a number of techniques:

  • Flow charts
  • Graphs
  • Maps
  • Timelines
  • Illustrations (with size representing data amount and color representing data type)
  • Lists
  • Diagrams
  • Typeface (font usage)
  • Color/design scheme

Some infographics use facts and figures accompanied by imagery only, not necessarily using the graphic elements to display the information. Others use true data visualization. Here are two examples:

Text based with some graphic support
Data visualization example

So, with these questions on the table, you should be able to get a good idea of the concept for your infographic.

We create beautiful infographics. Interested in creating your own? Contact us.


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