This is the second post of the series How to make an infographic. If you missed the first post, you can read it here.
Now you know the importance of visual assets in scientific communication, Let’s plan your infographic.
So, first of all, What is an infographic?
Infographics are visual content with text and images, which can be illustrations, icons, charts, pictograms, etc.
It is a perfect combination of text, visual resources and design, in which one complements the other, with the aim of always improving the reader’s understanding.
Therefore, do not think that only textual information is responsible for transmitting knowledge. You should use a combination of these elements to accomplish an efficient communication. Do not forget, in an infographic you should to show all the relevant information of your work in a clear, visually enjoyable way, so that the reader will be able to understand it by himself.
Now you know that, Hands on! You will learn how to make an infographic.
Defining your goals
Do you realize that when we do not set a goal, in any situation, we tend not to leave the place? To learn how to make an infographic isn’t different.
First of all, before you begin to think about design, layout, charts, or aesthetics, you need to think about the goals of your infographic and do the planning. I don’t mean abstract goals like “get visibility to my research”, “summarize complex data” or “to show my work”.
Your goals need to be clear, concrete and achievable.
To get goals like this it’s essential to ask yourself a few questions:
Who is my audience? Who I want to reach?
If you are creating a graphical abstract to be published in a specialized journal in your field, you should use a more technical language. Maybe you can let it go some more basic explanations. But if your goal is to create a presentation for a more general audience, scientific communication in social media, blog post or a lesson, you need to analyze the language and style used. After all, your infographic must be self explanatory. Which means, the main content in you work should be highlighted and understandable only by reading the infographic, without an extra explanation or content.
Answer the questions: Do I need an informal or a formal content? Can I ignore basic concepts? Is it a general science congress? Is it a scientific congress specific to your field? Are your audience experts? Will there be an oral presentation with the infographic? Is it for a book? Who are your readers?
These answers will establish the best approach, the language to be used, the visual style, design and more.
What is my main data? What is the most important information that my readers need to understand?
Time to highlight the main data and avoid the too much.
What is the center of your research? What is your main question? That very specific answser is your burning problem. To help you identify your burning problem, you can use the question pyramid. With this method, you should turn it into 3-5 actionable questions to approach in your infographic:
Start with the answer first.
Group and summarize your supporting arguments.
Logically order your supporting ideas.
A strong brief
A great infographic needs a great brief. The brief is vital to keep the full picture vision. Not sure what to include? I have some ideas to help you with that:
Current scientific perception about your line of research (whats is the differential of your work? what insights do you propose?)
Tone and language (formal, informal)
References or inspiration
Include those basics, plus any additional information you think would be helpful.
With all this information organized, you are 1 step away from creating an amazing infographic.
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See the rest of our How to make an infographic posts. In addition, our subscribers will receive by email an extra material, designed exclusively to Mind the Graph subscribers.
Post series by Mind the Graph
- Post #1 – Communication in science
- Post #2 – Make your data Awesome
- Post #3 – The right kind of chart
- Post #4 – Let’s talk about colors!
- Post #5 – Less is more: minimalist infographic design
- Post #6 – Mistakes to avoid in science communication
- Post #7 – A shortcut summary to GET IT DONE
This post is the first of the How to Make an Infographic series, with tips and practical examples. The posts will be a guide, made by our designers. They make the amazing illustrations and templates you see on our platform. Also, you can get for free our ebook. Learn how to make science infographics and improve your presentations