The 5 Infographic Mistakes You are Probably Making

The demand for infographics is booming, with studies suggesting their online presence has increased by a staggering 9,900 percent since 2007. Creatives are expected to keep pace, yet many have never been trained in infographic design. You might create adequate infographics on instinct, but if you’re more used to designing logos or posters, you’re probably guilty of making these mistakes.

You Rehash Old Ideas

It’s only natural to look to other works for inspiration, especially when you’re designing outside your comfort zone. But it’s easy to fall into the trap of replicating infographic ideas you’ve seen rather than generating original ones for yourself.

With a little practice, generating original infographic concepts isn’t too different from making unique logos or unusual posters. Some of your ideas might not work, but when you step outside the box, you’ve got a much better chance of creating an infographic that will make a real impression.

Your Typefaces Are Too Small

Print designers typically use nine- or 10-point typefaces for standard paragraph text. However, a similar typeface online will be difficult to read. In the article “How to Switch from Poster Design to Infographic Design,” Kelly Quigley suggests a minimum standard size of 14-point font for web use. Headings, subheadings, and keywords should be even larger than this for easy readability. When in doubt, increase your typeface size for impactful infographics.

You Use the Wrong Color System

The standard cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK) color scheme is familiar to print designers, but if you try using it to make infographics your colors will be off. Instead, you’ll need to use the red, green, and blue (RGB) system used by computer monitors.

Adobe Photoshop fans will notice this program defaults to RGB, but you’ll need to manually change the color settings if you use Illustrator or InDesign.

You Consider Your Client More Than the Target Audience

It’s important to consider the demands of clients when creating infographics. They’re the ones who’ll ultimately pay the bills and determine whether you have ongoing work. But if keep them in the front of your mind, your infographic will seem salesy and self-indulgent.

It’s much more important to appeal to the infographic’s target audience because that is who will share your work and increase its reach. Consider what they love and whether they want to be entertained, informed, inspireda, or a combination of these.

Your Ideas Are Too Complex

Depending on your firm, you may be responsible for generating ideas for your infographic as well as translating them. This practice is well outside the comfort zones of many designers, and it can easily trip up the uninitiated.

However, just like with any visual design it’s best to keep your concept simple. Experts suggest if it takes more than a single sentence to explain your infographic, it’s too complicated. A basic idea is searchable and easily understood, so always take steps to simplify.

Most designers have been guilty of making these mistakes when applying their skills to infographics. Break yourself of these bad habits and you’ll soon see the quality of your infographics improve.