Infographics are all the rage on social media—and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
Contrary to predictions that infographics would saturate the blogosphere to the point of losing audience interest and impact, they are more popular now than ever before.
According to a report published by the Social Media Examiner, 70 percent of marketers plan to increase their use of visuals such as infographics and memes during this year, while the use of infographics in B2B marketing increased from 9 to 52 percent in 2014.
These are heartening figures, especially for those who appreciate all the unique qualities of this highly shareable content format: They’re visually attractive, easy to consume and provide loads of information in a few seconds.
But, there are also drawbacks.
With the prospect of even higher rates of visual content creation, we’re bound to see many more infographics that are either unappealing, hard to understand or misleading—as we already see today.
An effective infographic, however, should be well-designed, supported by data and tell a story—just like any other piece of content.
Using these three parameters, we’ve compiled and analyzed a list of shareable infographics that we think will inspire you to look more closely at the way you create your own infographics.
Here they are in no particular order:
By creatively using the metaphor of a footprint, this infographic instantly grabs the viewer’s attention and tells a worthwhile story that is backed up by well-sourced numbers.
The design does its job of communicating complex data in a surprisingly easy-to-understand format. Within seconds, the viewer has a complete notion of what this story is about without much analysis or guesswork.
This creative and amusing infographic is particularly effective at taking raw data and turning it into a compelling message.
By using a chart type that is so easy to comprehend you forget you’re actually reading it, this piece expertly uses design elements to inspire its audience to keep dreaming even when they think it’s too late in life.
It’s also notable that as you scroll down, the average age of success increases, creating the effect of reaching a climactic point at the end as you read the message: “It’s never too late to learn.” The lines connecting the different faces also create flow and help maintain a cohesive storyline.
This infographic gives the viewer a ton of useful information in a single image. If analyzed using the three parameters mentioned earlier, it would be the equivalent of a useful how-to article—just in visual form.
The use of bright colors and appealing font combinations, coupled with a catchy headline, also make this piece a particularly shareable infographic that is understood at first glance.
This one is another excellent example of an infographic that completely fulfills all three criteria: It is highly informative and backed by loads of data; it is visually appealing and quickly comprehensible; and it tells a coherent story with a clear message.
It also perfectly attests to the fact that infographics are—as of yet—unparalleled in their ability reveal truths that were buried underneath mountains of incomprehensible data and seemingly unrelated figures.
Like the previous example on typographies, this infographic also constitutes a visual how-to with a lot of extremely useful information on using visual analogies. Its monochromatic, flat design is clean and minimalist, allowing the viewer to focus on the dozens of visual diagrams provided. Particularly handy for infographic designers, this visual guide is not only highly shareable on social media, it can also easily be hung on a wall for its utility.
Although this piece has all the makings of a shareable infographic, it comes up short in one regard: If you look at the bottom of the image, you see that the primary source is Wikipedia, which is not the most trustworthy place to gather data for an infographic.
In all other aspects, however, this visualization is highly interesting for a general audience and communicates ideas cleanly through the use of informative and effectively designed icons.
This infographic is creative and well-designed. By resorting to a common but useful metaphor of a balanced diet, it communicates the message of the need to create different content types in an exceptionally clear manner.
The design also enables the reader to quickly process an entire weekly agenda in a single glance. As an expertly crafted infographic, it does all the hard work of processing information, while the reader effortlessly consumes the final product.
Like the previous cases, this infographic speaks for itself and requires minimal reading and analysis to comprehend. The monochromatic, flat icons give it a clean, minimalist look, while the detailed silhouettes of the different skyscrapers—placed one next to the other for a comparative perspective—provide a bit of interesting detail that would otherwise not be available with the use of real images.
Although this infographic isn’t jam-packed with ultra-useful information, the content is amusing and attractively designed. The result of a survey completed by Facebook and Twitter followers, it lays out the results in a comprehensible and mildly humorous form, engaging the audience with pithy quotes from participants. If rated against some of the other infographics on this list, however, it would appear toward the bottom since it hasn’t had to do the hard job of distilling large amounts of complex information into a consumable form.
This piece does a decent job of communicating a large amount of information in an easy-to-grasp manner. Although the design greatly facilitates quick understanding of the survey results on tech etiquette, this infographic is somewhat lacking in terms of telling a coherent and cohesive story. Instead of delivering isolated statistics, it could do a bit more to tell a story, send a message or provide broader implications of the results. As a result, the overall impact is not as high as it could be.
As an anatomy of top-performing CEOs in the world, this infographic does a good job of providing a quickly digestible profile of these business leaders. After going through the statistics, you have a clear mental image of what a typical CEO looks like and an idea of his socioeconomic and educational background. The infographic also attempts to provide cohesiveness by using a large illustration to tie all the figures together and giving you a key takeaway at the end.
Visually enticing and entertaining, this global burger guide does an excellent job of putting a ton of information into context, allowing for lots of useful comparisons. It could be a bit confusing for some readers, however, since it requires viewers to look for numbers in the color key below and then look back up at the illustrations.
While this infographic has a strong message communicated through an effective design, it lacks hard data to back up its claims. As such, it is not an infographic in the traditional sense of the word, but more so in a modern context where light-hearted infographics populate the Web. Because of its strong and relatable message, however, it continues to be of shareable quality.
With an attractive and effective minimalist design, this infographic delivers useful figures in a highly consumable manner. As a simple presentation of statistics, however, the key takeaways and implications of the data are not entirely clear. Therefore, as a standalone infographic, it wouldn’t fulfill its role of telling a complete story with a memorable and applicable message.
This infographic summarizes all the key concepts that would be found in an introductory book to typography. While some sections are not properly infographics but simply text, this piece is still successful in conveying traditional textbook information in an innovative layout. The wheel of 100 best typefaces, for example, provides a large amount of useful information that would not be as effectively communicated in a traditional format.
Did you find this post interesting or useful? We would love to hear your opinions, suggestions and storytelling experiences in the comments section below.