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It’s no news that we live in an increasingly visual age. Images and symbols are taking the place of words–to the point that some believe words are becoming a thing of the past.
True or not, visual communication is here to stay. Just look at how social media images have transformed our once strictly verbal communication.
Instead of texting your friend about your scrumptious meal, you simply send him a picture of it:
Or, instead of texting your family that you can’t wait to see them, you send them a bitmoji, which is an emoji version of yourself exhibiting the emotion you’re feeling:
You can put these same visual communication rules to good use when you create your own viral infographics. Knowing how to select and use just the right icons in your infographics can make the difference between a long and wordy visual and an impactful and engaging one.
To help you use less words and more visuals in your infographics, we’ve put together this list of helpful tips on how to select the right icons for your infographics and included examples created with Visme icons. These can all be applied right within this online infographic software, which gives you access to more than 3,000 free vector icons.
Instead of typing out each of the names in a list or chart, you can use icons instead. For example, in the list below of the number of calories per serving of each type of food, we used icons instead of titles.
Instead of using words and legends to label the different columns or bars in a chart, you can use icons to communicate the same concept.
In the example below, we use icons of the major social media networks instead of their names to label each column.
Rather than use up valuable real estate space in your infographic header by writing out long paragraphs, why not use icons to develop a theme instead?
For example, in the header below, we could have explained with words that the purpose of this infographic is to detail different that consume the most electricity. Instead, we resorted to icons to do the talking for us.
Replace the numbers or bullet points in your lists with icons to communicate more effectively. For example, instead of writing out the steps to grow an online business in a text-based list format, you can use icons, as seen below:
You can also use icons in your headers to illustrate the main concept of your infographic. For example, in this header for an infographic about how to fund your startup, you could use icons that allude either literally or metaphorically to the concept of growth, as seen below.
Icons can also be used in the background of a header or section of your infographic. For example, in the header below, we decided to use different chart icons to illustrate the main theme.
The design capabilities Visme offers users also allow them to create customized images using icons. For example, if you need to visualize a speech bubble, you can add an icon of the shape and then add text or other elements.
In order to ensure design consistency and an overall clean and professional look, make sure to stick to one icon style throughout your infographic.
For example, if you choose an outline style, then stick to that. Or, if you stick to an icon with a flat design, then only use that type.
Another way to ensure a harmonious design is to pair icons with the right kinds of fonts. For example, if you’re using a clean and no-nonsense-looking font in your design, don’t make the mistake of matching it with a fun, humorous-looking icon.
Instead, determine the style and tone you’re going for and choose your fonts and icons accordingly. In the example below, you can see the difference between the type of icons and the content they’re best suited for.
Finally, always try to match your infographic’s color scheme with your icon’s color palette. If you’re using bright, vivid colors for the rest of your infographic, then you shouldn’t use dark, muted colors for your icons.
In the example below, you can see how an icon’s color scheme can be extracted and applied elsewhere in your infographic.
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