Profile of a great infographic: Design matters

Photo courtesy of Pixabay user geralt

Photo courtesy of Pixabay user geralt

I LOVE INFOGRAPHICS! I am truly infatuated (as displayed by my Small Business Inspiration Board on Pinterest). I’ve even made a few of my own…however; I don’t deem those ready for public consumption (oops). I’m polishing my skills though, so watch out!

If you want to get a quick overview of a topic in pictures and not too many words, nothing beats them. The little nuggets of inspiration, information and innovation I’ve received from the numerous infographics I’ve read simply cannot be measured.

An article on the Harvard Business Review website breaks down the features of a successful infographic. In “What Makes the Best Infographics So Convincing“, Andrea Ovans describes the profile of a great infographic stating the best ones boil down complex data into quick information, they move the reader and they have a “clear focus”.

However, before you get into content, an effective infographic must grab the peruser’s attention with an attractive layout & graphics, a complementary color scheme and the perfect (accurate) title.

Layout & graphics – Readers don’t expect to see a flowery background on an infographic about social media marketing. Likewise, having too many words or graphics on the page is like creating a character-packed PowerPoint presentation…a great way overwhelm your readers. Make sure your graphics and layout match your content, and keep it as simple as possible. Remember, you’re summarizing information for easy digestion, don’t leave me feeling like I could have absorbed the source content in the same amount of time it took to read your infographic.

Color scheme – Choosing the best colors to communicate your message is just as critical. An infographic that addresses cheerful content probably shouldn’t have gray or brown as its primary hues. Understanding the relationship between content, structure, feeling and color is as important in infographic design as it is in logo design. You can learn more about colors and branding on three of my favorite Pinterest pins. I’ve provided links below (guess what, they’re infographics).

Get that title right! – Infographics are like blog posts, if the title doesn’t grab me I won’t read it. And if I’ve read the entire post and the content and title aren’t aligned, I feel like I just wasted my time! Make sure your title is eye-catching, but also make sure it is accurate. You want readers to trust you and come back for more, not leave your site in a virtual sprint, wanting their time back.

Some of my favorite infographics have piqued my interest so much that I’ve spent hours seeking more material on a particular subject or data set…that’s when I know I’ve found a winner!

References & links:

About La Juana Whitmore

La Juana is a small business strategist and accredited consultant who thrives on developing business strategy, startup ideation and counseling small business owners. As a business owner herself, she is the founder of Black Twin Cities (, a social venture whose mission is to bring visibility to small, minority-owned businesses and events. As a podcast host, she gives answers and advice to small business owners and entrepreneurs at La Juana holds a Certified Specialization in Launching Innovative Businesses, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Small Business Management & Entrepreneurship, and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Public and Nonprofit Administration. La Juana belongs to many professional organizations including The Association of Accredited Small Business Consultants (AASBC), The Association for Strategic Planning (ASP), and Metro Independent Business Alliance (Metro IBA). She also serves as Business Development Director of Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota. Online at Twitter@LaJuanaWhitmore and


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