Friday, January 18, 2013

An info graphic (informational graphic) is and does what it says. It’s info and it’s a graphic. And they can be created as simple and small or as elaborate and large as necessary depending on your info graphical goal. Certainly— depending on the skills and imagination that the person has in creating these have will have an impact on how nice looking the graphic will be, the planning phase and data gathering has a huge impact on the graphics effectiveness. Here are a few tips to help get you started preparing to create a cool (and effective) info graphic.

What to do, where to start?

Step 1: Decide where and how it will be used. Promoting a service or product, to call attention to an important issue, to help in training, or maybe just for fun? Will it be on your website, emailed to customers, or marketed and sold?
Step 2: Prepare the right team. Have a creative person signed up to create these graphics. When you’re done collecting data and planning your graphic, you’ll want a talented, skilled person creating the graphic to be sure it not only looks awesome, but is the right kind of file and works the way it should. Also, line up the writers, managers, and potential sponsors to set up schedules for everyone involved to review, etc...
Step 3: Decide on the subject “theme.” What will the graphic be about? Websites in the modern world? Business relations in China? Why dogs bark? Narrow down the subject theme. This will help you put together clear, focused content (now knowing your subject theme) as well as help your designer in creating a cool creative concept.
Step 4: Try to imagine the “kind” of info graphic you want. Do you want a small simple graphic with not too much data? or maybe a more elaborate graphic in poster format... You can also create an online digital info graphic that you interact with online like a website. Think not only in terms of what kind, but also how much you want to spend in creating the graphic. Depending on the type, cost will vary quite a bit.
Step 5: Gather and clean up data. Using a Powerpoint file (or any text document if you prefer) create a simple presentation that contains all of the info you want in your graphic. Charts, Excel spreadsheets, text, ideas, sketches, etc... Remember to:
  • Keep it in sections. Break up your information into separate pages or slides so that it’s creating in sections. Sort of like telling a story page by page.
  • Keep it simple. Make sure to ONLY have on each page the info you want on the info graphic. For example, you may have a chart that has 20 columns and rows, but realistically only need to show 3 of those... Eliminate any unuseful text or jibberish you wouldn’t want on your graphic anyway.
  • Create notes and ideas. On each page if you have a specific idea, write it as a note. This will help spell out what you want to accomplish. For example “I picture this chart being a side-by-side comparison with an old cell phone and a new one...”
  • Be sure it’s team approved. Be sure to circulate the idea to the team involved (managers, sponsors, etc...). This is the time to go through the process of understanding what everyone on the team wants to do so you end up with a solid, finalized content document ready for graphic creation. It can be very time consuming and expensive to change the graphics later on...
Step 6: Get it to creative development! Now that you have a well organized plan and content document ready you can have a designer get started creating the actual graphic. The creative developing process may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks or more depending on the review process and the size and type of graphic. After a few rounds of edits and tweaks, the graphic will ready for use!
Cost: The cost to create info graphics will vary considerably depending on the type of graphic it is (small and simple, moderate, large scale, online), how much info, data, or graphical detail go into it, what scale the graphic is (for large sponsored companies, small companies, personal, etc...), and how much time is spent editing or changing the graphics. They can range anywhere from around $250+/- for a simple graphic to $2500+ for more advanced graphics. It’s important to establish a budget or cost value before starting an info graphic as a part of your planning.

Additional Useful Info
Download our Info Graphic Starter Kit. A Powerpoint file that you can use to create a content document that will help you organize, plan, and prepare an info graphic.
Feel free to contact us any time with other questions, to receive free consultation in helping you plan your project, or to have us create a dazzling new info graphic!

Call Mitchell Creative Group at 508-581-9565, 508-494-8182, or email us at