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What are infographics?

An infographic is a one-page visual representation of a related set of data points; compiled using graphics with minimal use of text. Your infographic should tell us which question you chose, what the solution is and which data points you used to come to that point.

Tips for infographics:

The team at National Geographic have provided tips to help you create your infographic. What’s most important is that you think about what story you’re trying to tell and who your audience is. Let this be your guide.

  1. Do thorough research. Make sure you have numbers, sources, or the appropriate resources to make your graphic. Be sure to cite your sources.
  2. Create a clear sketch (pencil works!) where you outline the process, data, or story you’re trying to show.
  3. Find your visual style or voice. Pick one technique (diagrams, charting, bold typography, 3D illustration, hand illustration) and stick to it. Choose a colour palette as well. Colour has meaning. Use your colour palette to convey information.
  4. Look for inspiration in other visualizations, graphics, or illustrations. It’s okay to draw upon techniques used by others.
  5. Don’t think of your graphic as art. Aesthetic quality is important, as is beauty, but it’s not the goal – you’re looking to communicate information.
  6. Edit, edit, edit. What you leave out of a graphic is just as important as what you leave in. Make sure that everything you include is vital to telling the story.
  7. Don’t rely too heavily on labels. While they’re important, try to create the best visualization or illustration, which tells the story.
  8. Think about hierarchy and order in your graphic. How do you want readers to read your graphic? Think about a narrative flow. Use the layout of your page as well as typography to help guide readers through.
  9. Show your graphic to as many people as you can. If you have to explain it to them or give them intro context, it’s not working! They should be able to understand it without explanation. Imagine that they found it lying on the street. Would they understand everything?

National Geographic's Big Idea explores cool new thinking and innovative ways of approaching our world across a wide range of subjects – from energy to health care, from the ocean to space, from Africa to Astoria.