So you’ve seen a few totally rad infographics on the web and you think it would be time well spent to design one yourself. But how should you go about it? These legendary timewasters must be created by masterful elves in magic procrastination factories, right?
Oh how wrong you are, my friend.
The modern infographic is designed to be unattractive, uninformative and completely incoherent.
If you still want to make one, just read this handy guide to creating your own appalling infographic and be the bane of the internet in seconds.
This is what Pinterest looks like now. I hope you are proud, infographic designers…
Picking Your Subject
For an infographic everyone will love to hate, forcing them to question why they just spent the last seven minutes trying to decipher it, pick the most boring or indeed superficial subject you can think off. Forget the likes of calculating third world debt or political matters and opt for some nice fluffy content about biscuits or bunny rabbits instead.
If you can, simply rejig an infographic that’s already been done to death and attach your brand logo to it. I mean, some people might not have heard of kissmetrics, right?
Before you get ideas above your station though, don’t even think about creating some parody infographic – it’s already been done.
Hoard Your Stats
Gather together as many pointless but pretty images and statistics as you can, and be sure not to bother checking that any of these facts and figures are correct.
Don’t bother with advanced and difficult topics like “basic statistical analysis” or “explaining things”.
A good infographic (they do still exist, honest, just don’t try to find one) doesn’t even need any text to illustrate the point that it’s making, and your jumble of tangentially related statistics can almost certainly make use of the same principle.
No Flow Zone
Blog posts seem to work best when divided up into specific sections and subsections that make sense even if you take them out of context.
So, for infographics, don’t bother with graphic design wizardry like flow. Divide everything into randomly-coloured chunks, then chop those chunks up into callouts, starbursts (everyone loves starbursts) and pseudo-informative boxes.
After all, you’re not even making a point in the first place. Why would you want to draw attention to that particular fact?
When you think you’ve made it long enough, make it longer. This is one of the most important rules when making a truly modern infographic.
What you’re aiming for here is to lure your viewers in with a catchy heading or image, then suck them in so that they must then scroll down, and down, and down, squinting at the narrow image on their screen, only to reach the bottom of the page and feel short-changed and somehow empty.
If possible, make the infographic itself triangular, so that viewers have to scroll sideways as well as down. The average person is more than willing to pay attention.
For the ultimate infographic, combine clashing colours with obscure, difficult-to-read fonts, and add a huge section of references at the bottom of the page. No-one will ever read these, so they’ll never work out that you’re using three poorly researched books and none of your own illustrations or design work.
And finally, we all know that pixels are the best way to measure image quality, right? So the more lovely jaggedy pixels the viewer can see, the higher the quality of the finished infographic. It’s foolproof!
You’re now ready to unleash your pumped-up pointless pie charts into the world.
Consider this the ultimate guide to making a truly irritating infographic. Are there any tips that you can add? Let me know in the comments!