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5 Reasons Designers Should Learn Infographic Design

Nadya K March 31, 2021 · 7 min read
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Working for a company dedicated to creating great infographics, having a team of talented and dedicated designers is absolutely crucial. I’ve seen many design portfolios come our way, and met with a number of recently graduated designers, and some more experienced ones. While all very talented with interesting projects featured in their portfolios, I couldn’t help but notice one modern skill set that was missing: infographic examples. I decided to ask our designers at Venngage what they were taught when putting together their portfolios in school. Both of them went to OCAD University in Toronto. I was surprised to learn that neither of them were ever encouraged to include examples of infographics or data visualizations in their portfolios. In fact, they barely received any instruction on putting together a proper portfolio for after graduation. Both, however, were told to present works that best reflected their individual styles and to demonstrate consistency in their work.

Infographics: a key marketing asset

I’ll admit that it certainly is appreciated to get a sense of a person’s design aesthetic, but with 65% of senior marketers stating that infographics and visual assets function as a core component of communicating their brand story, it becomes more evident how important it is to portray one’s experience with infographic design in a portfolio. Furthermore, unlike the art of editing images and producing illustrations, infographic design requires a strong understanding of texts and fonts, spacing and data visualization. More and more opportunities are opening up for those with a design background, so it’s important for designers to take full advantage of their skill sets, and present them as much as possible, particularly when looking for work in advertising and marketing industries. The startup culture is booming, and it is now easier than ever for individuals to start their own companies. Many of these companies make use of infographics as an essential component of their content marketing strategy. In the past 4 years or so, the popularity in the study of infographics has been on a steady climb. At this rate, in just a few years there will be an intersection in fields, meaning that the terms graphic design and infographic may be considered interchangeable. For those who are currently studying graphic design in college and university, developing an understanding of the design principles of infographics, and the manipulation of data is no longer a choice, but a necessity. In fact, a quick Google search will show you that more and more businesses are posting positions for, “Infographic designers” or “Graphic designers who can make infographics”. Think of how much quicker a designer with “Infographic Design” on their resume would get a call. Even for those designers who know nothing about infographic design specifically, it’s not that much of a stretch from what you do already know about design. Here are 5 reasons you may want to consider learning to create infographics:

1. You already know about typography

For most designers, typography courses are required in school, so you already have a good understanding of fonts. A huge part of infographic design is having a keen eye for texts and fonts considering that the vast majority of infographics are a combination of typography, illustration and data visualization. Many infographics, like the example below, manipulate the size, color and position of fonts to create unique illustrations and word cloud infographics.

2. You know your way around editing software

Luckily, as a graphic designer, additional training in graphic software like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop is probably not required. In the event that you do not own this software, or you never had training in design but you’re still trying to design infographics for your own business, you can choose from a range of online infographic maker tools, most of which cost a fraction of the price than some of the more professional software. create infographic

3. You can use your illustration skills

If your background is in illustration, you have an even greater advantage of being hired for a position that requires infographic design. Why? Because illustrations add a unique aesthetic to a company’s brand. They are very popular and well-received among marketers and B2B companies, particularly those who focus on content marketing. Below is an example of an illustrated infographic that provides some insight on how to depict data in a more aesthetic manner. data

4. As a designer, you know about color theory

It might come as a shock, but not many people are able to produce visuals in which the colors work in harmony. Many amateurs who make infographics seem to have no concept of color coordination and tend to use dark color texts over dark backgrounds, or light texts on light backgrounds. The results are bad visuals that do more harm to a person’s brand than good. If you have any knowledge of color balance, you are at a significant advantage. infographic color scheme color wheel

It’s a smart choice to dive into data visualization & information design

This is the category that many designers do not have much knowledge in. A quick conversation with the designers at Venngage made me very aware of the lack of “cool” associated with the term “data visualization”. When given the opportunity of choosing an elective, one of my designers opted to take courses in old printing styles and methods. Since so many graphic designers are artists and are therefore interested in learning about physical creations like sculpture, painting and printing, it’s natural that data visualization might be considered unwarranted of further study and practice. It seems so much more interesting to learn a vintage design technique, than to learn about visualizing numbers and data into charts. Most artistically inclined people tend to shy away from mathematics or physics related courses. Contrary to belief, however, the ability to visualize numbers and data is in fact a very sought after skill and an artform in itself. Many magazines and online publications, like Wired, The Huffington Post, The New York Times and The Washington Post seek out data visualizations constantly. As a designer, demonstrating that this skill is in your repertoire can place you at a great advantage, and can truly add to your artistic range.

Infographic design: give it a try.

The point is, the knowledge required for infographic design isn’t that much of a stretch for those already trained in graphic design. There are plenty of resources available online to teach you the basics, and many companies are aware of the fact that learning such skills isn’t impossible. It simply opens up more possibilities for a designer entering the workforce if you show that you understand the value of featuring some infographics in your portfolio. Whether you create an infographic poster of your favorite movie or TV show, or make a visual representation of your resume, there are a number of ways that you can use your design skills to portray your infographic creation abilities.

Nadya Khoja is a Visual Content and Digital Marketing Specialist. She is part of the team at Venngage, an online infographic maker. Nadya has a B.A. with Specialized Honours in Devised Theatre and a Master’s Degree in Digital Media with a focus on Audience Engagement and Immersive Experiences. When she has time, Nadya directs, produces and sound designs for experimental and interactive performances. For more marketing and infographic insights, tweet her at @nadyakhoja or check out her blog.

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