Cringe-Worthy Infographic Mistakes to Avoid

This year infographics hit their stride, and I see no signs of this trend slowing any time soon. But for each good one I enjoyed reading, it seemed I saw yet another that made me cringe. As you go full steam ahead planning your 2013 marketing campaigns, it’s important to avoid these major mistakes before distributing an infographic.

Mistake 1: Poorly organized information

You have some cool statistics and some trending news to share – time to head to the design department to make an infographic? Perhaps, but first stop and think thoroughly about how you want the information organized. Presenting information in this visual format is very different than in an email, article or even an advertisement. Work with your designer to organize and create a hierarchy of the information so it can be clearly presented.

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Mistake 2: Too much text

An infographic is meant to quickly convey a message through the pairing of visual design and information. If you are putting in loads of text, you’re not creating an infographic that benefits anyone and the reader is likely to click away. Furthermore, having too much text typically means the font size will be smaller – hard to read on a computer screen and likely impossible to read on mobile.

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Mistake 3: Font and color overload

Too often I see infographics with a plethora of different fonts and colors – and my mind goes blank. This toxic design cocktail leaves me confused on where to focus, so then I simply move on. While it’s important to utilize your creative side when developing an infographic, it’s just as important to employ basic design principles and not overdo it. (Leave the rainbow artwork to your kid at home.)

Mistake 4: Grammar and spelling errors

It may have a catchy title. It may have unique design. It might even unveil some really cool information. But, if your infographic has grammar and spelling mistakes, you’re going to be left looking foolish. Always have multiple people review your infographic before publishing it – that means your copywriter, marketing lead and even the intern – so it doesn’t go out with mistakes. Remember, even if you make corrections after distribution, the erroneous original may live on the Web forever, and no one wants the tainted reputation that goes along with that.

These are my top four cringe-worthy infographic mistakes – do you have any to add to the list? What makes an infographic really stand out in a good way?

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