Good infographics also communicate something meaningful. Communicating a message worth telling provides readers with something of value. While infographics can be a powerful vehicle of communication, they are sometimes produced arbitrarily or when a cohesive and interesting story isn’t present. If the information itself is incomplete, untrustworthy, or uninteresting, attempting to create a good infographic with it is more than a fool’s errand; it’s impossible.

We discussed the common mistakes found in infographics with Cliff Kuang. He receives hundreds of pitches each day from people wanting their infographics featured in his “Infographic of the Day” column, often from brands, agencies, and designers that are trying to generate press for themselves. Kuang said the most frequent mistake these individuals make is that their subject matter is not interesting. According to Kuang, “Infographic producers (from brands to designers) tend to confuse the amount of time they put into researching, copywriting, and designing an infographic with the level of willingness that an audience has to read the content.” In short, if no one cares what the infographic is communicating, then how can it be good?

In Chapter 4 (Editorial Infographics), we briefly discussed some of the questions we ask ourselves during our ideation process, specifically relating to editorial content. While not every infographic is or should be editorial in nature, these questions are helpful in determining the types ...

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