infographics: thinking about design infographics sessions day 4

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Infographics:Thinking about designInfographics sessionsDay 4

Infographics:Thinking about designMorningCommitting to the right aestheticColour schemePicking the right fontsKeeping everything from looking crampedContact and license info

Welcome back to our ongoing series of talks on telling your story with infographics. Today, in our fourth session, were going to look at how you can use basic graphic design to make your information clear and polished looking.IntroductionDay 4I strive for two things in design: simplicity and clarity. Great design is born of those two things.Lindon LeaderTodays Schedule0Facilitator Text PageKey Facilitation PointsBiography PageInstruction This page is just for the participant guide. The facilitator should just quickly introduce themselves for anyone who wasnt at previous session and then get started.NotesFacilitator NotesDOTiming1Participant GuideBiography PageBackground

Bianca Woods is an instructional technologist at BMO Financial Group, where she consults on course content and media, test drives new learning technology, and passionately argues for the abolishment of Comic Sans. With degrees in both art education and education media design & technology, she has a substantial amount of interest in demystifying design and technology for others.

When shes not creating learning you can often find Bianca obsessing about new tech, live tweeting industry events, and searching for the perfect cupcake. If these things sound interesting to you, you should probably follow her Twitter feed @eGeeking.Biography:

Bianca WoodsInstructional TechnologistBMO Financial GroupInsert PhotoNotes2Notes

Facilitator Text PageKey Facilitation PointsGraphic design does more than make things pretty. It adds clarity and polish to an infographic.This session will give quick tips on graphic design for infographics.Instruction So we have two versions of the same infographic on the screen here. Both have the same information on them, but would you say both are equally good at communication their information?(have the class discuss which one works better)

Creating a good infographic requires more than just showing basic content; it also includes using graphic design smartly. Basic graphic design is at the core of every compelling infographic and it does a lot more than just make the project look pretty. It also makes the information easy to view and helps everything look like it belongs together.

If youve already got a graphic design background, youve probably got this down pat. If youve got little to no experience with graphic design, though, here are a few good tips that can make your work look substantially more pulled together. NotesFacilitator NotesASK5 minutes3SAY

vsThinking about designWhat should it look like?Technically both of these infographics are trying to show the same information, but one of them is doing a substantially better job of making that content interesting than the other is.

Thats because creating a good infographic requires more than just showing basic content; it also includes using graphic design smartly. Basic graphic design is at the core of every compelling infographic and it does a lot more than just make the project look pretty. It also makes the information easy to view and helps everything look like it belongs together. NotesNotes4Facilitator Text PageKey Facilitation PointsStart by choosing an appropriate aesthetic for your project and stick to it throughout the entire infographic.Aesthetic choices can either reinforce your message or distract from it, so its important to make sure the look and feel of your infographic matches the topic.Instruction Start by committing to a clear overall aesthetic that matches the subject of your project well. Aesthetic sounds like a terrifying design term, but in its heart it simply means the look and feel of the project. This is honestly just the same kind of design choices you may have made in the past on projects like eLearning, handouts, or slide decks. Much like those projects, the particular aesthetic you choose has the ability to emphasise your core story or derail it.

Because infographics are such a visual medium, getting the look and feel right is particularly important. That means you cant just go with your whims when making design choices. Take a good look at the examples on the screen. Now, theyre obviously comically bad mismatches, but the point they make it still valid: a mismatch is incredibly distracting. When youre making these design choices, continually ask yourself if the choice youre making matches your topic. Its also good to make sure it matches the needs of your intended audience too.

Also, once youve decided on a particular aesthetic, make sure to stick with it consistently throughout the infographic.NotesFacilitator NotesSAY2 minutes5

Thinking about designCommitting to the right aestheticStart by committing to a clear overall aesthetic that matches the subject of your project well.

Because infographics are such a visual medium, getting the look and feel right is particularly important. When youre making these design choices, continually ask yourself if the choice youre making matches your topic. Its also good to make sure it matches the needs of your intended audience too.

Also, once youve decided on a particular aesthetic, make sure to stick with it consistently throughout the infographic.

Notes6Facilitator Text PageKey Facilitation PointsA colour scheme is a small selection of colours that you use consistently throughout your project.Choose a colour scheme that matches your overall project aesthetic.Use contrast in your colour scheme to ensure readability.Instruction A core part of your aesthetic is going to be choosing your colour scheme, or colour palette.

Using a bunch of different colours haphazardly ends up looking messy and unprofessional. It also can interfere with your overall aesthetic. Thats why its important to choose a set colour scheme for your infographic. This will be small selection of specific colours that you use consistently throughout your entire document.

Select a few colours that look good together, all of which match your overall aesthetic, and youre set. For those of you less comfortable putting together colour schemes on your own, dont worry: Im going to include some resources on this topic on the session resource site.

Now, when youre choosing which colours to use where, keep in mind the idea of contrast. Putting, say, medium green text and graphics on a slightly lighter green background isnt going to be easy to read. Stronger colour contrast is incredibly useful for readability.NotesFacilitator NotesSAY2 minutes7

Main ColoursMain ColoursMain ColoursMain ColoursThinking about designColour schemeA core part of your aesthetic is going to be choosing your colour scheme, or colour palette. This will be small selection of specific colours that you use consistently throughout your entire document. Select a few colours that look good together, all of which match your overall aesthetic, and youre set.

Its also important to think about contrast. For example, medium green text and graphics on a slightly lighter green background isnt easy to read. Stronger colour contrast is incredibly useful for readability.

Notes8Facilitator Text PageKey Facilitation PointsFonts have their own aesthetic, so chose fonts for your infographic that match your overall look and feel.Choosing only one or two fonts to use keep your project from looking messy.Make sure your text is always at a readable size.Instruction Another look and feel decision youll need to make is the fonts (or typefaces) that you choose to use in your infographic. Fonts each have their own visual aesthetic, so its important to choose ones that match the look and feel of your infographic. While an in depth study of typography can help you understand the subtle detail of the style of each font, even an untrained eye is pretty good at picking out the gist of how a font makes you feel and what it reminds you of. Use your gut feeling about a font to decide if it fits your aesthetic or not.

When youre picking fonts its smart to choose just one or two that tie in nicely with the theme of your infographic. Why that number? Because its very easy for three or more different fonts on a single project to look messy or disconnected. If youre not a trained graphic designer, its best to keep it simple and just stick to no more than two fonts. Personally, I find using one font for headings and titles and then another for my body text to be an easy way to keep everything tidy and consistent.

No matter what fonts you choose, always make sure theyre at a readable size on your infographic. Also, remember that not all fonts are readable at all sizes. Do a quick eye check to make sure the size youve made your fonts is actually legible in the situations your infographic will be viewed in.NotesFacilitator NotesSAY3 minutes9

Thinking about designPicking the right fontsAnother look and feel decision youll need to make is the fonts that you choose to use in your infographic. Fonts each have their own visual aesthetic, so its important to choose ones that match the look and feel of your infographic.

When youre picking fonts its smart to choose just one or two that tie in nicely with the theme of your infographic. For instance, using one font for headings and titles and then another for your body text is an easy way to keep everything tidy and consistent.

No matter what fonts you choose, always make sure theyre at a readable size.Notes10Facilitator Text PageKey Facilitation PointsBe sure to leave whitespace in between your design elements to ensure theyre readable and clear.If you need more room in your infographic to do this, conside