When it comes to infographics, follow the straight and narrow path. By that, I mean your infographic should get straight to the point by covering a narrow topic.

Let’s start with an easy example. I’ll say I’m writing an infographic about red pandas. I could use an infographic to explain why red pandas are endangered or show viewers the various adaptations red pandas have – but I’d rather use it to assert my firm belief that red pandas are adorable.

You might wonder why my infographic can’t explain how adorable they are AND why they’re endangered AND their adaptations. Simply put, infographics are meant to share information in an engaging and digestible format. When you try to cram too much information into an infographic, you could end up putting constraints on the design and losing your audience entirely.

Reader fatigue, man. It’s real.

Building around that narrow topic

So, my infographic will argue that red pandas are adorable. Since I know what I want my audience to take away, I know what kind of facts to include. It’s just like when your middle school English teacher had you outline your essay.

Thesis statement: Red pandas are adorable.

Supporting information:

  • Adorable appearance
    • Small, slightly bigger than a housecat
    • Striking rust-colored coat that’s furry as heck
    • Big head with small face and pointy ears
    • Cute facial expressions, including sticking their tongues out
  • Adorable antics
    • Good at escaping from zoos
    • Roughhouse with each other
    • Communicate with “twittering” noises
    • Wrap their tails around themselves like a blanket when they’re cold

Each piece of supporting information relates back to a subheader which relates directly to my thesis statement.

Look, obviously I’m very into red pandas, so I consider most facts about them interesting and important. Choosing not to include certain points in my infographic doesn’t mean they aren’t interesting and/or important – it only means they don’t support my overall story. I don’t need to tell my audience about the red panda’s diet or average lifespan because food and survival aren’t particularly adorable.

But don’t skip context

When I actually write the copy for my infographic, I’d probably include an introductory sentence or two, just in case some viewers have somehow gone their whole miserable lives with no awareness of this fascinating creature. After all, it’s easier to convince someone to share your opinion about something if they know a bit about the subject to start with.

Thesis statement: Red pandas are adorable.

Context: The red panda is a small mammal, a distant cousin of the raccoon, found in the Himalayas.

However, if I was creating an infographic about the detailed anatomy and physiology of the red panda, my audience would be much different and probably wouldn’t need the same context as an audience interested in the adorable factor.

Now for the tougher example.

Let’s say you want an infographic about your company. That’s great! Now let’s get this project on the straight and narrow. (If you decide to work with Lemonly on your infographic, our content team will be happy to help you with this part!)

Struggling with a thesis statement? Think about who will be reading your infographic, and try reverse-engineering a thesis statement based on specific information you want that audience to know.

In this case, your infographic is targeted at potential customers. Some facts you think you want to include:

  • Your product helps users save time
  • Users report 99.8% satisfaction with your product
  • Your company plans to launch a new product in the next year
  • Your company has 46 employees
  • Your company is committed to the user experience

A thesis statement like “Our company’s product is a user-friendly solution to help people like you save time” represents the connection of the facts presented above. (At least the facts I didn’t cross out. We’ll talk about those in a moment.) Obviously you’d want to expand on these points with more supporting information before your project really gets going. And, depending on your audience’s familiarity with what your product actually does, you might need to add in a little introductory text like we discussed earlier.

Onto the crossed-out points. Those didn’t fit with the overall theme present in the others and weren’t as valuable to the audience. That’s not to say those points wouldn’t have a place in your next infographic! Maybe you want to talk about your number of employees in an infographic about your company culture or structure. And you could do a whole infographic (or even a series) about the new product to announce its launch.

Whether your infographic idea is already on the straight and narrow or you need a little help getting there, the infographic experts at Lemonly are ready to help. See our work here, and reach out to the team when you want to get on the straight and narrow with us.