Magazine article Techniques

Four Tips for School-Specific Infographics

Magazine article Techniques

Four Tips for School-Specific Infographics

Article excerpt

THE USE OF INFOGRAPHICS HAS SKYROCKETED IN THE PAST COUPLE YEARS. INFOGRAPHICS CAN make big data easier to understand for the average viewer, while presenting the information in a concise and clear format. Designing effective infographics is an engaging aspect of public relations and should be approached with the desire to tell a visual story about the success of your school. You owe it to your stakeholders--the people who support you, the families who send you students, the businesses that accommodate your interns, etc.--to let them know the big story about your programs and successes. Let your stakeholders in on those stories through the effective presentation of data.

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Creating these sorts of graphics can be daunting. First, you have to explore what story you want to tell, then hunt down the data from specific people within your organization, and, finally, prepare the infographic that people will want to see. Telling the story is easy--you know the success of your programs--but finding the data will take some perseverance on your part. After you have found the data that tells the story of achievement, it's time to put it in a visually appealing format that will get your stakeholders talking.

Tip 1: Use the Right Data

It's great that your organization has a high graduation rate, but what's the best way to show that? Be creative in the data you want to showcase. What is the percentage of students who will head to a university, technical school or community college? What is the dollar amount of scholarships received? How many students will have a certification after graduating?

Another great data aspect to showcase is your diversity demographics. What is the percentage of non-traditionals in your programs? How many minority students will graduate with above-average GPAs? How many minority scholarships were awarded?

Be conscious of your stakeholders and keep them in mind when planning: What unique data would you want to see about the school? Be persistent and find it.

Tip 2: Find the Right Layout

A quick Google search for "infographic layout" and you could easily get overwhelmed. Thankfully, there are multiple sites that can help you create your infographic: venngage.com, canva.com, piktochart.com, easelly, visme.co and infogram. Alternatively, if you have an in-house design department or a graphic design/print class on your campus, then talk with the instructor about the students creating the infographic. Remember to respect their time and give them ample notice regarding due dates.

When the stakeholders see that the students created the infographic, they will be more likely to spend a longer time viewing it. It also tends to give that wow factor: "Oh wow, students created this?"

Tip 3: Educate Yourself and Be Design-Savvy

Being design-savvy means knowing what color combinations to use, the appropriate use of typefaces and how to effectively use scale to your advantage. Head over to color.adobe.com and experiment with the color wheel. I have found that the best color combinations for infographics tend to be complementary or monochromatic. You only want to use two to three colors max when creating the infographic; anything more than that will look forced.

The same rule applies to typefaces that you will use within the infographic. Use a minimum of two typefaces and a maximum of three. The title of your infographic should be a powerful typeface that sets the tone for the data visuals about to be presented; the content typeface within the infographic should be basic and easy to read. …

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