Infographics are bedeviling beasts. The best ones are simple, powerful, and easy to digest.

But if they’re so straightforward, why do so many of them just suck?

The answer lies in their complicated creation, a union of three separate crafts:

  • Writing
  • Design
  • Statistics

 

Let’s dive into the suckage.

3 Infographic Problems—and How to Solve Them

1. Writers like to write

One thing you’ll notice about many bad infographics is the sheer number of words on them—and that detracts from both the design and the overall message.

The problem?

Infographics start off as written documents. And writers are accustomed to filling a page with words. They’re good at this—trust me. But when it comes to infographics, less is infinitely more.

So when our writers hand in an infographic draft, my first major task is to cut, cut, cut. How much? I’d guess about 40–50 percent.

Yes, that’s right.

I frequently cut half of the words the writer hands in. Call it a sacrifice for the greater good.

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