Infographics Design Principles: Hierarchy

Good design in infographics includes creating hierarchy in visual elements to help readers know where to look for the most important information. This means establishing size and treatment for various elements:

  • Main titles

    These will be the largest font size you use.

  • Subtitles

    These will probably be the same font, or sometimes a different treatment of the same font; for example, Times New Roman in bold for the headline and without bold for the subtitles. They will be in a smaller font size.

  • Instructions

    These aren’t always in the form of text; some infographics show direction with arrows or other visual elements. Sometimes, though, you may guide a reader to the next section of your infographic with a text cue or transition, such as, “Then” or “As a result.” You may want to give this the same font as a subtitle, or you may opt for something subtly different.

  • Body text

    This will often differ from the text used in the main title and subtitle. It will be smaller, but make sure it’s not too small to be legible.

  • Interactive text

    Check with your art director or your client contact. Many publications use a slightly different font for interactive text, such as URLs.

  • Chart labels

    These may be the same size as body text, but they are often a different font.

  • Notes/sources

    Notes and sources are probably your smallest typeface. Create unity by making them the same as another element.

Viewers should never have to guess at what to look at next. And in the case of interactive infographics, they should have clear instructions about where to click and what to do.

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