How To Use Visuals To Improve Your Infographic Design

How To Use Visuals To Improve Your Infographic Design

Infographics use striking visuals to communicate information quickly and clearly — that is what sets them apart and makes them an effective content marketing format. But what happens when people make the wrong choice of visuals or use too many of them?

The visuals you use need to aid understanding and reinforce the key message. Your goal shouldn’t be to replace text with visuals. Instead, before adding a visual ask yourself: will this help me convey the idea in a memorable way? Here are the five different types of original visuals you can use to improve your infographic design and support the storytelling.


We can all agree that data has the potential to persuade readers and inspire action. However, the real challenge lies in communicating and presenting data effectively. An effective way to visualise raw numbers in infographics is using charts. Not only do they put numbers in context and make them more meaningful, but they also help readers understand data quickly. You can use a chart maker to create different types of charts such as:

  • Pie charts: to show the composition
  • Donut chart: to show a simple proportion
  • Bar chart: to compare different categories
  • Pictogram: to show ratios and percentages
  • Line charts: to show change over time

You don’t always have to stick to one type of chart while designing infographics. If you’re presenting different data points, you can use a combination of different charts and create variety for the reader. 


Do you know what could instantly improve infographic design? Icons.

Icons are simple, visual representations of concepts. They break the monotony of text and grab attention while communicating complex information with ease. You can combine icons to create decorative elements in line with your infographic theme, use them to illustrate a concept, or add visual interest to simple data by stacking them together.  Here are some best practices to consider while using icons in your infographic design:

  • Use labels with icons to give more context
  • Add backgrounds to icons so that they stand out 
  • Use useful icons that attract and don’t distract
  • Size icons proportionally
  • Maintain consistency and ensure icons match the overall theme of your infographic


Another visual you can use in your infographics is photos — real and stock.

There’s no denying that real photos are a better option. They’re original, unique, and are more effective in grabbing attention. For instance, when you’re referring to real people or objects in an infographic, consider using their real photos or creating custom icons with their photos. 

But what happens when you’re referring to generic concepts or ideas and don’t have a photographer to take the shots you need? This is when you can consider using stock photos. 

Make sure you take photos from royalty-free websites such as Pixabay, Unsplash, and Pexels among others to avoid copyright infringement. While using stock photography, it’s a good idea to edit them to match the theme of your infographic. You can add filters, crop a section to emphasize communication, add frames, or add icons to make it your own.


Tables might not be the most appealing visual to include in infographics but they’re a great option when you want to present the entire data picture to your target audience and have them do the analysis on their own. Another instance where you could use tables is when you want to compare different categories. Creating a table and laying out the options makes it easier for readers to visualize the pros and cons or compare features.

Lines, borders, and shapes

Lines, borders, and shapes are not ‘visuals’ by definition but they certainly are useful design elements that can enhance your infographic.  You can use them to:

  • Group related information
  • Organize your content
  • Break the infographic into smaller sections
  • Guide the viewer’s gaze

This helps readers grasp the information and interpret the content. 

Enhance your infographic design with visuals

Visuals add life to infographics but it’s important to remember that there’s a lot more to them than being decorative elements. The key is to use visuals that take your story forward, make the information memorable, and keep your readers engaged. Pairing these five types of visuals with the right kind of information will help you improve your infographic design and aid communication.

If you want to learn how to design infographics using Adobe Illustrator, our courses can help you achieve your goals and improve your skills.

by Simki Dutta | 26 May 21

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