Infographic: 10 steps to craft more striking visual content

Keep your design simple, and be mindful of color, typography and layout.

It’s often difficult to grab readers with mere words.

Visuals, however, draw eyeballs like moths to a tantalizing flame. Unfortunately, most comms teams lack the magnificent blessing of having a seasoned graphic designer on call. With budgets tightening, expectations increasing and workloads bloating, more communicators are asked to incorporate visual storytelling components into their work.

Regardless of your expertise (or lack thereof), Column Five Media offers 10 timeless tips for designing better, more effective visual content. The guidance suggests paying special attention to:

  • Color, which “should be used sparingly.” Column Five recommends using “no more than five colors in a single layout,” so don’t go too wild with the MS Paint (unless you’re this good at it).
  • Typography, with an emphasis on clarity and legibility. Hard-to-read fonts might promote better memory retention in some cases, but let’s be real: Ninety-nine percent of readers will bounce if your visuals cause any strain on the eyes. If you’d like to avoid using illegible fonts, here are 168 of them.
  • Layout, which should “present content in a way that guides readers through in a logical hierarchy.” Be consistent, clear and concise with each ort of information you present, and avoid muddling your message with cluttered content or off-kilter positioning.
  • Data, of which less is more. There’s no such thing as too much pie in real life, but four pie charts are one too many.
  • In the same spirit of trimming datapoints, simplicity should be the goal. Too many design bells and whistles can kill your story and frustrate readers. Keep your visuals clean, tidy and simple, and get straight to the point.

Even if you lack an eye for design, there’s never been more help available for visual content laypersons. Reviews the rest of Column Five Media’s infographic for even more helpful advice.

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