Don’t Take Your Infographics for Granted
The editorial and design team that produces ACR
Bulletin at the American College of Radiology has transformed stale, need-to-know
information into engaging, actionable content by creating infographics. Learn how you can too at AM&P’s Annual Meeting,
June 27-29, 2016 in Washington, DC.
By Apryl Motley, CAE
Infographic has quickly become a new buzz word among
content creators. However, not all infographics are created equal. The
effective ones are more than just words and charts thrown together haphazardly. As
and Lyndsee Cordes, copy writer and managing editor, respectively, for ACR Bulletin at American College of
Radiology explain in this recent interview, infographics require careful
planning and positioning to be worthwhile for your audience.
Sidebar: Has your publication always used
infographics of some kind? Do you use them in the both in print and online?
since we came on board, we’ve worked to bring smaller, snackable pieces of
content to our publications. And infographics are one of the best ways to do
that. We design our infographics for both print and web, adapting as needed. Print infographics can spread over the entire page, but
digital ones need to be more vertical (so that they present well on mobile
devices). We make sure the design is relatively versatile so that when the time
comes to post, we don’t have to spend toomuch effort remaking the graphic
for the web.
Has your use of infographics increased or stayed the same over the years?
We’ve always been
interested in making the Bulletin graphically interesting. Our members
tend to be very visually-oriented and need to take information in quickly.
Because of that, we’ve always relied on images and infographics wherever we
that said, we’ve ramped up our use of infographics recently as we’ve acquired
better tools (like Adobe Creative Suite and our microsite). Another huge factor
has been our awesome designer Jess’ coming on board and taking over the design
of our infographics. Being able to work collaboratively with a designer makes
all the difference in the finished product.
Sidebar: From the editors’ perspective, what's most challenging
about identifying potential content for infographics?
tricky to pare down all the information. It’s also hard to get away from the
idea that infographics are only statistics. They’re definitely the quickest to
visually take in information, but lots of other pieces of content make great
infographics. For instance, we’re working on one in an upcoming issue about
Sidebar: As a team, what goals/objectives did you
identify and agree upon for creating infographics? How do you generally work
together to ensure that your infographics achieve the goals that you want?
generally stick with the following criteria when deciding if information
warrants an infographic:
- Would a graphic treatment make the information visually interesting and tell
we convey the infographic in both print and digital?
- Would this information make more sense in a different format?
As the editors are
gathering the information for the infographic, we come up with examples of how
the information might look and which connections need to be made visually. We
build in lots of time for concepting and review, same as we would an article.
Sidebar: What are three lessons learned/pitfalls that
you would suggest that others avoid in creating infographics for their pubs?
just add clipart to go with sentence-long pieces of information. Your art needs to be able to convey the
same information you’d get across with
words. Find the right balance between words and
- Don’t just throw a bunch of statistics at
your designer and hope they can make sense of it graphically. Editors need
to identify topline information, takeaways, and connections between
- Don’t expect to use the same file in
print as online. People expect different things from content on the web, so
you need to adapt the format, design, and potentially the wording.
Learn more about the ACR Bulletin team’s approach to
developing infographics during their AM&P Annual Meeting session, The Big
Picture: What Your Designer Wishes You Knew about Infographics, on Wednesday, June 29, 1:15 – 2:15 p.m.
Apryl Motley, CAE is a communications consultant and freelance writer.
She is a frequent contributor to Association Media & Publishing’s Signature
magazine and a member of its Content Creation Committee.