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10 Types of Infographics and When to Use Them

Infographics are a visually‑appealing way to add value to your site. Explore 10 different types of infographics and learn what info is best suited for each.

When it comes to quality content, infographics are right up near the top of the list. There are several different types of infographics, but they all do an excellent job of displaying lots of information in a compact, easy-to-read format. Infographics can include a list of tips, data about a particular topic, and more.

So, what type of information is best suited for infographics?

In this guide, we’ll talk about the different types of infographics, what kind of data they’re good for, and when to use them. We’ll even break down the basic elements of an infographic to help you understand them better. Keep reading if you want to learn more about the types of infographics and how they’re used.

What is an infographic?

An infographic is an image that sort of provides a visualization of data. Oftentimes, this is accomplished by implementing visual data representations, such as charts and graphs. While infographics share these basic elements, there are several types of infographics that are effective for different types of data.

Choosing the right type of infographic is essential. Some infographics are best in list format, while others might work better as a statistical infographic with charts and graphs. The goal of an infographic is to provide valuable information in a format that’s easy for people to read, and that readability depends a lot on the type of infographic you choose.

In addition to choosing the right type, there are also best practices to follow when you’re designing an infographic. You can use the Creative Assistant from Mailchimp to help generate graphics, but following these best practices is crucial. Whether you’re creating content for a corporation or running a small business website, understanding infographics and how to create them is a big part of digital marketing and enhancing website content.

10 different types of infographics

As we mentioned before, there are lots of different types of infographics. Choosing the right type of infographic helps you convey your message in an easy-to-read format that makes your content more valuable and shareable. In this section, we’ll break down all the different infographic style options, including the pros and cons and when you should use each type.

Visual

A visual infographic is essentially a graphic with a bit of text woven into it that helps to make your content more engaging. Visual infographics are often based on a simple cartoon graphic, with text strategically placed around the graphic to tell a story. This type of infographic is effective if you’re telling a story instead of sharing data.

You might use a visual infographic to tell people more about your brand or a product of yours. Other types of infographics are more effective if you want to include data or visual data representations, but visual infographics are great as a simple storytelling tool.

List-based

List-based infographics contain content in a list form. Like visual infographics, list-based infographics are essentially used to transform boring, plain text into something more visually appealing. You can organize your list in various ways within an infographic, and you can even include additional graphics to enhance the infographic.

List-based infographics are great when you have a list of information you want to share. Whether it’s a list of foods that support heart health or a list of habits people should try to keep if they want to be successful, using lists in infographics can make your content more shareable.

Map

A map infographic uses a map to convey information to the reader. These infographics often feature a map of the entire world (or an entire country), but they can be as specific as a map of a particular city. These map infographics may be accompanied by charts and graphs that help explain the data that’s being shown on the map.

Map infographics draw attention, and they’re a great way to display information when you add charts and graphs. That being said, it’s better to go with a simple visual or chart infographic if the information you’re presenting isn’t necessarily relevant to geography.

Timeline

A timeline infographic displays a timeline in visual form, helping to explain the course of events over a certain time period. You could make a timeline infographic that outlines major events in the history of the internet, or your timeline could tell the story of how your brand (or its products) has grown and changed over the years.

Like map infographics, timeline infographics are best for certain types of content. If you’re telling a story where time is relevant, timeline infographics are a great way to make your story a little more compelling and turn plain text into easily shareable content.

Step by step

With a step-by-step infographic, the goal is to outline a process to make it easier to understand. These are some of the most common infographic styles in the everyday world. You’ve probably been in a public restroom and seen a sign that provides step-by-step instructions (with graphics) for washing your hands. While people may ignore a standard step-by-step list of instructions, step-by-step infographics are more engaging and can add context to each step with images.

Like list-based infographics, you’ve got a lot of freedom when it comes to organizing your infographic visually. You can organize steps in order from top to bottom, left to right, or a combination of the two. As long as you number your steps, they’ll be easy to follow.

Comparison

A comparison infographic takes 2 products, services, or brands and compares them. These are also fairly common types of infographics—you might have seen food-based comparison infographics that compare the nutritional value of 2 similar foods. Many companies also use comparison infographics to show a side-by-side comparison of their product versus a competitor’s product.

Comparison infographics are an effective way to directly compare 2 things. Whether you want to show people how surprisingly healthy a food or beverage is, or tell potential customers about why your product is better than another, comparison infographics are the way to go. You can even mix in charts and graphs to give a more visual comparison.

Single chart

Single-chart infographics contain 1 chart that tells the reader some basic information. For example, you could make a pie chart infographic that details the average spending breakdown for people of a certain demographic. These basic chart infographics are great when you need to share simple data that only requires a single chart or graph with a bit of text.

As you might have guessed, single-chart infographics fall short when you need to show a lot of detailed data. Let's say you want to display data about the average number of calories people eat based on their age group. For data like this, you’ll need multiple charts that break the data down into different age groups.

Multiple chart

When your data is too in-depth for a single-chart infographic, using multiple charts is often the best alternative. These infographics are just like single-chart infographics, but they include multiple charts that allow you to break down data into more detailed groups. The flip side of this is that multiple-chart infographics don’t always have the attention-grabbing quality that single-chart infographics do because they can be a bit cluttered.

Many multiple chart infographics combine different types of charts and graphs to tell a more complete story through the data that’s being presented. A bar graph might be appropriate when you’re talking about median household income, but a pie chart is more appropriate if you’re breaking down average household spending into categories.

Hierarchy

Hierarchy infographics give a visual representation of how important each piece of data or text in an infographic is. Let’s say you’re making an infographic that explains the different classifications for video games, including AAA, AA, A, and indie. Hierarchy infographics are great for displaying this type of data because there’s a clear order, starting with AAA titles and ending with indie games.

Hierarchy infographics are often shown in the form of a pyramid, with the top of the pyramid representing the top of the hierarchy. That being said, you can really get creative with hierarchy infographics as long as you’re doing something to visually separate each part of the hierarchy.

Flowcharts

Flowchart infographics are great when you’re mapping something out, whether that’s your manufacturing process or a process people commonly have to go through. For example, a real estate agent may make a flowchart infographic that shows the basic steps of buying a home, from applying for a mortgage to shopping for homes, making an offer, and eventually closing on the home and moving in.

The really neat part about flowchart infographics is that they’re so diverse. You can guide someone through a step-by-step process, or you can tell a story about your business’s processes through a flowchart. You can even use flowchart infographics to help people make decisions based on their specific situations.

Add value to your website

When you create and publish an infographic, you add value to your site, both visually and technically. Infographics help you display information of all kinds in a way to help you design a beautiful website—and possibly create content people share across social media. With Mailchimp’s Creative Assistant and Website Builder, you have the power to create a website that reaches and engages with your target audience—and looks exactly how you want it to.

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