Get All Access for $5/mo

The 6 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Creating Infographics When done correctly, infographics are a powerful tool to tell stories and inform an audience. When done poorly, a brand's integrity comes into question.

By Drew Skau

This story originally appeared on

The infographic format is known for quite a few things, many of which are not positive. Ridiculously tall and skinny infographics exceed the attention span of viewers. Infographics created by clueless or inexperienced designers often have visualizations that don't make sense. Many of them are designed purely as link bait with no meaningful content. Some contain content that should never be presented in the form of an image but would work much better as an html document.

For those looking to jump head first into infographics, here are some things you should avoid.

Related: 5 Extremely Effective Content Marketing Formats

1. Text overload. Too much text will kill any infographic, no matter how good the visuals are. Text on an infographic should be there to support the visuals, not the other way around. If you chose an image format for presenting your content, you should take full advantage of that format and use visualizations, diagrams or illustrations as the primary subject matter.

2. Inaccurate charts. Poorly created charts or charts that don't show data accurately can severely hurt an infographic's message. If you use charts at all in your infographic, then you should spend a lot of time making sure they are correct. Charts are nuggets of valuable information, showing trends, relationships between variables, status reports and more. All of this information is valuable and charts look cool so people's eyes are drawn to them. Make sure that any charts you use are heavily proofread for best practice before you publish.

3. Incoherent narrative. If you choose the narrative route, the story you present is critical to the quality of the overall infographic. A series of disconnected statistics or random facts will never be as compelling as a coherent narrative backed up by data. The story should have a beginning, middle and end, with a smooth flow between all of the parts.

4. Irrelevance to your audience. Being interesting to your audience is key to getting them to share it with their networks. The infographic doesn't have to be interesting to everyone in the world, but it absolutely has to hold the attention of your target group. Make sure the subject matter informs or captivates (or both, ideally).

Related: 7 Super Tips for Creating Powerful Infographics

5. Generic appearance. Going too generic with your infographic's appearance is a great way to get it completely ignored. There is no shortage of infographics on the Internet, and the competition has raised the bar for design quality. A good infographic has a great layout, well considered colors and a visual style that is unique and beautiful. Think of your infographic as a melding of journalism, data analysis and digital arts. A good infographic is an art piece worthy of hanging on a wall.

6. Poor sourcing. Inaccurate information is the bane of infographics. Where you get your data and facts is critical to the integrity of the overall piece. An infographic can only be trusted as much as its least trustworthy source.

So, what if your infographic is a bad infographic? Well, you're risking your brand's integrity. Text overload and generic appearances will make people associate your brand with being dull and boring. Irrelevance to your audience, or an incoherent narrative will make you seem out of touch with your customers and disconnected from reality. Perhaps worst of all, inaccurate charts and poor sourcing can make you look like a liar.

If you are creating or planning on creating infographics, make sure to do them well so you get more out of them than you put in.

Related: 3 Deadly Mistakes of Infographic Creation

Drew Skau is visualization architect at and a PhD computer science visualization student at UNCC with an undergraduate degree in architecture. 

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick


ChatGPT is Becoming More Human-Like. Here's How The Tool is Getting Smarter at Replicating Your Voice, Brand and Personality.

AI can be instrumental in building your brand and boosting awareness, but the right approach is critical. A custom GPT delivers tailored collateral based on your ethos, personality and unique positioning factors.

Business News

Apple Reportedly Isn't Paying OpenAI to Use ChatGPT in iPhones

The next big iPhone update brings ChatGPT directly to Apple devices.

Business News

Is the AI Industry Consolidating? Hugging Face CEO Says More AI Entrepreneurs Are Looking to Be Acquired

Clément Delangue, the CEO of Hugging Face, a $4.5 billion startup, says he gets at least 10 acquisition requests a week and it's "increased quite a lot."

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Sony Pictures Entertainment Purchases Struggling, Cult-Favorite Movie Theater Chain

Alamo Drafthouse originally emerged from bankruptcy in June 2021.

Business News

You Can Now Apply to Renew Your U.S. Passport Online — But There's a Catch

The U.S. State Department officially launched the beta program this week.