Design Tip: Work in Themes

As an infographic designer, your job is to translate raw information into something that viewers can easily understand. But this isn’t always an easy feat to accomplish––especially when you’re working with a lot of data.

So how can you create an infographic that is both packed with data and prevents information overload for your viewers?

To answer that question, let’s take a look at an example.

This infographic, which depicts the economic potential of high school dropouts, is the winner of a data visualization challenge sponsored by the Alliance for Excellent Education,, and NBC’s Education Nation. The designers, Jonathan Schwabish and Courtney Griffith, had a lot of raw data to work with. But, by giving each category its own signature color and icon––that is, by organizing the information into themes––they were able to create a clear and comprehensible narrative.

So, to answer to our original question: to create an infographic that is both digestible and data-filled, work in themes. By grouping ideas together––using colors, icons, and symbols––you too can turn a jumble of numbers into a meaningful story that audiences can easily understand.




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