5 skills an Infographic Designer MUST have and you do not know about
I have designed infographics for about 6 years now and I still find people who do not know what to expect from me and their final design.
People send me pages of text, pages of numbers that do not make any sense or have no purpose. What do I do with it?
I read it all, I organize it, I make the ideas flow and make a decision if it is actually an infographic or data visualization.
1. The goal finder
So the first skill is: having an eye for finding a goal/objective for the text and data clients send to me.
If the text or the data is not nicely organized, I am not able to visualize the infographic and therefore I can not come up with a story.
It is pretty hard to come up with a story, I know...Many people want to put a story in something but this is not always possible. You can just go with a pleasantly visual way to show something. It doesn't have to be entertaining all the time. Visualize the data and you will be fine.
When the client is not able to offer the data, I must put on the researcher hat. It is a heavy hat especially when the I am not familiar with the industry terms and methodology.
2. The storyteller
This takes me to second most useful skill an infographic designer must have: imagination and skill to visualize and NOT TELL the "story".
3. The mathematician
One skill that nobody talks about is working in Excel Sheets and researching. So yeah, I have to know some math and work with Excel sheets in order to offer valuable and correct information.
4. The illustrator
I must also be creative and learn Illustrator so we will be able to create custom graphs and charts that combines with relevant illustrations.
Did you know that Illustrator is pretty much the only tool that allows me to create custom graphs and charts? So next time you ask me to create a custom chart and graph in PowerPoint, just know that you are killing me slowly but surely.
5. The Communicator
You might say, what is the big deal? Every designer must communicate with their clients.
Trust me, this type of communication is special. I want you to imagine having to work with 1000 rows and 10 columns of data and just when you think that you are done, a number is incorrect. What do you do?
You have to start all over again. Yes, you heard me, All over again. One single digit can ruin a custom data visualization.
You have to communicate often, clearly and be very specific when talking about the goals, the story, the data, the changes.