The attention is on the graphics. The lungs take center stage, and the airway inset is highlighted. The text is placed where necessary, and many of the words are unnecessary because they come across better in visuals.
This felt right. It was balanced and interesting. And even though it was obvious that I had no idea how to draw lungs or an inhaler from memory, I knew that was the direction to go in.
Creating an infographic plan
From here, I moved into the digital realm. I started by collecting references and creating what I call an “Infographic Plan of Awesomeness” (you can pick up a copy of this worksheet on my website, as well as other resources for making infographics). In many ways, the infographic plan is like a mood board, a place to put all the stuff that I need before I start working on the final piece.
On this infographic plan, I broke down my text into four sections: background, main message, title, and other content. I placed my color palette, some references I knew I would need, and my final sketch into the plan.
Creating a plan before starting the actual art is important. First, it allows me to get input from the scientist early on in the process. But it also means less work in the end. I can’t imagine how long I would have spent on this infographic if I had just started trying to draw my first sketch!
This highlights the importance of iteration. My first idea will almost never be the best, but it’s important because it’s the first. It gives me a stepping stone, and allows me to jump off from that point while knowing I can always come back to that safe place if I need to. Without that, it’s easy to feel uninspired or scared that I won’t come up with a good design.
My first sketch ticked many of the right boxes. It would have been an ok infographic. But pushing that forward, iterating on the design, and forcing myself outside of the box (literally, in this case) turned an ok infographic into a good infographic.