Converting Fact Sheets to Infographics

A recent OSU Extension infographic based on information from an updated fact sheet.
A recent OSU Extension infographic based on information from an updated fact sheet.

While putting together a social media strategy for the new Live Smart Ohio blogsite, my colleagues at the Ohio State University and I realized that we couldn’t design a sleek new blog and expect our readers to engage with Family & Consumer Sciences fact sheets. Did we really want to put PDFs on a blogsite? No. Definitely not.

So we worked with a graphic designer in OSU’s Education and Human Ecology communication’s department to (slowly) create infographics from our FCS fact sheets. Here is an example. There were a couple stipulations to this: 1) we would only create infographics for UPDATED fact sheets and 2) we would still post a link to a PDF version for those who truly were interested in reading the entire fact sheet or wanted a printable copy.

There are numerous benefits to sharing key information from a fact sheet through an infographic, but here are the main pros:

  • People tend to be visual learners in today’s digital environment. They’re much more likely to scan the visuals of an infographic than read 2 pages of text.
  • Infographics have a much higher share factor on social media. Online audiences are more likely to share a visual post than one that is text based. It will also catch their attention more when they’re scrolling through their newsfeed on Facebook or browsing their Twitter feed. And of course, infographics definitely fit in to visually-based social media tools such as Pinterest and Instagram while a fact sheet, well, does not.
  • Infographics give life to the great, credible information Extension professionals share. Much of the research-based information Extension shares online is looked over, simply because it’s too academic. It’s not attention getting. Infographics can transform the most boring of statistics and information into something interesting for online readers.

In a perfect world, all Extension program staff would have access to graphic designers who could assist them in creating their infographics. But in reality, many do not. For those interested in creating infographics themselves, Canva is a free and easy to use graphic design tool that I highly recommend. A note of caution however, if you create your own infographics, check with your branding team to see if it adheres to your University and organization’s branding guidelines. A good social media presence is a consistent one, and consistent branding is a key aspect of any successful social media strategy.

How has your organization transformed fact sheet information? Have you experimented with infographics? Let us know in the comments!

8 Replies to “Converting Fact Sheets to Infographics”

  1. This seems like a great idea, but I’m having trouble accessing your sample infographics at a resolution that makes them legible – the text is much too small on my office monitor. I can read this one if I hit ctrl-+ several times, but most people won’t do that. And I can’t do that for this other one, also linked from your post .

    Am I missing something obvious? Thanks for your help and for sharing a good idea.

    1. Thanks for your comment! It may depend on which browser you’re using to view the infographic. I use Chrome, and when I pull up the infographic image in it’s own browser window, a magnifying glass appears to zoom in. Once I click to zoom in, it’s clear and legible. Anyone else have tips or insight?

  2. I concur, the text in my browser is too small to be readable (Safari). When I click on the graphic it appears to actually shrink to fit a “page” view. I see no magnifying lens to zoom in and read the content.

  3. I’m using Chrome. I’m able to zoom in on the page with the embedded image, but the image appears to be a low resolution PNG, so zooming in to increase the text size leads to the text being illegible because it becomes blurry.

    Maybe consider using an image with higher resolution. For example, the file size for this image isn’t much larger, but retains its sharpness & clarity under zoom:

    Hope this helps.

  4. This is great. I know about Canva, and even PowerPoint is a good beginner platform for infographics. For some, the issue time and or money to hire someone who can do them quickly. But I do want to experiment more. They are very cool!

  5. Our team just finished our first infographic, about a new coastal watershed program. The specialist wanted something that Extension administrators, local officials, and prospective funders could grasp quickly and easily. We also created a 1-page fact sheet to give to folks wanting more info on the program.

    Because this concept was so new to the specialist, and a first for us, it took many, many iterations and revisions big and small before he was happy with it. But he loved the final product.

    BTW, the Noun Project offers 150,000+ icons (either for sale or for free if you credit the designer) that might be useful for infographic creation: As an editor, they helped me start to think about how to convert a fact sheet into something more succinct and visual.

    1. That’s great to hear Diane! Do you have a link to your infographic to share? Thanks for the resource link as well – very helpful!

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