Building a Viral Infographic: The Story Behind “We Live in a Visual World”

We’ve always invested a lot of creative power into infographics and presentations on our SlideShare page, not just for a marketing boost, but also to stretch our team’s creative muscle. But sometimes we create something that transcends both of these purposes, growing bigger and getting shared by pages and individuals far outside of the presentation design circle.

“We Live in a Visual World” is one of our most viral infographics, with over 14 thousand views on SlideShare, and more importantly, a spread across different sites like Pinterest, VisualContenting, and even a photography blog: Subtle Light Photography.

There are a lot of takeaways from this infographic that we believe caused the piece to gain so much momentum on the web from places that wouldn’t ordinarily source our presentation-specific work. But before we launch into those reasons, take a look at the infographic yourself to get an idea of what we mean:

Reason It Went Viral #1: Universality

We hold the philosophy that people love to be drawn in by beautiful design. A lot of other industries feel the same way, from artists, to architects, to marketers creating billboards. We sought to back up this philosophy with a collection of data that confirmed our beliefs. The data definitely existed (see above), and so the result is something that feels like a high five for an existing belief system. Any industry or creative field can feel affirmed and inspired by the information we found.

If you want to go viral, you need to have universal appeal.

Reason It Went Viral #2: Factuality

It’s easy to argue with a feeling, but it’s hard to argue with a number. An infographic is one of the few art forms where data looks and feels captivating, and “We Live in a Visual World” is an impressive, jaw-dropping assortment of stats that hold weight. We didn’t just create a one-sheet with a few facts, we put in the work to research as many stats as we could find that were relevant to the topic itself.

If you want to create a viral infographic, it needs to feel well-researched and exhaustive.

Reason It Went Viral #3: Originality

We don’t want to pat ourselves on the back too hard, but the infographic’s design is gorgeous. The colors are bright without being flashy, and there is a beautiful blend of custom illustration throughout. We used the Ethos3 colors to brand the piece, which helped make the warm yellow tones really “pop!” And yes, we love the little Abe Lincoln at the end.

If you want to create design that goes viral, your piece needs to be as original and eye-catching as possible.

With a combination of Originality, Factuality, and Universality, this infographic spread like The Blob across the internet, creeping its way into different websites and adding value wherever it traveled. Want to learn more about how to create a viral infographic? Check out these posts for some helpful tips and tricks!

How to Create an Effective Infographic

Where to Find Data for Presentations and Infographics

The Science of Memorable Data Visualizations

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