6 Top Infographic Design Trends for 2016 So Far

08/26/2016 11:30 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

We're into the final third of 2016 and new trends have appeared in content: video content is bigger than ever and animated GIFS populate every other article. Infographics continue to be one of the most popular forms of visual content for marketers, but they are evolving as creatives look for new and exciting ways to approach the medium. Infographics are more complex, more aesthetically pleasing, and more innovative than ever.

Here are 6 of the top infographic design trends of 2016 so far.

1. Interactive Visualizations
This year, people want content that moves. Experts are touting that video content is king, and designers are looking for ways to put infographics in motion. That's why this year has seen a lot more infographics with interactive charts and graphs, movable timelines, and scrolling functions. Infographics are getting smarter, with many designs allowing you to single out sets of data points on one graph. Because of this ability to drill down on information, interactive infographics can incorporate more data than their static counterparts, enabling more complex information analysis.

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2. Animations

Along with more interactive designs, more infographics with animations are popping up as well, in response to the demand for content in motion. Whether the animations are a central part of how the information is communicated, or whether they are simply used as fun embellishment, animated infographics always stand out from the average static infographic.

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3. Flat Design
Flat design in general is popular right now, and infographics are following suit. Infographics with simple color schemes of only one to three colors, simple white or black fonts, and minimal shading are cropping up all over the place. Because of their sleek and professional look, flat design infographics are particularly popular on marketing and tech sites.

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4. Timeline Layouts
What better way to visualize a timeline than with an infographic? A lot of big things have been happening this year in the tech (wearables and augmented reality are out of control), politics (it's been a wild ride of a US election), and entertainment (a lot of great actors and musicians have left us), and many people are interested in seeing what led up to this point. Timeline infographics are often interactive, but many static timeline infographics have also gone viral this year.

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5. Anatomy Layouts
Infographics are an effective medium for breaking down information into pieces. Many infographics are making use of "anatomy" as a metaphor for breaking down a product or process into parts. Infographics titled "The Anatomy of [Blank]" have appeared again and again this year.

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6. One-Hook Data Visualization
Many infographics are following a hierarchical layout, with one central or "hook" data visualization at the top and supporting data and smaller data visualizations underneath. These infographics follow the inverted pyramid organization of information characteristic of journalism: placing the most newsworthy data at the top and then working down through the details and background information.

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Have you noticed any other new data visualization trends this year? Got any predictions for 2017?