May 20, 2013

Does your infographic tell a story?


Make sure you do more than throw numbers at readers

Target audience: Businesses, infographics specialists, marketing professionals, designers.

JD LasicaIlove infographics. And I love storytelling. But rarely do the two meet in any meaningful way.

So I couldn’t resist the chance to share a new infographic from one of’s clients, Charles Schwab. When Schwab hired us to create a series of infographics for the company, we spent considerable time developing a storyboard that was mindful of their brand while conveying a message that was as much about people and behavior instead of just numbers and data.

Charles Schwab’s first infographic, The Road to Retirement (also see their Facebook page), focuses on a simple idea: the power of starting to invest early in life. So we thought it would make an interesting infographic story to start with Julia and Justin, two people in their 20s, and take them through their 40s and 60s. That way, any readers can compare themselves to where these two individuals are at the same age — and then think about their own saving habits.

Click on the image to see it at full size:


It’s a big unconventional in that it’s not jam-packed with numbers and focuses on a narrative. But there are enough data points, drawn from Schwab’s Center for Financial Research (SCFR), Schwab’s Retirement Calculator and a trusted third party, an AARP member survey, to make it work. And the main point of contrasting someone’s retirement savings who started saving at age 23, vs. someone who waited until age 40 to start, makes the point of the infographic pretty apparent. (Kudos to Kelsey and Charles of Space Chimp Media for bringing it to life visually.)

Do you think this works? Have you seen other examples of infographics that tell a story? Please share in the comments!


10 top tools for creating infographics & visualizations (
JD Lasica, founder of, is now co-founder of the cruise discovery engine Cruiseable. See his About page, contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

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