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How to Design Infographics to Explain Genetic Concepts

Graphic showing various types of learning - visual, auditory, tactile

Hey everyone, it's me, Nira. For those of you who are reading my blog for the first time, welcome! I am so happy to have you! I am a genetic counselor (>10 yrs) and graphic designer (~5 yrs).

Visit my website and other blog posts to learn more about my journey and to pick up some interesting tid-bits about fun topics in genetics.

Today I am ready to take you on an awesome journey into the world of design 🎨. More specifically, designing infographics to explain various concepts in genetics (or even other fields).

You might be wondering, "why would a genetic counselor delve into graphic design?" Well, stay with me, and I'll show you how this combination can be pure magic. 🧬✨ Why Infographics? As a genetic counselor, I understand how complex genetic topics, like inheritance patterns or testing methodology, can be. Explaining these concepts can feel like unraveling a never-ending DNA strand. But guess what? Infographics are the secret weapon that turns complexity into simplicity.

Fun fact image, 65% of people are visual learners
"Research has found that 65 percent of the general population are visual learners, meaning they need to see information in order to retain it. Visuals add a component to communication that written and verbal methods do not: speed. Studies have shown that the brain can process images and videos 60,000 times faster than text, making image-based communication remarkably valuable." ~ Source

Crafting Genetic Artwork So, how do I go about it? First, I choose the genetic concept I want to illustrate. It might be Mendelian inheritance, autosomal dominance, or something entirely unique. Once I've picked the topic, it's time to create the blueprint. I create a basic outline of how I want to explain the concept and break it down to digestible pieces. Now it is time for some brainstorming… What colors, symbols, and fonts will best bring the concept to life? It's like painting a canvas with the essence of science! Colors that Pop

Colors, logos, and emotions
Colors & Emotions

Selecting colors is where the fun begins. I typically go for colors that not only look fantastic but

also help guide the viewer's attention to the most critical points in the infographic. For instance, blues and greens are soothing and represent dependability, health and medical; red, yellow and orange are bolder colors that exude energy, clarity and confidence. It's science meets art. But keep in mind that there is a whole psychology around colors and how they make individuals feel and react to what they see, so pay attention to your choices. Typography Matters Typography is crucial. I pick fonts that are easily readable and complement the design. The goal is to keep it simple and legible, ensuring the genetic story flows smoothly from one point to the next. No magnifying glass needed here! Also, keep the little things in mind. For instance, people’s eyesight is variable and not everyone is able to read cursive. The Magic of Visualization Now comes the exciting part: assembling it all together. I bring in images, symbols, and my carefully chosen color palette to create a genetic masterpiece. The infographic has to tell a story without relying too much on words. After all, a picture is worth a thousand base pairs. Now, I create many of my graphics and symbols, but there are tons of resources out there that have them all ready for you to use. Some examples are: Adobe stock images, PNGEgg, Flickr, Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay.

KEEP IN MIND: Images have usage licensing and rules. Know them before using and/publishing anything.

Here is a simple review.

Unleashing the Genomic Marvel Once my genetic infographic is ready, it's time to share it with the world. It might find a home in educational materials, enrich patient counseling sessions, or elevate presentations. I also do my best to share my creations on social media for providers or any of our fellow genetic counselors to admire.

Lesson Learned As we wrap up this adventure, remember that creating infographics to explain complex topics isn't just about making things look pretty. It's about simplifying concepts and making them accessible and engaging. It's about helping fellow genetic counselors and those considering joining our ranks discover the joy and wonder in genetics and educating. It is also very educational for you to create these infographics. You’ll find that you’ll retain and understand various concepts better if you are able to break them down and explain them, especially visually. So, my dear colleagues and future colleagues, don your artistic hats, channel your inner creative, and transform the world of genetics into a colorful, visual narrative. Trust me; you'll be amazed at the impact a dash of creative magic can have in your genetic counseling journey. Until next time, stay curious and keep those infographics rolling! 🎨🧬✨


image of Nira Johnson

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