An image is worth a thousand words. This saying is easily disregarded as a cliché in today’s extremely visual world, but it may ring truer than ever. With the vast amounts of information reaching us every day, visualisations are increasingly important to make sense of (big) data and to aid fast decision making in science and healthcare. An effective visualisation satisfies both a scientific and a design perspective, a balancing act that requires two different skill sets. Science communicators can play a key role in translating scientific data into good visuals, but there are several common pitfalls to watch out for.