Building Infographics: The Process and the Tools Needed to Make It Happen

Creating and building infographics can seem like a daunting process, especially if you don’t consider yourself a data wizard or a graphic design professional. With the right tools in your arsenal, however, you can create eye-catching infographics that get the results you want. Discover the process and the tools you need to build effective infographics, whether you want to outsource or DIY.

Gather Your Data

To build an infographic, you’ll need to start with a dataset or a list of key points. You can use data that your business has collected, rely on internet research, or draw from the Google Public Data Explorer or GapMinder.

Whether you’re working independently or collaborating with a team, one of the easiest ways to organize your information is with Google Drive’s suite of web-based software. Use Google Sheets to track and sort numerical data, and try Google Docs for text-based information. You can easily share both Sheets and Docs with colleagues for easy collaboration.

No matter how you gather and organize your data, be sure to note your sources. Most infographic formats make it easy to link to sources in the graphic’s footer, and the added transparency can give your infographic an extra boost of accuracy and reliability.

Turn Your Data Into a Visual Story

Image via Flickr by crstnksslr

Whether your data relates to mobile apps, global connectivity, fitness trends, or any other topic that’s important to your target audience, you can start turning your information into a compelling story. Think about the main points that your data makes, and begin brainstorming ways to convey them to your audience. While you’ll certainly want to highlight the key ideas, you may also want to build them up with supporting data and supplementary information.

If your data is largely numerical, turning it into a visual format is a great way to start the story. Use some of the following applications to transform data into charts and maps that you can incorporate into your infographics.

Map Developers

  • Datawrapper: This user-friendly app lets you create both charts and maps using data that you import into the platform. It’s fast and easy to use, and you can create heat maps that highlight your data across a continent. Note that you can’t create city or country maps with Datawrapper.
  • Google Fusion Tables: This free tool makes point-based maps, so you can highlight locations across a region or continent. Google Fusion Tables is less user-friendly than similar options and doesn’t easily allow you to create keys or legends, which may limit its functionality.
  • CartoDB: This mapping tool is more advanced than other options, but CartoDB produces some of the most visually compelling visualizations. Prepare to pay if you’re planning to create numerous maps or if you anticipate more than 10,000 monthly views.
  • ChartsBin: This app allows you to create interactive maps that include legends and charts. You can export or embed your finished product, so it’s easy to add one of these maps to your infographic.

Chart Creators

  • Hohli: This free platform lets you create a variety of charts that make your data visually appealing. When you use Hohli, you can choose from scatter plots, Venn diagrams, line charts, and much more.
  • iCharts: To add even more visual appeal to your charts and graphs, try iCharts. This platform offers basic functionality free of charge, but you’ll have to pay to create more than one project.
  • Creately: With this app, you can create diagrams and charts, even if you aren’t particularly tech-savvy. Simply choose the right chart type and add your data for a chart that looks clean and professional.
  • Stat Planet: This app both connects you to public data and lets you turn information into compelling charts. Use it in your browser or download the app to use it offline.
  • Tableau: To create a chart with plenty of unique flair, try Tableau. This browser app specializes in colorful, creative data visualizations.
  • AMCharts: This platform includes a range of chart templates that you can use to make your data attractive and easy to understand.
  • Gliffy: This easy-to-use tool lets you turn data into diagrams in a snap.

Photo Editors

  • BeFunky: This full-featured photo editor allows you to do everything from edit photos to create collages. BeFunky also lets you develop sharp-looking graphic designs using images or text.
  • PicMonkey: This browser-based photo editor allows you to edit and touch up photos, You can also create collages to use in your infographics.
  • Photovisi: This app specializes in photo collages, which you can export and add to your infographics.
  • Pixlr: This editing app allows you to edit vectors and access free fonts and graphics that you can incorporate into your design. Choose between the express and the full version to get the functionality you need.
  • Adobe Illustrator: This high-level tool is ideal for experienced designers who want to create and lay out their own images.
  • Social Image Resizer Tool: This turns images into the ideal sizes to share on various social media platforms.

Quote Visualizers

  • Pablo: This handy tool turns text into visually compelling graphics. Although it’s designed for social media images, you can use it to add even more visual appeal to your infographics.
  • Recite and Quozio: These apps transform basic text into eye-catching graphics.
  • Pinwords and Pinstamatic: Theses apps add a range graphic elements to your quotes. Both are designed to create Pinterest-sized graphics.
  • Wordle and Tagxedo: These are great tools for creating word clouds, which can add value to your infographics.

Outsource Your Infographics

If you have neither the time nor the skills to take your brand’s story from essential elements to completed infographic, consider outsourcing the project. Put your infographic in capable hands, and you can take on an advisory role rather than a creative position.

CopyPress

When you work with a team that handles every aspect of design and production, building infographics is a breeze. Hire CopyPress to work with an experienced team of designers and storytellers who can turn your data into a visual masterpiece. Whether you have a dataset that’s ready to transform, you have an idea that needs extensive research, or you simply want visual content that’s relevant to your brand, the team at CopyPress can create just the infographic you need.

Visually

Visually connects businesses with creative professionals, many of whom specialize in infographic development. After working with your team to develop a creative strategy, you’ll offer feedback and then await the final product.

99Designs

This platform operates on a contest basis. You’ll propose your project and budget and launch a design contest. Then you’ll choose the winning concept from the design submissions you received. You’ll move forward with the designer of your choice, and you’ll have a finished product relatively quickly.

Building Infographics on Your Own

If you want to try your hand at building infographics on your own, be sure to follow best practices. Keep the layout simple so you don’t overwhelm your audience, and create a flow that guides your audience through the infographic. Choose a color scheme up front and keep it consistent throughout, as this can help your audience read the infographic more easily. Make your data attractive and compelling to encourage your target audience to engage, and include a call to action (CTA) so your audience knows exactly what to do.

Taking a DIY approach doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch. Take a look at some of the most popular DIY tools for infographics, and get to know their pros and cons.

Vector Packs

If you already have some graphic design skills in your toolbox, you may want to make an infographic from scratch. Download your choice of vector packs to get the essential graphic elements you need, then create your own custom infographic.

Themed Templates

If you have a relatively simple story to tell, try downloading a pack of themed infographic templates that relate to your industry. Templates with a travel, medical, food, or other theme can help you visualize your data quickly and easily.

Canva

Canva is one of the most comprehensive web-based graphic design platforms available, and it has a wide range of tools for creating infographics. Choose one of the premade templates to get started quickly, and input the data you’d like to share. Canva makes it easy to change fonts and color schemes to match your branding, and most templates are highly customizable. This platform also allows you to download and publish infographics free of charge unless you include premium elements, which have a nominal cost.

Visme

Like Canva, Visme is a full-featured design application that lets you produce a wide range of graphics. With this platform, you can find the ideal premade template to tell your story or create an infographic from scratch. With so many content blocks, images, and icons to choose from, you can easily create a customized infographic for your brand. You can also insert links and embed interactive content for even more functionality.

Venngage

Venngage is another high-powered design platform that’s relatively easy to use. Take your pick from over 100 premade templates, insert the charts or maps you’ve created, and make the design your own. While Venngage’s designs aren’t heavy on graphics, they’re highly customizable to meet your brand’s needs.

Infogram

With Infogram, you can create charts, maps, and infographics all in one convenient place. Choose from over 1 million icons to add visual appeal, and create an infographic that tells a compelling story. Note that you’ll need a good sense of graphic design to get the most out of this program.

Easelly

Easelly provides over 500 high-quality infographic templates that you can use to share your data. Browse the gallery to get inspiration or create your own with your unique dataset.

PiktoChart

PiktoChart is one of the easiest DIY infographic tools to use, as long as you know what kind of story you want to tell. Select a premade template, add your text and data, customize the design as necessary, and you’ll be ready to publish your infographic in just a few minutes.

Snappa

Snappa promises quick results, as you can use this platform to create a simple infographic in as little as five minutes. Use the drag and drop tools to tell your data story effectively, and easily create infographics optimized for social media. You can even resize your infographics for other platforms relatively easily.

Inkscape

If you’re artistically inclined and want to implement your own creative vision, Inkscape could be the ideal platform for you. This open-source vector editor allows you to put your own spin on images and icons so you can produce infographics that don’t look like any other brands’ designs. This app is free to use and includes learning resources to help you use it to the fullest.

Visualize.me

Visualize.me specializes in turning resumes into infographics. This platform can create infographics using almost any information on your resume, from your work experience to the languages you speak. While its functionality is limited to resumes, it’s still a valuable resource to add to your design toolbox.

Publish and Share Your Infographics

Like any type of content you create, you should always have a plan to publish, share, and promote your work. In addition to publishing your infographic on your brand’s website and social media platforms, you might also consider submitting it to a website designed to promote image-based content, such as Daily Infographic. This method can help your infographic generate more views and may prompt other brands to link back to your content.

Consider creating a more comprehensive outreach plan to get even more eyes on your content. For instance, you may be able to publish guest blog posts featuring your infographic on other industry websites. Consider publishing related content on platforms like LinkedIn, Medium, and others that are important for your industry.

Since you’ll want to distribute your infographic as widely as possible, always include your brand’s name and contact information on the graphic itself. Consider including social media icons and handles, too, as they can encourage your audience to engage and connect with your brand further.

No matter what type of data-focused story you want to tell, infographics offer a compelling way to do so. Whether you want to take a DIY approach or hire an experienced design team, you can start building infographics for your brand.