You don’t have to keep up with all the latest marketing research to know that infographics have become a popular way to convey information. You’ve probably seen infographics in your own social media feeds — and for good reason. Whether you want to highlight the unique advantages of your product or raise awareness about a social issue, making infographics is an effective way to reach your audience.
Is Making Infographics Hard?
Image via Flickr by cambodia4kidsorg
Although making infographics on your own can seem daunting at first, especially to those with no graphic design experience and limited technical skills, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, several tools are available to help you make professional-looking infographics with minimal time and effort.
Still, making an infographic from scratch might be a time-consuming and challenging process for beginners. You would need to compile your data, create a template, choose a color scheme and fonts, design your graphics, write the copy, and then put everything together into one cohesive piece. Fortunately, you can skip some of the more design-intensive steps. Visme, Canva, Piktochart, and a host of other infographic tools offer convenient templates that turn making infographics into a simple drag-and-drop process.
If you find yourself completely overwhelmed by the process, don’t be afraid to ask for help. CopyPress offers several data visualization services, including both static and interactive infographic design.
Best Free Tools for Making Infographics
Not only can you choose from over a dozen different infographic makers, but several of them are also free. These are some of the most popular options:
- Animaker — video infographics
- BeFunky — photo editing, graphic design, and collages
- Canva — general graphic design
- Easel.ly — infographics and other visuals
- Infogram — infographics, reports, and social media visuals
- Mind the Graph — science infographics
- Piktochart — infographics, presentations, reports, flyers, and posters
- Snappa — graphics for social media, blogs, ads, etc.
- Venngage — infographics of all types
- Visme — presentations, infographics, and other visual content
- Vizualize — infographic resumes
What to Look for in an Infographic Maker
Most of the infographic makers above share similar features including dozens, if not hundreds, of free templates, fonts, graphics, and stock images for you to use. They also each allow you to customize your infographic by changing the colors, layout, and fonts as well as by adding, editing, or removing images, icons, and data visualizations. Some have larger libraries than others, though. Look at the “Features” or “Pricing” page of each website to get a clear picture of what each has to offer.
Additionally, although all of these tools are designed so that even those with no design skills can use them, you may find that you prefer the interface or features of one service over another. It’s a good idea to play around with multiple services before you get too far into making your infographic.
Infographic Tools Worth Paying For
If you plan on making several infographics or need more features, you may want to upgrade to the paid version of your favorite infographic maker. Here’s what upgrading gives you:
- Animaker — To get the most out of Animaker, upgrade to a Personal, Startup, or Business account. Each successive tier allows you to make longer videos, gives you access to more features, and allows you more exports per month.
- BeFunky — With a yearly or monthly subscription that costs just a few dollars per month, you get access to hundreds of additional graphics, templates, photo effects, and more. You will also benefit from a full-screen workspace, an ad-free experience, and higher-resolution output.
- Canva — Canva for Work is a great option if you want to keep your branding consistent across a range of marketing materials. This paid version of Canva lets you set up a brand kit, save templates, organize projects into folders, upload custom fonts, resize designs, and more. You also get access to more photos and templates and the ability to collaborate with a team. Canva Enterprise is available for larger teams.
- Easel.ly — Upgrading to Easel.ly Pro will greatly expand your options. The paid version comes with over 800,000 icons, over 300,000 stock photos, over 100 fonts, over 300 templates, and 20 premium charts. You will also benefit from a one-on-one consultation, live training workshops, priority chat/email support, and the ability to add your own fonts, branding colors, and logos.
- Infogram — If you need to do more than 10 projects using Infogram, you can upgrade to one of four paid plans. You can do up to 100 projects with Pro, up to 1,000 projects with Business, up to 3,000 projects with Team, and 10,000 projects or more with Enterprise. Each tier offers more features than the last.
- Mind the Graph — Mind the Graph offers two paid options: Student and Researcher. The former gives you added features like high-resolution exports, templates, and watermark-free downloads. You can even request new illustrations if the existing ones don’t meet your needs. The Researcher option gives you unlimited simultaneous projects, external file uploads, and use of scientific illustrations as well as high support priority and a few extra benefits.
- Piktochart — Piktochart offers three paid plans: Lite, Pro, and Pro Team. Lite gives you access to more templates than the free version, as well as 100 MB of image uploads. Upgrade to Pro to remove watermarks, add password protection to your infographics, export HD images and PDFs, and use custom color schemes. Pro Team makes collaboration possible with features designed for teams.
- Snappa — As opposed to Snappa Starter, Snappa Pro gives you access to unlimited downloads, templates, and social media accounts. You’ll also be able to save your designs and upload custom fonts. If you’re working with a team, opt for Snappa Team so that up to five users can collaborate on projects.
- Venngage — Venngage Premium offers additional features that individuals will find helpful, such as premium templates, privacy controls, and email/chat support. Venngage Business adds phone support, team collaboration, branding features, more export options, and the ability to create unlimited infographics.
- Visme — Visme Standard gives you more storage space, the ability to create color palettes, and access to all of Visme’s templates, charts, and widgets. You can also work on up to 15 projects, with no Visme branding on your finished product. Visme Complete gives you 10 GB of storage, unlimited projects, privacy controls, and more.
You can also use Adioma, PicMonkey, or Adobe Illustrator to make infographics. None of these options has a free version, although Adioma offers a seven-day money-back guarantee, and PicMonkey offers a seven-day free trial.
Basics Steps for Making Infographics
No matter which infographic maker you choose, you will follow the same basic steps to create your infographic:
- Decide on a topic. Start with a brainstorming session to choose a topic. Your infographic should serve a purpose for both you and your audience; otherwise, there is no point in making one.
- Gather your information. You can’t have a good infographic without good data. Often you can find relevant data available online, but you may also want to consider performing your own in-house research. Customer surveys and polls are a great way to compile original data.
- Choose a template. Most infographic makers give you dozens of infographic templates to choose from, or you can start with a blank slate and make your own.
- Customize the layout. Once you’ve chosen a template, use the app or website’s built-in tools to tweak the template and adjust the layout to meet your needs.
- Add, edit, or delete elements. Infographic makers also allow you to add, edit, or delete text blocks, images, icons, and other graphics. You can change colors, fonts, and backgrounds.
- Visualize your data. Input your data and choose how you want it to be represented. Most infographic makers offer options such as maps, charts, graphs, and more.
- Save and export. Once you’re finished, save a copy of your infographic. Depending on the service you are using, you may be able to download a copy, publish it on social media, embed it on your website, or share it with others via a link.
Things to Know Before You Start
Some of the first and most important steps in making infographics come even before you choose an infographic maker and pick out a template.
First, take the time to narrow down your audience. An infographic aimed at teenage girls should look different than one designed for college professors. Although some infographics will have fairly broad appeal because of their subject matter, you shouldn’t assume the entire world is your audience. Instead, decide who you would like to reach with your message, and design your infographic with that audience in mind.
You should also have a marketing strategy in place before you create your infographic. Rather than crossing your fingers and hoping your infographic goes viral, have a specific plan for how you will publish and promote your infographic. Good visibility is key.
On a similar note, you’ll want to make sure that your infographic reflects your brand. Everything from the tone and topic to the colors and fonts should be on-brand so that people can easily recognize who made the infographic.
Finally, make sure you do your homework. Don’t include statements that you can’t back up with facts and statistics. Any sources you use should be credible and cited. One common solution is to use footnotes to cite all of your sources at the end of the infographic. If your infographic is interactive, you can add links to online sources.
Tips for Designing and Sharing Infographics
When designing your infographic, keep the following tips in mind:
- Infographics need to have a good balance of text and graphics to draw readers in. You need enough words to explain what’s going on, but not so many that the graphics take a back seat.
- Your infographic and its elements should be sized for both mobile and PC users, as well as specific social media platforms. Having to zoom in and out constantly will discourage readers. You may need to break your infographic into several pieces for platforms that prefer horizontal images, such as Facebook.
- The title of your infographic is one of the first things your audience will notice, so make sure it’s intriguing. If your infographic is showing up in their social media feeds, you only have a few seconds to grab their attention before they scroll on.
- Making sure your infographic flows well from one idea/graphic to the next. You should also make sure there is ample white space between elements so your infographic will look like a light, easy read.
- Also, take the time to consider how you will share your infographic with your audience. Your options include the following:
- Use it as a blog post on your website, with a brief introduction.
- Ask to write a guest post for an influencer’s blog and link to the infographic on your website.
- Partner with another organization to cross-promote one another’s content.
- Share it on all of your social media profiles, including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
- Send it out to your email subscribers.
- Incorporate it into longer articles as an illustration or into other marketing materials.
If you publish your infographic in a blog post or on your website, be sure to include buttons that allow readers to share your infographic on various social media platforms with one click. You can also include a brief CTA when you post your infographic on social media, suggesting that readers share it with their friends.
Need More Help?
Many infographic makers offer in-house support, such as chat and email options, if you need help during the design process. Some even offer phone support and extensive knowledge databases, depending on your subscription level. You can also find online classes and tutorials designed to teach you infographic design, or you can enlist the help of professional content creators who can handle the entire process from start to finish.
Thanks to the abundance of inexpensive online tools and helpful resources, you don’t need a degree in graphic design to make high-quality infographics. Try your hand at making infographics and add another tool to your marketing toolbox.