An infographic maker allows you to rely on templates and assorted visual elements to arrange an infographic to your liking. Most of these tools follow a freemium model. You can use entirely free elements or buy extras to improve your design.
While a professionally designed infographic might improve your organic reach even more and help you attract more social shares and inbound links, sometimes you need a low-budget solution. Plus, infographics creators are often fun to use, especially if you like playing with colors and fonts.
Use the following tips to choose the best infographics maker for your specific needs. Choose several appealing options, test-drive them all, and settle on the one you enjoy the most.
Peruse the Templates
Image via Flickr by Jon Gosier
However, you don’t want to commit to a specific creator without first knowing whether it has templates that not only appeal to you, but that also benefit the data you wish to share. Some templates are more data-driven, for instance, while others enable better storytelling.
Peruse the templates available through several infographics maker programs. You’ll get an idea for your options before you put in the hard work of actually designing the graphic.
You can also consider templates on sites like Vecteezy. Arranging vector graphics with a program like Adobe Illustrator is easy with just a little skill. You can also find free programs that support vector images, such as Inkscape. They’re not as full-featured, but they should serve your purposes if you’re using pre-designed templates.
Keep in mind that some templates are more flexible than others. For instance, can you input your own numbers for a graph so it reflects the data you’ve collected? If not, it might not be as versatile as you need.
Find Out How Much Premium Design Elements Cost
A freemium infographic maker can pose a problem if you get tempted by costly design elements. When you’re working with a low budget, you don’t want to exceed your financial constraints on a single infographic.
If you sign up for several infographics makers, you can test-drive their platforms and peruse the premium design elements. Some might cost as little as $1, while others could cost upwards of $20, depending on the platform.
Having a set budget in mind from the very beginning will help. Figure out how much you will have to pay to design your ideal infographic, then compare it to your budget.
However, don’t discount the free elements. While premium assets seem tempting, the free graphics, fonts, and other elements can work just as well.
Choose a Platform
Some infographic makers only work on PCs or Macs, while others are designed as mobile applications. For instance, if you want to turn a photograph into an infographic, you might want to use an app that you can download on your smartphone.
Cut down on research time by selecting the platform first. If you’re more comfortable working on a PC, you can automatically rule out any creators that don’t support PCs.
Look at Your Data
Data comes in lots of different types. You’ll want to choose an infographics maker that lends itself to the type of data you wish to share with your audience.
Let’s say, for instance, that you want to share data points over a period of time. A flowchart or histogram might work best for displaying that data, so you’ll need a creator that supports those elements.
Alternatively, maybe you want to share a bunch of big statistics. In this case, you’ll want larger graphic elements that illustrate your data point as part of a rich narrative. You might want to work with vector graphics or with a template creator like Canva.
Cluster graphics represent another consideration. Maybe you want to show in a visual way that a certain percentage of all people have something in common. You could create a cluster graphic of 100 people icons — to represent 100 percent — then color the appropriate percentage of them in a different color.
Choose Your Color Palette
The color palette you choose will set the tone for the entire image. Bright primary colors, for instance, create a very different mood from subdued pastels.
Your design skill level should determine how you proceed. If you’re comfortable working with colors and gradients in a tool like Photoshop, for instance, you could select individual vectors and arrange them to your liking, then adjust their colors.
For those less skilled, you’ll want an infographic creator that comes with colors in your desired palette or that allows you to adjust the color palette with the click of a button.
The best color palettes generally include between three and five colors. You can use different shades of primary colors if you need to do so for visual cues, but don’t make the infographic so busy with colors that your data gets lost.
Consider Combining Resources
When you decide to arrange your own infographics based on a wireframe or similar layout, you get more freedom. You could choose photographs, graphics, and vectors from multiple sources.
You could use diagrams from one site, icons from another, and a background texture from a third. As long as all the elements create a visually cohesive graphic, you don’t have to worry. Keep in mind, though, that combining multiple resources can present a few pitfalls.
Visual cohesiveness matters in infographic creation. If the elements don’t look like they belong together, viewers will sense that discrepancy and might decide not to share it.
Additionally, you have to worry about things like scale and perspective. Non-designers might struggle to pull together something that makes sense visually while still telling a story and conveying valuable information.
Many brands create infographics to boost visibility. That’s a laudable goal, but you want viewers to have a positive response to your creation.
Choose Font Styles
Millions of different fonts exist — some free and some premium. Before you select an actual font, decide on the font style that will suit your infographic best.
A display font works well for headings and subheadings. Most display fonts look great at large sizes, but don’t scale well for readability in paragraph form. They’re typically more ornate than their subtler counterparts.
Within the display font category, you have lots of options. Do you want a bold, demonstrative font, or a hand-drawn font that conveys a less formal tone? You might prefer a script font for an elegant infographic or a gothic typeface that conveys stability and reliability.
For your infographic’s smaller text, you can choose between serif and sans-serif fonts. Sans-serif typefaces generally prove more readable on the screen, while serif fonts are more formal.
Once you select the types of fonts you prefer, you can then choose the specific fonts. Survey several infographics makers to find out what options are available in each. Try to stick to three fonts or fewer to ensure maximum visual cohesiveness. Incorporating too many fonts might confuse viewers and give your infographic a cluttered, chaotic atmosphere.
Select the Appropriate Infographic Size
The recommended size for an infographic you’ll display on your blog is one that’s no wider than 600 pixels and no longer than 1,800 pixels. You can adjust the size based on how your audience will view the graphic and the amount of information you wish to convey.
There’s plenty of wiggle room, but you have to consider your target viewer. For instance, if most of your blog readers access your site on their mobile devices, you’ll want to make sure your graphic is mobile-friendly.
Some infographic makers limit the size of the final product, so don’t forget to verify sizes before you start the design process. You can also find out whether you’re able to add to a template with more vertical or horizontal space.
Weight matters, too. The best infographic creators allow you to compress your images for better sharing online. People will generally click away from a page that takes too long to load, so a heavy infographic might deter views and social shares.
Evaluate Your Design Ability
You have to be ruthless and honest when it comes to evaluating your design ability. If you have no artistic experience, assume that you need a very user-friendly infographic maker. Otherwise, you’ll get frustrated with the results.
For those with modest design ability, using graphics from several places can prove effective. You can align those elements on a wireframe yourself and adjust the imagery and text to suit the overall tone of the image.
Advanced designers might want to incorporate some of their own designs. Maybe you’re handy with Photoshop tools, so you want to make your own icons.
Whatever the case, your infographic will reflect on your brand. If you’re not comfortable designing one yourself, consider outsourcing the job.
Decide Whether You’re Willing to Pay for a Subscription
We’ve already covered infographics creators that rely on a freemium model. Others, however, require you to pay a subscription by month or year — often after a brief free trial.
If you know that you’re going to create lots of infographics, the subscription model might work out better in the long run, especially if you want access to premium graphics and fonts. You’ll have to run the numbers to decide for yourself.
Keep in mind that you can usually cancel a subscription at any time. Research the infographics maker first to make sure other users have liked it. Avoid an infographic maker that has lots of complaints associated with them, especially when it comes to billing.
Consider Your Desired Infographic Style
Many infographics perform very well online despite their simplicity. The data captivates the target audience, so viewers look beyond the minimalist design.
However, richer, more detailed infographics often perform better. Their originality draws attention to themselves and encourages social shares, inbound links, and other organic benefits.
You need a infographic maker that allows you the most freedom possible. Browse the templates and create a list of the styles that appeal to you most. Then, compare them against the options at other sites.
The style might involve several considerations, such as your brand image, the content of the infographic, and its context when it comes to your readership. The wrong style might strike a discordant note with viewers and have the opposite of the intended effect.
Review Your Owned Assets
Many infographics maker programs allow you to import your own graphics, such as from stock sites. If you have a subscription to a stock site, you could incorporate premium assets without paying extra.
Additionally, if you’ve bought a set of icons or a flowchart creator, you could import them into the infographic maker for more versatility. If you have a subscription or license for Microsoft Office, you could create charts and diagrams within Word and use them with your infographic.
Alternatively, maybe you’re a talented photographer. Incorporating your own images could give the final product a personal touch.
Consider Hiring an Agency Instead
If you’re overwhelmed by infographic makers, you might want to outsource the project. That way, you have a team of experienced designers, copywriters, and other professionals at your disposal. Creating your own puts a lot of stress on your team, especially if you don’t have any professional designers on board.
Infographics makers can help you design the ideal infographic without a huge budget. Many prove easy to use and full of rich resources. While nothing can compare to a professionally designed infographic, many brands don’t have that luxury. Alternatively, they want to create their own infographics in-house, but they lack skilled designers on their teams.
When choosing an infographic maker, take the above details into consideration. You have several options, so you might want to test a few before you settle on one. As long as you keep data visualization best practices in mind, you’ll be set to engage your audience and attract lots of organic traffic.