Infographics are all the rage these days. Attractive and pinnable, they communicate a great deal of information in a quick, eye-catching way.
But what if you’re not a designer with great graphics skills? Are there still ways for you to work infographics into your content marketing plan?
The good news is yes. Just because you’re not a designer doesn’t mean infographics are out of the picture. Here’s why.
User-Friendly Paid Software or Service Options
The Internet is filled with easy-to-use, convenient photo-editing software that makes it possible to create infographics, even as an amateur. Designed to be user-friendly, these tools equip you to custom-create the infographics of your choice. Here are a few:
PiktoChart is a service that allows you to input data into your choice of templates and create a professional-looking graphic. While it is a paid service, PiktoChart offers a limited free service to give you a chance to test it out.
If you’re willing to invest at least $1000 in your infographic, Visual.ly is the paid service to try. Visual.ly works with brands to tell compelling stories via custom infographics as well as video, presentations, and more.
Creately gives you the ability to create custom diagrams. It has various pricing packages available, including a limited, free public package.
Conveniently Free Software Options
Don’t want to shell out a lot of money on your infographic? No problem. If you’re on a tight budget, there are still ways to design your own infographic. Beyond the paid options listed above, here are a few free ideas to consider:
Simple and intuitive, Easl.ly gives you total access to features at no cost to you. It offers 15 professionally designed themes, various objects, and over 24 backgrounds. You’re also able to upload your own images to customize the infographic further.
With Infogr.am, you can display Excel data in a more sophisticated format. Take your pick of more than 30 chart types, ranging in style from bubble charts to treemaps.
If you’re willing to put in a little research and effort, Picmonkey can be a helpful infographic tool. Check out this blog post and this YouTube video instructing how to make an infographic with this free online photo-editing software!
General Design Principles
Finding the equipment to make an infographic is only half the battle. As every good designer would tell you, you also need to know what goes into quality design. Here are a few principles to remember:
1) Data Drives Design
Never design an infographic without knowing what data it will include. The design should cater to the type of info—whether that means pool illustrations for a “winter pool safety” infographic or one giant image for a “definitive steak” infographic. When you know what you want to showcase, you can brainstorm the best ways to do so.
2) Clarity, Clarity, Clarity
As with any communication tool, clarity is key. Focus on making your infographic easy to read and easy to understand.
3) White Space
White space frames your content and simplifies your layout, creating a simpler, more attractive design.
4) Showing (Not Telling)
Remember the point of an infographic is to communicate information through images, clip art, shapes, colors, etc. Remind yourself to use the design to communicate.
There’s nothing wrong with a basic pie chart, but to stand out you’ll need to think outside the box. Looking at the data you’re presenting, what are some unusual ways you could showcase stats and facts? Consider the below examples of innovative infographic design:
Check out the way a Russian company has worked infographics into packaging:
It’s easy to find inspiration over at Daily Infographic, as demonstrated in this posted image that showcases the many varieties of beer:
Intrepid Design uses hourglasses, not line graphs, to show how much time was devoted to different tasks here:
One more tip—though it’s not design related—that you ought to keep in mind is this: Check your facts. There’s nothing worse in the world of infographics than going through the work of designing an image, watching it spread, and then finding out your information is wrong—nothing except when someone else figures it out and posts about it for you. Even the prettiest infographic design can’t cover false facts, so do your homework.
Are your wheels turning with ideas for infographics for your brand? What will you create? And which tools will you use to build your image?