Imagine, that you need to present a report on your work. Or that you need to explain how some technical process works. Or maybe you want to give the readers of your blog some interesting info and need presentation to match. Well, then, you need an infographic.
Infographics are illustrations that visualize information. They make consuming and understanding the raw data much easier and are most useful when you have a lot of numbers, but there are other applications too.
Downside is, drawing infographics is a lot of work. But we are about to tell you about websites where you can make them easily.
Infographics for entertainment
Infographics for blogs and social media must be beautiful — the rest is secondary. And spending hours in front of a Photoshop window is not something most people are willing to do. Luckily, there are many websites that will massively simplify this process.
After long search, we managed to narrow it down to two services that we can recommend — Piktochart and Canva.
Piktochart is a great tool to create infographics. It puts everything you will ever need just a mouse click away and provides a lot of templates for you to use.
There are, of course, some downsides. The integrated templates are fairly basic, and even then most of them are for premium users only. Also, the image library is rather small and the images themselves are rather bland. Of course, you can always upload your own icons and photos, but your custom storage is limited to 60 MB — nowhere near enough when you work on a large project. Of course, you can expand it — for a price.
Another big issue is inability to use a canvas with a non-standard size — you are stuck with either ever-expanding infographic or with rather unwieldy limits on “printed” materials. Making something like a 3000*4500 picture is impossible.
Still, Piktochart is a viable tool for infographic creation, if you already have the images on hand.
Canva is similar to Piktochart. But not only it allows you to create canvases with arbitrary sizes, but it also integrates a rather large library of various content — icons, backgrounds, photos and simply art. Most of it is made by Canva’s partners, so you will have to pay for using it, but the fact that it is there for you at all is great. It doesn’t change the fact that most of the content is still rather bland. Still, you can always upload your own pictures.
The downside is probably the interface, which can be quite counter-intuitive sometimes — e.g. it took me awhile to understand how to make a background with a custom color. So read all the tips it gives you and don’t be afraid to hit the support up if you can’t find some function.
Here you can see the first infographic the writer of the article ever made in Canva. It was going to be in the promotion for the article about the SSL certificates in the social media, but that changed the direction later on.
Infographics for businesses
When it comes to business, all the cutesy little decorations lose their appeal. You need data, you need the numbers, yet you still need an accessible way of delivering them. But an entertainment-style infographic wouldn’t work here — instead, you need a chart.
Once again, there are a lot of places online where you can make a somewhat decent graphic. We narrowed it down to two particularly easy-to-use, yet powerful systems.
Infogr.am specializes in business charts. Here you can build graphics, charts and maps using Excel-like tables, and we must say — it’s pretty damn good at its job.
It has a great selection of 35+ chart-types and 500+ maps to show your audience everything about your business strategy, results of your advertising campaign or any other endeavour that is better explained with visual cues. Overall, Infogr.am is an easy-to-use powerful tool, even if it is quite limited and hides some most intricate designs behind a paywall.
Much like Infogr.am, Plotly is a great solution for building charts. It has some features locked behind the paywall, but at the same time it expands upsides of its competitor, allowing you to build complex charts (including 3D and animated ones) and exporting them to a multitude of static or dynamic formats.
Our recent chart with the results of the Christmas cashback was made with Plotly.
Infographics for professionals
Sometimes, what others can offer is just not enough and you want to really get involved. Well, Google has got your back with their Development Tools, and particularly Google Charts.
Google Charts allows you to create interactive, fun-to-use charts. Obviously, you can use it to explain business necessities, but at the same time, nothing stops you from using to build a pie chart of your favourite bars. Or a bar chart of your favourite pies. Instead of a static picture, the end result is an HTML code you can embed on your web page.
The downside is, there is no drag and drop. You will have to modify the code of the webpage where you want to use Google Charts manually. There is a quite extensive documentation and any web-developer will be having a blast with it, but at the end of the day, it requires you to do much more than most of the people are willing to.
For those on a budget
Every resource we mentioned provides at least some services for free, so you can always make a decent-looking infographic. The catch comes when you want to add some decorations to it — even on Canva, which has a library of content, most of it is not free.
Unless you are a good artist yourself, the best bet would be to use a free image stock. A good option is freepik.com, where you can find a lot of images to modify and reuse in your infographic. Of course, that would still require some skills and image editing software. We recommend GIMP, which is also free and has a lot of online lessons available. Also, you can subscribe to our e-mails and social network accounts to get more tips about building and running your website.
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