Use wondrous tables with extremely dry figures to convince your audience … we wish you good luck! Keep it a bit lighter with a few nice infographics. That digests much better and keeps the attention going. In this article you can read how to construct such instructional pictures.
Tip 01: Build a story
Before you even start designing an infographics, it is important to have a specific target audience in mind. Try to find out – or at least ask yourself – what questions or problems they have. The intention is that your infographics provide an answer to this as much as possible. Such an infographics must therefore be logically structured and should preferably contain a “story”. Start with a clear title, followed by a short introduction in which you describe the problem addressed. Next comes the central argument, supported by facts, figures and attractive graphs and charts. You conclude with a conclusion: what has this information graphic demonstrated and what can the public actually do with it?
A good infographic tells a strong story
Tip 02: Present data
As you add information and visualisations, you naturally run the greater risk that your audience will just wander a little about your information and miss the real storyline. You can remedy that with arrows or dotted lines that indicate the flow of the story, but the way in which you present your data is also important. There are different types of information graphics. Timelines, flowcharts, maps and contrasting comparisons are among the most popular types. The topic treated will largely determine which type is preferred.
Also pay sufficient attention to the style, but do not sprinkle too much with colors and fonts. After all, less is more, and that also applies to information graphics. Moreover, keep in mind that infographics are often “shareable”, much more than boring numerical tables. You can also use social media to reach a larger audience.
Tip 03: Find examples
From tip 07 onwards we will introduce you to an all-in-one tool for designing infographics, but first we would like to introduce you to some online tools that can help you – even when working with less specialized apps, such as your trusted word processor or MS Publisher.
To get inspiration for your topic you can of course first google for something like infographic
You can also turn to web apps that are meant to create online info graphics. Most of these services have an extensive range of templates on board and you will probably draw a lot of inspiration from them. An example: here you can go for dozens of thematically arranged info charts.
Inspiration-free? Pinterest will probably let that lamp burn again!
Tip 04: Find images
When you search for images to illuminate your infographics, be careful not to use copyrighted material just like that. Fortunately, there are still plenty of sources where you can freely download and use stock photos. This photo material is usually linked to a CC license (Creative Commons) and the license type makes clear what you can do with the images. Six types are available, with cryptic abbreviations (BY, BY-SA, BY-ND, BY-NC, BY-NC-SA and BY-NC-ND). You find this one here explained.
That’s how you find in Google Images these CC licenses back: click Tools / Use Rights. Also photo sharing service Flickr allow yourself to be added via the drop-down menu Any license filter for CC licenses. Other useful sources are, for example Morgue file and Pixabay. Or how about Foter, with 335 million royalty-free stock photos?
Tip 05: Find fonts
A beautifully shaped but easy-to-read font makes your infographics a lot more attractive. If you don’t find your taste in Office or Windows, the collection will know www.dafont.com to seduce you. This database contains approximately 43 thousand fonts, divided into searchable categories such as Gothic, Script and Holiday. Press the Download button for such a font, extract the zip file and right-click on the otf or ttf file to install it directly on your system. Also Font Squirrel contains a nice collection of free fonts that can be filtered on various criteria.
If you have found a nice font, but don’t know what it’s called, then it will come WhatTheFont! useful. Take a screenshot of the font and upload it to WhatTheFont! With a bit of luck, he knows the name, including possible alternatives, for you.
Tip 06: Find the color palette
Images and fonts can make or break an infographic, but that also applies to the color palette. Four colors is usually a good maximum, with two or three colors subtly supporting the main color. The logo of your association or company will probably determine the main color, but the theme itself can often also be inspiring.
The web app Coolors can help you in the search for complementary colors. For example, you can start from the main color of an image: click the button in the bottom left Adjust, select the desired color format (HSB, RGB and so on) and set the desired color. Then fix it with the lock icon. Every time you press the space bar, Coolors generates a different color scheme. You get derived hues with the button Toggle alternative shades. You can use that if you absolutely want more than four colors in your info graphic.
Tip 07: Find the template
Does gathering pictures, fonts and color schemes take too much time or energy? Then you can always go to various web apps to design complete info graphics. Well-known and reliable tools are already available Venngage, Info.gram, Canva, Easel.ly and Cock chart.
Almost all services offer a free variant, but as soon as you want extra options or more advanced options, you have to take the plunge. That also applies to our own favorite, PiktoChart: the non-profit Pro version costs around 40 dollars (around 36 euros) per year. We show you in a nutshell how to get started with this tool.
Sign up via Sign up to the app – that is also possible with your Google or Facebook account. A little later you end up in your personal dashboard. Click on this immediately Create New and on Infographic. Cycle through the template range and click Preview and on Use Template with a suitable template. You now end up in the online editor.
PiktoChart is one of the better online infographic tools
Tip 08: Edit template
The template appears to consist of different blocks, but you can easily add extra blocks via the plus button. Deleting an existing block is just as easy, via the button with the cross. You can also duplicate a selected block with the same ease (Clone Block) or move it up or down (Move Up and Move Down). And for those who were too energetic: with the buttons Undo and Redo pull the emergency brake.
Double click on a text box to edit text. You can design them nicely using the buttons at the top. With the penultimate button you move a (text) object more to the foreground or background, so that overlaps become possible. As soon as you select a text box, handles also appear with which you can adjust the size or rotate the box. Add your own text box with the button Text in the left panel. Or you can drag a suitable text frame from the center panel to the desired location on your infographics.
Tip 09: Visual optimization
You can of course also add pictures. click on Graphics in the left panel and choose a suitable subsection: Shapes & icons, Lines, Photos or Photo Frames. The latter act as masks. If you drag a photo to such a mask, the photo takes on that shape. Open the section Uploads to add your own images. Unfortunately, the free version of PiktoChart limits you to a meager 40 MB of storage space. Just like text boxes, images can also be scaled, rotated and moved.
You will also find the section in this same panel Background on: this way you immediately select selected blocks with a different background. There are numerous patterns available of which you can also adjust the color and transparency level. The option Color Scheme helps you choose a suitable color scheme. Designing your own color schemes is only possible for users with a paid account.
The button Tools Finally, there are three interesting options: Charts, Maps even Videos (at least for YouTube and Vimeo clips). Handy with Charts is that you can enter data directly, but also upload via your own xls (x), ods and csv files.
You share your finished infographics via Share in the form of a web link or you download the result in png format. The pdf format appears to be a bridge too far for the free version. Good luck.