When designed properly, infographics are a superb tool for conveying information in a highly visual and condensed way. On the other hand, a poorly designed infographic can obscure information instead of making it easier to digest.
This mini-guide discusses how to create your own free infographic, where to start, what to consider, and awesome free tools that let you design a creative infographic from scratch.
Plan Your Design – Work on a Story
In your quest to produce a beautifully designed infographic, you must first think about the story you want to tell. Since there is limited space, this story should be concise and focused. The overall layout will reflect the theme of the story you want to tell, all the while enhancing communication.
For instance, an infographic about coffee’s influence on Americans might take the shape of a timeline-based format.
Titles Carry a Lot of Weight
Bold colours and typefaces work best when it comes to your infographic header. Wordy titles should be avoided – rather, extract the main idea and highlight that only in your title.
Design Using a Grid
Design your infographic on a grid and you can easily organise all your information and other elements. Grids and wireframes work great to keep all objects and elements properly aligned.
Margins should also be created using a grid system because you want your elements to be evenly spaced out along the canvas’s edge so that there’s no visual tension. Here’s a good rule of thumb: keep your objects/elements 20px off from the canvas’s edge – that’s one square on the grid.
How to Pick the Best Layout
There are literally several hundred infographic templates to choose from – you need to decide which one is ideally suited to the information you want to present. As an example, a one-column template would work well for an infographic that’s minimal.
Visualising Your Data – Choosing Chart Type
The kind of chart you use in your infographic depends on how you want the data presented – is it a comparison between two unique data points? Is it an outlier or a trend that has evolved?
Commonly used charts in infographics include column graphs, bar graphs, pie charts and line charts. A column graph, for example, works well when there’s a need to compare data. On the other hand, to show an evolving trend, you might use a line chart. All in all, your chart should be easy to read and shouldn’t take readers more than ten seconds to understand.
Typography – The Heart of Your Infographic
There are things in your infographic that cannot be explained well through icons, graphs or images. To create the right visual impact, limit yourself to using three font types at a time. In fact, a tasteful way to go about it is to combine two fonts to create a dynamic hierarchy of information.
For instance, use one font type for numbers and another for the subtext which creates a nice hierarchy of information.
Here is an infographic related to this article. As you can see the infographics can serve as a great blog post illustration. They attract attention on social media and are especially good for Pinterest.
Best Free Tools to Create Infographics
Canva lets you easily design infographics in 30 minutes or less. Even if you don’t have any design knowledge, you can easily create a whole variety of designs through the default templates.
Venngage is another free tool that works similarly to Canva and lets you design a creative infographic within 30 minutes. In fact, there are plenty of options that allow you to design infographics according to categories and topics.
Use easel.ly to select from a handful of great templates or start completely from scratch. Browse the template library according to the kind of infographic you want to design.
Keep practicing and incorporate the tips presented in this guide along with these superb free tools to create a beautiful and memorable infographic.