For all the importance we place on copywriting, it’s an irrefutable fact that the brain processes images faster than words. Hence the rise and continued popularity of the infographic, which in its purest form, transforms complex information quickly and clearly into a graphic that is easy to understand and visually appealing.
A well-crafted infographic that speaks to your audience and conveys useful, fun, and interesting information can get picked up from your website or social media channels and reposted numerous times by social media followers. Sounds great, right? While infographics look simple to create, the opposite is often the case. Compiling the information is only part of the equation and typically the easiest. The other part involves visually displaying that information. Unfortunately, many of us lack graphic design training or access to design software like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. You should know that there are plenty of DIY infographic tools available that are either free or have a free version available. Here are some of the best.
This free web-based infographic tool offers you a library of free customizable template themes to start your project off. Easel.ly features allow you to drag and drop, manipulate objects, add text, choose colors and adjust everything until it is just the way you want it. You can even upload your own graphics. One drawback with Easel.ly is that it doesn’t include the ability create charts. You will need to create them using a tool like Microsoft Excel.
If you are looking for a free tool which offers access to a wide variety of charts, graphs and maps then Infogr.am may fit your need. The site takes advantage of a chart generator in the form of an Excel style spreadsheet and can easily be edited. As you edit your data, the system automatically changes your infographic to represent the new values. Making charts interactive is a feature not found in most other free services. Once completed, you have multiple options for publishing your infographic online.
While more versatile than others, the added versatility comes at a cost. Piktochart’s free version only offers three basic themes. Paying for a Pro Account ($29 per month) provides access to over 100 ready-to-use categorized themes. The online editor allows you to resize the canvas, drag and drop icons as well as modify preset color schemes and fonts. Its grid style templates make it very easy to align graphical elements, replace text, and resize images proportionally.
The creators of Venngage built their tool with ease-of-use as a top priority. You can build an infographic in minutes using the intuitive interface and pre-built themes and templates. Customizing graphics is as simple as dragging and dropping from their extensive library of charts and icons. The basic service is free to use, while a premium account will cost you $19 per month. If you only intend to create a few infographics per month and you don’t mind that they are branded with the Venngage logo, then the free account should meet your needs. If you require exporting abilities, unbranded infographics, and unlimited usage, then be prepared to pay the monthly fee.
If your infographic project involves creating a visually-rich interactive timeline you should strongly consider TimelineJS. TimelineJS is a free open-source tool that enables users to build, publish, and embed an interactive timeline in four easy steps. Simply add event data into the TimelineJS Google Spreadsheet template, publish it to the web, paste the spreadsheet URL into the TimelineJS generator and embed the output HTML code into your website. You even have the ability to enhance your timelines by incorporating images, videos, and other media types.
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