So.. you’re doing content marketing and you’re always looking for something cool, something a little bit outside the norm where you can exercise your creativity. Now, maybe it’s just me but I’m a sucker for infographics. If you post a link and tell me there’s an infographic behind it there’s an 80% chance I’ll click through just to see what you put together, even if it’s useless and uninteresting. Like say…..public transportation ridership
Awesome, so you love infographics too and want to create some great infographical content to put on your blog or website. Hopefully it’ll generate a lot of traffic and some quality leads to make it worth your while. Your witty representation of complex data will be in a fun and easy to understand format, flawlessly executed because you’re a graphic design savant.
Oh wait. The extent of your graphic design experience (like mine) is cropping and putting a border around a picture in paint.
The monstrosity you see to your left is the extent of my graphic design portfolio.
What to do?
Naturally you do what anyone would, and google, “how to make an infographic”. You stumble onto this site in the coveted #1 spot, 10 Awesome Free Tools to Make Infographics.”
It’s got a list of sites that’ll help you create that phenomenal infographic you’ve been itching to make all your life. It gives you some ideas about infographic design and some good tips to keep in mind while you’re creating it like: “Think of it as a visual essay: ensure your arguments hold and are relevant.” and “Remember that it’s all about quickly conveying the meaning behind complex data.”
Well thank you, makeuseof.com I will certainly do as you ask and make use of this, so let’s do it.
If you’re looking for data to create an interesting infographic around I would look no further than Gapminder, it’s a free tool that keeps records of data on major world issues and has visualization tools built in. Check out this video of Gapminder founder Hans Rosling using his software, at TED. (I watched this video in my college marketing class)
They also mention some other cool representation tools like Creately and Wordle. Creately creates flow charts and Wordle will create visualizations based on the text that you enter. Another good one is Hohli, you can create charts after you upload some data and you don’t have to mess around with excel.
The one tool that I’ve found the most useful and I’ve actually used it to create all the infographics I’ve made so far is “Inkscape,” a vector graphic design software. It’s an opensource (read: free and not quite as frilly) version of Adobe Illustrator. However, it’s very functional and if you spend a little bit of time playing around with it and looking through the tutorials you’ll surprise yourself with how much progress you can make in a short period of time. Inkscape is also good as an aggregator, you could for example, take a word representation from Wordle, and a flow chart from Creately and use Inkspace to create a document that includes both of them.
These are some basic tools to get started with infographics, even if it’s terrible, I’ll probably still click through just to check it out.