As infographics are already touted for their usefulness in convey complex messages, data, patterns in easily understandable ways, what if you could make your own infographics? Wouldn’t the process of making them allow you an insider’s gaze at this very complex information everyone else is seeking to grasp? And not just for this added insider’s view that will help you to make sense of your own work, but also for the ability to share this consolidation of your personal insights. Infographics can spread like wildfire and it would take you far too many cocktail party debates to reach as many potential collaborators, clients, or investors as you can reach with one infographic. They are more engaging than written text alone and more permanent than video or audio alone. There is no doubt that infographics can play a significant role as a marketing tactic for all types of businesses.
If you’re not sold on the following DIY method, feel free to put your in-house graphic designer to the task or to hire an external designer to take on your infographic project. But, please, read on first to see how simple DIY infographics can be.
Gather Your Information
To start with, you need data, an audience or target group, and time allocation, plus some inspiration. It’s a good idea to brush up on design fundamentals and hone your visual thinking skills, but you can also seek out inspiration from the many examples available all over the internet.
Be sure to gather information from the most authoritative sources available. Start with government agencies and educational institutions that frequently publish white papers and academic journal articles. These are the data sets that will give your infographic the chops to cut through public scrutiny once it is, in the best case scenario, shared widely. If your information is too new to be found in such sources, attempt to find data from websites considered authoritative by Google’s PageRank. Relevant sites usually gain between a seven and ten ranking on their logarithmic scale, so you shouldn’t refer to information from a source scoring less than this.
Think It Through
Organize a brainstorming session if needed among your team, or run through these questions yourself:
– Does this idea make editorial sense for the platform on which it will be published?
– Is it easily understandable?
– Does it explore a new angle on this topic?
– Are there enough credible sources to support this information?
– Can these ideas be visually narrated or illustrated metaphorically?
Once you have sufficiently delved into your information, it is time to choose the more specific medium. There are infographics that rely heavily on maps, charts, and graphs. There are also sketched infographics that give an entirely different aesthetic and allow for more diverse shapes than standard line graphs can provide.
Infographic Web Tools
Don’t worry if you’re not Photoshop savvy. There are several highly reputable online tools for creating infographics for you to check out. From the most popular, Visual.ly, to the quirky and user-friendly, Piktochart, there are numerous tools available to expand your visualization and imagination. Find a list of more fun infographic tools here. Once you get started, you might even want to explore the world of animated infographics, so don’t be shy!
Polish It Up
Before publishing, take the time to be critique the graph by running through the same questions from your brainstorming session plus these additional ones:
– Editorially, is the most compelling information included and properly cited?
– Conceptually, does it make sense and is it free of redundancies?
– Visually, are the visualizations helpful or distracting from the information?
Well, now share your DIY infographic draft with your team first to get some initial reviews. After necessary revisions are taken, it’s time to share it!