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A few years ago, had you used the term “infographics,” no one would have known what you were talking about.
Now, these intricate visual representations of information and data are found everywhere covering every topic from how many hours professional athletes sleep every day to the number of oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and everything in between.
While you can hire an expensive graphic designer (one company even specializes in creating infographics), there is no need. Using any one of the tools listed below, with a modicum of time, effort and, in some cases, a few dollars, you can create stunning, data-packed designs that rival the pros.
Piktochart emphasizes simplicity and touts a 3-step process for infographics creation. Using a drag-and-drop interface, you take items located on its menu and place them wherever you like on the canvas.
You can also import data from Excel or use Google spreadsheets, and then customize your creation using the more than 2000 graphics included in the toolkit.
Once the design is finished, you can easily share it to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+, embed it on your website, link to it, send it via email, or print it out.
Piktochart costs $29 per month, and a free trial is available (no credit card required). Non-profits and educators can take advantage of steep discounts.
As the name implies, Easel.ly gives people the opportunity to create infographics, well, easily.
The site features thousands of free infographics templates and design objects that you can use to visualize your ideas. Easel.ly uses drag-and-drop technology (they pretty much all do, in fact). You can choose from an extensive design library, or upload your images and start from scratch.
Easel.ly is free to use.
Infogr.am offers more than 30 chart types including bubble charts, tree maps, and pie charts. It comes with a built-in spreadsheet for easy data editing, or you can import your own Excel files.
You can save the finished product in PNG or PDF formats, add it to presentations, embed it on your website, send it via email, or publish it to social networks.
Infogr.am just announced a feature that turns infographics into videos, making them interactive. it is not available at present, but you can add your email address to a mailing list in order to be notified when it is.
Infogr.am is free to use.
Similar to others on this list, Venngage offers drag-and-drop functionality and includes a wide array of design elements from which to choose. You can customize your design with color, size, style and theme options provided in the platform.
Venngage is free to use. A premium version offering more features costs $19 per month.
Who said infographics have to be static? Infoactive connects live data from Google spreadsheets or via .csv import. Infographics automatically update as the platform gathers more data.
You can embed infographics on your blog, promote them on social media, or download static image versions. Choose from a library of professionally designed themes or customize the look and feel to suit your needs.
Infoactive is free at the basic level. A premium version costs $30 per month.
Visme, which bills itself as the “Swiss knife” of visual content, is designed to handle all your graphic creation needs including, but not limited to, infographics.
It comes with pre-made layouts and templates, millions of free images and assets (thanks to a connection with Flickr’s free photo library), animation options, and the ability to publish to social networks, save as a PDF, or embed on your website.
Visme offers three pricing tiers: Free, Visme Standard ($4.50 per month), and Visme Complete ($14.25 per month). Discounts are available for educators and non-profits.
Canva, a project started by a group of ex-Google engineers, has become the darling of DIY-design enthusiasts.
Not limited to infographics, Canva can handle just about any design requirement thrown its way including business cards, flyers, social media images, and more.
Surprisingly, infographics is not one of the options listed on the menu, but you can still create them using the tool. Just use the term “infographics” in the search field, and it presents lots of design elements you can insert onto the canvas and manipulate at will.
Once your design is complete, you can link to it, download it as a PDF, publish it to the web, or share it to Facebook and Twitter.
Canva is free to use but makes money through licensed images that cost about a dollar each. However, plenty of free graphics are available, so it’s very likely you won’t need to pull out your credit card.
Not to be outdone, Google offers a data visualization tool called Google Charts that enables you to display live data on your website. It comes with an extensive chart gallery that includes everything from simple pie charts to complex hierarchical tree maps.
Google Charts is free to use.
iCharts does not refer to itself as an infographics platform, but a data visualization platform (sounds very sophisticated I know).
Even if it is not a pure-play infographics platform like Piktochart or Easel.ly, you can still create them using iCharts.
Pulling data from Excel, Google docs, surveys and large data sets, all charts are fully interactive with data pop-ups, show/hide series, and zoom & pan. Over 200 design options enable you to customize visual aspects.
iCharts offers a free version, but it is very limited in terms of function. A premium version costs $75 per month.
You may not realize it, but PowerPoint is a flexible design tool that extends well beyond the creation of slides.
Hubspot has a detailed tutorial that explains how to use PowerPoint for infographics design. It includes five templates you can download and customize to your liking.
Why leave infographics design up to the pros when you don’t have to. Using any one of these ten tools can turn you into an infographic master craftsman. Of course, if you need help, our Internet marketing team is always at your beckon call.