Infographics have become my favorite online obsession. I post appropriate infographics on my Pinterest page, Facebook page, and Twitter. But how to create your own infographics?
There are several options.
- Hire an infographic designer
- Purchase infographic services from dozens of online websites
- Ignore the infographic explosion altogether (but that didn’t work out too well when you dismissed Facebook, did it?)
Here’s what Visual.ly, an infographic design website, recommends if you’re looking to hire an infographic designer:
“…look for someone who understands the ‘info’ part. Infographics are used to display information in a way that’s easy to understand. Many infographic designers focus on fancy design that actually makes the infographic harder to comprehend.”
It’s also wise to examine how you would use your infographic designer. Visual.ly recommends that you create a “design brief,” which most good designers will expect. It should answer these questions:
- What stories are we trying to tell that can be better told using an infographic?
- When will we use an infographic designer most? Strictly during the budget season? For our annual reports?
- Where will we use the infographics once they’re completed? In print? Online? Both?
Because many of you currently use page designers, it might be wise to ask if they’re able to produce infographics. Ask for samples.
But know, too, that many websites also provide infographic design services, providing a way to take smaller steps toward creating infographics, on a project-by-project basis.
Any number of sites offer these services, and some even provide templates so you can design your own infographics.
Visual.ly This popular site, through its Visual.ly Marketplace, can provide you with infographic designers and even data researchers who will pull together customized infographics based on your needs. If you’re considering this option, be sure to check out their offers for “organizations,” including non-profits. Prices for customized infographics on Visual.ly can start at $1,495 and take at least 18 days to produce.
But Visual.ly also has a limited number of infographic templates you can use. You can import your own information into the template, check out how it looks, and then download the infographic as a PDF or JPEG. You can also use an html code to embed your infographic on your website, or simply link to the URL of your masterpiece. Here’s what I did in just five minutes of tinkering — a look at the“Facebook life” of the White Plains, NY, School District.
Piktochart: This site provides three membership options, including a very limited free option. But trying out the free option (which will include a Piktochart watermark) can give you a general idea about what it’s like to create an infographic. Their professional option, at $29 a month, provides you with 100 themes, some customization options, and more than 1,000 graphics and images.
Easel.ly This site provides 15 themes that you can customize with your own information. The site is currently in beta, which means that it can only offer you so much in terms of customization. But if you’re just getting your feet wet, Easel.ly might be a good option.
Don’t forget that you might occasionally want to use a great infographic, created by someone else but available for free use, because it contains fascinating and pertinent information about public education. I post these often on my school district websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and especially on Pinterest. As a curator of useful information, consider this (yet another) part of your job.