What’s the fastest way to learn how to create infographics?

What's the fastest way to learn how to create infographics? by @chimbrew

Answer by Andrei Cimbru:

Listen! If you don’t want your infographics to be mediocre you need to get one thing straight first.

If you want to learn how to create beautiful infographics, you need to learn how to practice storytelling.

That is the essence of all great infographics (or any presentation whatsoever). It’s the information you portray through a story, be it an analysis of a certain market or a certain progression path. The audience should feel that they have it clearer at the end of the infographics and they should think “hmm, I believe this should happen next.” They are inspired to continue the story, maybe even their own separate story if the information displayed was related to another matter.

Infographics should encourage people to think laterally instead of vertically. That’s why you have this overview of all these connecting elements.

I’ve seen so many bad infographics out there (I’m not going to post them here) with all these fancy arrows, perfectly designed shapes, forms with great colors that just confused my brains out and made me think

“Ah well, this was a big pile of… uhm, nothing”

And the worst part was that you could see that those artists and designers where seriously talented with a keen eye for details, but the overall infographic was missing that flow that made the whole presentation immersive and clear.

Remember, first thing learn how to create a engaging story. One of the many methods out there for you to practice this is watching Simon’s Sinek Golden Circle video. Or you could check Anna Vital’s work to get the idea, she really creates some great infographics.

Believe me, you can make the most boring finance data or the most average presentation seem so awesome.

Once you mastered this, basically you could use any tool to create great work. MS Paint anyone? But, I will provide you here with some great tips I collected along the way when I was making presentations for corporate groups or event audiences in order to have great visuals that stand out.

a) Colors

Learn what a color palette is and how to use it properly.

You need to have a limited range of colors that although might seem different, they actually complement one another.

Bellow you can see an example of different awesome pallets. *Credits here

Color pallets are created from a combination of HSV (Hue, Saturation and Value).

Hue represents the color, the wavelength inside the color spectrum.

Saturation represents how alive a certain color feels. Ranging from simple grey to eye popping color.

Value represents the light intensity, ranging from completely black to completely white.

Any combination of these 3 elements can help you create stunning visuals.

Other great examples of color pallets can be found here and here, although my main advice is experiment and get a feel of what works for you.

Check out these 3 great tool that can really help you experiment with different sets.

Palleton

Coleure

Collor

b) Fonts

You want to limit yourself to 1–3 font types in a presentation. Even 3 sounds too much but for example you could use one for the tile, one for the storytelling and description of data and one for footnotes etc. Depends on the work, lately I just use the same font everywhere, because I really like it.

Here are some of my favorite classic font types.

Roboto, Sans Serif, Bebas Neue, Helvetica Neue

You have to find a font that works with the theme.

For example, an infographic describing art would be better suited with a font that could be handwritten instead of a font that is more techy (this might go for computer infographics)

Great resources for free fonts can be found here:

TypeGenius -> shows recommended fonts based on an example

FontSquirell -> free fonts

FontFaceNinja -> a browser extension that shows the name of fonts used on a page

c) Graphics

If you plan on having drawings in your presentation, make sure you have them as vector drawings. Use Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape for any shapes, faces or environments that you need to draw. If you want to download already created artwork here are a couple of free resources I’ve used in the past:

Flaticon

Icomoon

EgoIcons

GraphicBurger

SketchAppResources

d) Context & Harmony

This point is about combining them all together. You need to match a certain color pallete, with a certain type of font, and a certain type of graphics.

Take the following two examples for creating an infographic about plants and tree types:

  1. Predominantly red color pallete, Bauhaus font, abstract shapes and geometry, maybe an 8-pixel block theme that displays pixelated plants.
  2. Predominantly green and light brown pallete, Sans Serif font (you are always safe with this option), and soft vector graphics of trees maybe with some natural leaf-like spirals that connect everything together.

If you chose option number 2, then you understand the idea. Everything needs to come together and this is what will capture and engage your audience.

Any of these separate options might be good and innovative, but a great infographic displays all these elements in a harmonious way.

These are the main 4 elements that you need to keep an eye on in order to create great visuals in your infographics. Great presentations take some time and planning out and getting to choose the tools that best work for you.

If you are looking for online infographic tools I honestly do not recommend them that much, because they are limiting the four elements I defined above. But if you need something quick ’n dirty these are the ones that have helped me the most in the past.

Easel.ly, free templates to start you off, which are easily customizable.

Piktochart, upload basic shapes and images. It has grid lined templates for easy alignment of the graphical elements.

Infogr.am, you can upload data from an excel and it will generate different templates for you.

Venngage, simple and easy to use. You can also insert animations.

Canva, not that flexible but has a huge library of elements to at least get you inspired.

Visme, haven’t really used this one but I keep seeing it pop up everywhere.

Remember, the tools in the end are not important.

Colors, fonts, graphics, context and harmony all wrapped in a well crafted story is what will transform boring data into beautiful visual content.


If you found my answer useful leave a comment with some of your suggestions.

I’m an engineer that loves deconstructing how humans perceive and relate to the world. More stuff here.

What's the fastest way to learn how to create infographics?

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