Something has been nagging at me recently. While I love to look at, read and share them, I am not creating enough infographics for my business.
And I want to. I really want to.
Are you in the same boat? Would you like to unlock the potential of infographics in your business?
You probably have (as I do) lots of reasons why you haven’t exploited this image type.
Perhaps you just haven’t had the time. Maybe you have been unsure as to what information to include. Possibly, you have worried about the expense of hiring a graphic designer.
Well, I think I can help as I have just discovered a new (to me) tool that I believe will enable me (the non-graphic designer) to create infographics for my business quickly, easily and for free.
That tool is Piktochart.
In this post I am going to take you through the steps that I took when I used Piktochart to create infographics.
So let's dive in!
Once you have signed up, you will see that Piktochart offers you the ability to create infographics, presentations and design banners. However, I am going to focus on infographics here.
Your first step is to select a template. There are lots of themes to choose from and even more if you decide to upgrade to the paid version.
You can also create your infographic from scratch.
Piktochart infographics are built by adding a series of ‘blocks’ - one on top of the other. You can add a new block by clicking on an existing one and selecting the + button in the block’s left sidebar.
To customise a block’s height, just click on the block and you will see a semi-transparent bar with two way arrows at the bottom of the block. Mouse over that bar, click on it and drag to resize.
If you want to customise your infographic’s height and width, click on a block and select the gear button.
A range of settings will then open in a drop down menu (see image above) allowing you to enter your desired width and height. Changing the width here will then apply to all blocks in your infographic.
If you do decide to change the width of your image, make sure that you have checked the box called ‘Resize Content’ (it is automatically checked unless you uncheck it yourself). This will then scale all of your image’s objects to fit in with your new dimensions.
These blocks can be linked (as in my example below) or divided up to display separate pieces of information.
You can also clone a block if you want to continue with a similar design. To do this, simply click on the block and select the = button. You will then see an identical block appear below the original.
Your infographic’s theme will, of course, very much depend on the type of information that you want to share. Consider if your information will include:
Comparisons between products or services
A pathway describing how to do something
- A timeline showing historical development
Initially, I found it tricky to choose a topic for my infographics. I thought that I needed lots of data to display.
I was wrong.
There are so many ways that we can all use infographics in our businesses.
Indeed, a recent blog post by Piktochart offers lots of inspiration including infographics that offer:
a look behind the scenes of your business
instructions on how to do something
interesting ways to use a product or service
tips, cheat sheets or hacks
information on how something has changed over time
the (non-salesy) features of your product or service
the key points of a report or blog post
an insight into your core values
advice about your industry
key data about your industry
comments from industry leaders and influencers
an overview of the developments at an industry event
the history or progress of your industry
a look at a new piece of research
analysis of key trends
an audience demographic
For the purposes of this post, I decided to repurpose some of the points in my recent blog looking at social media questions every business should ask.
I then looked at the templates available and selected one that looked like a path to success - that felt appropriate to me.
Having decided on my theme, I looked to add my infographic content.
It really couldn’t be simpler to add text to your infographic in Piktochart. If you are amending the text that is already there just double click on that text, highlight it and paste or type in what you want to add.
If you want to add a new piece of text, simply click the infographic block where you want to add the text and click on the ‘Text’ box in the left sidebar.
This will bring up a number of options such as ‘Title’, ‘Subtitle’ and ‘Body Text’. You can either click or drag and drop your text option onto your infographic.
From this point, you can customise your text by clicking on it and changing the font, colour, alignment or size in the ‘Property Bar’ at the top of your infographic.
Piktochart also offers a feature called Text Frame. This allows you to make your text stand out by adding editable text frames to your infographic.
Whether you are adding text or graphics, it is important to make sure that they are symmetrically aligned. To do this in Piktochart, select the ‘Align With Other Objects’ button on the far right of the Property Bar.
This will help you to align all of your objects via a set of vertical and horizontal lines that appear when you move an object around on your infographic.
I had a lot of fun with Piktochart’s library of graphics. To view them click on the ‘Graphics’ button on the far left sidebar. You will then see another menu giving you four options:
Shapes & Line
- Photo Frame
For my infographic (see above), I decided to change the icons to better suit my content. I used the search engine (see below) in the Icons menu to find the images that I wanted. I then used the drag and drop function to place the icons on my infographic.
Piktochart allows you to customise your graphics by changing their size, colour and position. I wanted to change the colours of my icons to fit in with my colour scheme.
My only issue here was that I could only change the colours of the Piktochart icons if they were one colour. If the icon had more than one colour I did not have the option to change the scheme.
This was slightly disappointing as I am so used to changing colours in Canva’s graphics and icons. Perhaps this functionality will be added in the future.
However, Piktochart does allow you to customise your designs to fit in with your brand colours.
I decided to change the background colour of my image. To do this, I clicked on a block and selected ‘Background’ in the far left sidebar. I then clicked on the paint pot icon and copied in my colour’s hex code.
You can also select a background image from this menu of options. If you want to use your own background image, upload the image to your account, drag it onto your canvas and then, using the ‘Arrange’ button on your Property Bar, set your image as the most bottom layer.
Piktochart has added an exciting new tool to its Graphics tab called Photo Frame. This allows you to drag and drop your own photos into ready made designs.
You can also add hyperlinks within your infographic by clicking on an object that you would like to link (references, icons and images work well here) and adding your URL via the link icon in your Property Bar.
Importing Data Into Your Infographic
If you have data that you would like to visualise in an infographic, Piktochart offers some great options.
By clicking on the ‘Tools’ tab in the far left sidebar, you can add a range of charts. You can also include a map to show any geographic results.
Once you have clicked ‘Tools’, and then ‘Charts’, you select your chart type.
You can then input your data manually into the spreadsheet that pops up. If you have a lot of data to add, you can import it by clicking the ‘Import Your Data’ button at the top of the spreadsheet. You can import data from any CSV, XLS or XLSX format.
In addition, you can also import data from Google Drive. To do this, click the ‘Dynamic Data’ tab. You will then see a box in which to paste your Google spreadsheet’s URL. (The spreadsheet needs to be public in Google before it can be imported.)
The cool thing about this Dynamic Data option is that your infographic will automatically update when it is refreshed.
This post-refresh update will occur automatically when you publish your infographic on the web. If you have downloaded your image as a PDF you will need to download a new copy which will contain the updated data.
If your data can be segmented on geographic lines, why not add an interactive map to your infographic?
Click on the Tools tab and select 'Maps’. You will then have a number of map options in the menu on the left and a spreadsheet to input your data on the right (see below). The statistics will appear when your reader mouses over a country or region on your online map.
Click ‘Settings’ to customise your colours. You can select a default colour, a colour to show borders and you can assign a particular colour to a specific country or region.
How To Include Videos In Your Infographic
If you are publishing your infographic in your blog or online somewhere, you can also include a video.
First, select the block where you would like the video to appear, click ‘Tools’ and then ‘Video’. You will then see a box where you can paste your video’s URL. YouTube and Vimeo videos are supported by Piktochart.
Click ‘insert’ and a thumbnail of your video will appear in your block. You can resize this thumbnail and move it to the correct position in your infographic.
It is worth noting that your video will not play while you are editing or previewing your image. You will only be able to play your video once you have published.
In addition, videos will only work when you use your infographic’s URL or when your image is embedded into a blog post or website. They will not play if you choose to export your infographic as a jpeg, png or pdf file.
How To Share Your Infographic
When you are happy with your infographic, it is time to publish. Publishing will generate the HTML code necessary for embedding your image onto your website.
You can also share your image by downloading it, sharing via email or by sharing it directly to your social media platforms.
One word of warning, however.
If you are using Piktochart’s free version, your image will not be private. You only have privacy options once you pay to go Pro.
This means that when you click ‘Publish’ you image is available for others to view. In addition, if you are a free user, Piktochart holds the right to publicize your infographics which have been published to HTML. Your images may also be used in parts to support the company’s marketing and publicity efforts.
To keep your infographic private as a free user do not choose the publish option and share your image by downloading it in jpeg, png or pdf formats.
Alternatively, you can secure your privacy by going Pro. This will cost $29 per month or $290 per year. Pro users have access to many more Piktochart themes (over 150 themes) and icons (over 4000 icons). You can also upload more images if you have a Pro account - 200 compared to the Free version’s 20 images.
In addition, Pro users can remove the Piktochart branding and are able to export pdfs in a range of formats in higher quality.
I have certainly had a lot of fun experimenting with Piktochart.
I hope that you have found this post useful - do let me know in the comments section below. I would also love to see what you have created!
Thanks for reading!
Take care, Jane x