Being a visual learner myself, I am a huge fan of infographics. They have gotten so popular that it seems like you can’t scroll down a Pinterest/Tumblr/Facebook feed without seeing at least one plastered on your screen. With their rising popularity has come the prevalence of infographic generators. These handy tools are great for those without graphic design program experience (or for those who don’t want to pay for one). One of my favorite generator apps is Piktochart. I am currently teaching Piktochart 101 to an English class where I work so I thought I’d share my tips and thoughts while it’s fresh on my mind.
The interface is a lot cleaner than it used to be. There there is only one version (there used to be two, the old and new, which was confusing). The free version lets you select from a set of 8 templates (one being blank). Before I get into tips here are some things to be aware of when using Piktochart:
- Must use shift to select multiple images (ctrl does not work)
- Can’t delete countries on maps (just country specs)- Piktochart has an awesome maps feature that lets you embed interactive maps. The only bummer is that you can only modify the geographic locations’ color and data. You can’t delete or zoom in on a specific country.
- Can’t upload gifs
- Can’t click and drag images into infographic itself, you have to use the upload option
- Does not have a huge selection of image choices
- Click and drag is glitchy
- Image layering can be tedious- A lot of times when I am using layered images and I want to modify an image that is underneath another one the program won’t let me. To modify a layered image you have to un-layer them all, modify, then relayer.
- Can’t Search Graphics, you have to scroll through them
- Can’t press delete or backspace to delete something you must select it and then click trash
- Font types in the font selection menu are all listed in the same font, they also don’t change when you select text and hover your mouse to see what it might look like.
Tip 1: Use Curalate’s Image Chart
Curalate does one of the best jobs at showing you how to utilize color, size, etc on your infographic. Here are a few specs to keep in mind:
- Use Multiple Dominant Colors
- With Medium lightness
- A 2:3 aspect ratio
- and less than a 10% background
Tip 2: Setting a Color Scheme
I normally use Kuler to select a unique color scheme and then enter in the HEX numbers into my infographic using the advanced settings. I would recommend having an eye dropper browser tool at the ready. These are great if you want to get the HEX number of a color on a web page. I usually get the color using the eye dropper, pop it in to Kuler, and set up a color scheme. The eye dropper also works great for shape colors. For example you could use the dropper to get Facebook’s logo’s exact shade of blue and then change your Facebook shape icon on you infographic to that color (most shapes are black). Here’s what kuler looks like:
Tip 3: Using Graphics/Images
Piktochart’s stock image selection is not great in my opinion so I rely heavily on the creative commons image search. It’s great for quickly finding copyright free images. I especially like searching the clip art gallery to find symbols and shapes to use. Piktochart does not have a lot of image modification features so you might need to use a photo editor. Gimp is a great free option and works on Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems.