A Review of Three Popular Infographics Generators

June 16, 2013

Infographics are a great means of organizing a large amount of information in an easy to absorb and aesthetically pleasing display.  

Since most of us are quick visual learners, infographics can be an indispensable tool for marketers to attract the attention of potential customers and convey a message in the seconds it takes them to process a picture.

If you are looking to engage a new audience through attractive infographics, but find the exercise overwhelming and time consuming, there are a number of user friendly infographics generators available online that can help you get started in a very short span of time.

I tested out some of the most popular ones recently.

http://www.easel.ly

This free generator offers 15 pre-created templates and a “create your own” feature.  You can import objects (people, animals, banners, food, icons, landmarks, maps, music, nature, and transportation) to add meaning and aesthetically enhancing qualities to the graphic.  Text and images can be adjusted by varying the opacity, color, size, orientation, and placement. Registered users can also upload personalized images and charts.  There are also a couple dozen backgrounds built into the custom template option.  The software provides a grid feature and a zoom feature to ensure that the artboard is easily customizable and organized.  The overall structure of easel.ly is similar to that of Prezi, an online presentation generator.  

With easel.ly, I found it easier to use a vheme (Pre-created template) because I had a hard time creating color schemes and layouts that would work best for my infographic in the custom-made template.  It was fairly easy to use a pre-designed template and tweak it to fit my specific information and message.  Since there are 15 templates to choose from, it is easy to find a template that works for the information one wishes to visualize.

http://www.infogr.am

Infogr.am is another free generator that is structured in a similar way.  There are only six basic templates to choose from, each varying in color schemes and font styles.  Once a template is selected, it can be customized through a number of options.  There are six types of text you can choose from- headline, chart title, quote, body text, facts & figures, and timer.  Each one varies in style and size, but there is less flexibility in defining the size and color.  It is possible to upload images or videos onto the infographic from one’s personal files.  Included is a chart feature, which provides the ability to add or change data easily.  This is one of the best features of infogr.am compared to other infographic generators I tested, since each chart is already aesthetically pleasing and requires minimal work besides basic data entry.  Maps can also be added by simply entering necessary data into the form.  There is an option to upgrade to Premium for $9/month.

Infogr.am has some very attractive visuals to choose from for templates.  I found the map and chart features to be very helpful for entering my information in an aesthetically pleasing way with minimal effort on my part.  It took me about ten minutes to figure out how to get the graphs and charts that I needed.  There is also a limit to where I could place text as the software allowed me to place text only directly above or below other pieces of the design. On the other hand, the finished product was neat and well organized because of this constraint.

http://www.piktochart.com

PiktoChart is another infographic generator which is also free, although it offers a Premium version for $29/month or $169/year.  PiktoChart representatives are available online through a chat box to answer any questions or inquiries, which is a helpful feature, especially if the issue is time sensitive.  I was provided with a variety of demo videos created by users to get me started on using the generator efficiently. In the free mode, seven templates are provided out of the box.  Once a template is picked, the image size and the layout can be changed, and it is possible to zoom in and out on the canvas.  Icons and images encompassing five categories are provided to users: Education, Entertainment, People, Shapes, and Social Media. In addition, users can upload their own image files.  There is a basic chart generator that can be based on an uploaded .csv file or manually entered data. Color schemes can be varied within the selected theme and background color can also be changed to customize the infographic. In fact, there are “moods” that change the entire color scheme of the infographic including text and image colors, which I found fairly useful.

Of the three programs that I tried out , Piktochart had the most well organized template choices. Each aspect of the infographic was extremely customizable, which can be a bit overwhelming for beginners but will benefit design-savvy users.  The customizable features enabled me to be creative in experimenting with the overall layout.  
 

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