Infographic makers have democratized visual content.
Just like Squarespace lets anyone build a website and MailChimp lets anyone execute email marketing, an impressive array of infographic makers have sprouted up on the web. These tools enable even the non-artistic among us to crank out clean, colorful, and engaging infographics.
Why does this matter? Because people love infographics. The stats vary depending on the source, but there is general agreement that infographics reach more people than blog posts, partly because they’re shared more on social.
This post looks at six of the best infographic makers on the web. And instead of just tapping out a series of summaries, we’re going to explain the benefits of each infographic creator by… creating an infographic with each one.
What better way to dig into infographic makers than by making infographics?
Infographic Maker Challenge: The Rules
All of the infographics in this post were created in 30 minutes, and were designed with the infographic makers that they describe.
Also, we only used the free versions of these different infographic makers. Freemium is the name of the game for infographic creators: You can do a lot without paying a cent, and you can do a lot more if you fork over some money. So rest assured that all of these infographic creators are capable of much, much more than you’re going to see here. (Infographic maker subscription prices vary wildly, from $3 per month to team packages that cost $149 per month.)
Infographic Maker Challenge: The Disclaimer
All of these infographics were created by someone who is relatively inept with design (the author). So even if we spent more than 30 minutes with these infographic creators, the final product wouldn’t give you goosebumps.
But maybe this isn’t the worst thing. After all, these infographic makers are supposed to be simple enough and powerful enough to make infographics possible for everyone. Even people who never did well in art class, like me, and people who don’t have a lot of time, like you.
Alright, that’s enough background. It’s infographic time.
Canva has exploded in popularity for all things design: social media graphics, collages, posters, sprucing up your blog, and so on.
Canva also moonlights as a powerful infographic creator, boasting all the goodies that have made its other capabilities so popular.
It’s intuitive and easy to use. Plus Canva does fun stuff like displaying inspiring quotes while you wait for items to download, or letting you play with a hypnotic wand on the homepage. Canva even finds ways to be charming when your download gets screwed up:
True, this stuff is window dressing and will not directly impact your infographics. However, if you enjoy using a tool, then it’ll be easier to spend an extra 15, 20 or 60 minutes in there taking your infographic from “decent” to “wow.” We’ll come across some infographic makers later on that aren’t so pleasant. Did this matter for our 30-minute-per-infographic test? No, not really. But if you wanted to lean more heavily on infographics, the enjoyability of the infographic creator you’re using will matter at some point.
Anyway, here is one one-hundredth of what you can do when you fire up Canva infographics.
Like Canva, Piktochart is a joy to work with. It lets you create presentations, reports, flyers, and more, but infographics seem to be its specialty.
It’s mentioned in our quick-and-dirty infographic, but it’s hard to overstate how refreshing the tips are that Piktochart sprinkles throughout their infographics templates. As you’ll see if play around with different infographic creators, they have a habit of dumping Latin placeholder text into the templates. Like this:
That’s fine, but why not incorporate simple tips into the templates instead of the gobbledygook? Piktochart does exactly that, and for design dummies like yours truly, it’s incredibly helpful. You’re basically consuming content on how to create infographics while you create your infographics. Thumbs way up for stuff like this:
The other really standout feature with the Piktochart infographic creator is the photo library. My goodness, are there lots of really high quality photos. It’s like a stock photo portal embedded inside an infographic creator.
Infogram might be the most attractive infographic maker that we’ll look at from a purely aesthetic perspective. The interface is just cool — super modern, great layout, dark but with colorful, eye-catching elements.
One of those elements is the ability to add charts to your infographics. The same way you’d create a chart with Excel, for example, you can create data-based charts and drop them directly into your infographics. Infogram also has integrations with tools like Google Drive, DropBox, and more so you can push spreadsheet data directly into your infographic.
To be fair, other infographic creators have charts and graphs as well, but they aren’t as chic as Infogram. For example, the chart creator in Canva is buried a few clicks away in the “Elements” section, which is also where you find stuff like photos, shapes, illustrations, etc. It’s kind of an afterthought – I didn’t even see it during the Canva run-through and only discovered it after fawning over Infogram’s charts and graphs.
Of course, a pretty interface and loud charts won’t create an infographic for you. And indeed there are some quirks with Infogram that might drive you slightly crazy. The biggest issue: You can’t download infographics with the free version. This was the first, albeit not the last, infographic maker that had this policy. When you can’t download, then your only distribution method is publishing your infographic online, and then sharing the link; this is the link to our Infogram infographic. Obviously having an infographic live within the Infogram domain makes it hard to share on your website or social accounts.
The following infographic was created by taking three screenshots of the different sections of the infographic, and then cobbling them together with photo editing software. Cringe. But hey, at least Infogram has this cool timeline template:
Venngage is a step below the first three infographic creators we looked at in terms of usability. The biggest issue is probably that there is just so much going on.
Or maybe I’m just bitter because, once again, you can’t download your infographic after you create it. I asked the customer support folks about this via the onsite chat feature, and got this boilerplate response:
Our export/print feature comes with our premium service. This can only be enabled once you upgrade to premium.
If you do not wish to upgrade you can use our publish option. It’s the free plan’s method of distribution. Just make sure to distribute the URL to your recipients in order for them to view your infographic.
By contrast, look at how Piktochart handles downloading on free accounts:
Anyway! It’s still possible to create serviceable infographics inside Venggage. Here’s one attempt:
This infographic is admittedly kind of gross. Lots of that is because of the designer. But not all of it.
This is mentioned in the infographic, too, but check out the text editing UX. Whereas other infographic makers let you edit text directly in the design, Easel.ly forces you to use this clunky text editor (which, ahem, covers up the text you’re trying to edit).
You are also seriously handcuffed on icons if you don’t have the premium plan. Premium members do indeed get loads of icons — 821,320 to be exact, in case you need 800,000-plus icons — but the rest of us common folk are stuck with a pretty underwhelming selection.
There was no way I’d be able to create a Monet even with sleek text editing and infinite icons. That said, the quirks of this infographic creator ensured that things were messy.
Last up is Visme, an infographic creator that packs lots of cool, easy-to-use features in an interface that feels kind of old fashioned. In the same way that some of Canva’s charm is hard to quantify, some of Visme’s shortcomings are hard to quantify. It’s the little things, like the favicon that’s totally pixelated, or the fact that you can only work on three projects at once before being forced to upgrade.
Visme does let you download for free, which is more than can be said of some prettier infographic creators like Infogram. Visme also responds in a refreshingly predictable way when you, say, drop an image on top of a design. So don’t mistake “last” for “least.”
And now, for the final infographic in our infographic creator overview:
Other Popular Infographic Makers That We Didn’t Get To
If we ever do a sequel to this post, it will include these popular infographic makers:
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