Demystifying Infographics: From How To Use Them To How To Create Them

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I guess the very things I take for granted are big value to others. On Wednesday, I was at Protea Leadway hotel for the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa training 3 days June class (Tuesday to Thursday). My knowledge of Excel, data analysis and financial modelling has been getting me unfair share of attention. I got talking with a few other participants working for Ernst & Young, FITC and IITA about the possibility of holding a training for their companies. The E&Y guy gave me little hope of any training proposal on Excel getting any serious attention at his company but the others from FITC and IITA were interested in something else -- Infographics.

In fact, I am thinking of restructuring a PowerPoint training I manage to include infographics. In the last session I had, I covered infographics but just as a value add to the participant -- not as a key unit in the training outline. Well, now I am thinking of making it a full module in the training. 

How do you use infographics?

You use infographics to present results of a research or analysis in a very visually engaging way.

How do you create infographics?

There are three general ways to create an infographic.

1. Use an online infographic template site
Popular ones are Piktochart (I have used it), (I have used it also), Venngage, Canva and

They make it super easy for you to create infographics that are stunning without having to be a graphic artist or use any software. It's where you'll want to start from to broaden your mind on different infographic designs possible. The major drawbacks with them is that they offer a limited free version, full feature access requires paid subscription, and you are also limited to the infographic icons/tools in the provider you choose.

2. Use Downloadable Templates
They will usually be PowerPoint or Photoshop templates, and contain vector graphics. You can get a great pack of 10 templates for free from Hubspot and some other great free templates from Freepik . I bought some templates on GraphicRiver 

This option gives you freedom as to how your final infographic will look like. You can mix and match vector icons, with smartart, images and charts to achieve your desired infographic.

This is the method I use for my serious jobs. Just get/buy the templates and vector graphics once; reuse as you desire.

3. Design from scratch
Maybe using Photoshop. This option I believe should be explored only by expert graphic designers. It will require a level of creativity and graphic designing experience than an average person like me have.

If you want to hire someone for your infographic design, you should be looking for someone who can do this third option or, at least, mix it with the second option.
In my training, as you can guess, I will limit myself to options 1 and 2.


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