Crash Course In Infographics Live! Webinar Recap!

Today we held Crash Course In Infographics – LIVE, and it was packed with straightforward and practical steps to get you started with infographics! We also touched on easy ways to get started using Easel.ly’s design tool, from using templates, to inserting images or media, and ways to share your infographic.

For the complete reference, please download our free Crash Course In Infographics eBook which has loads of helpful tips for creating engaging, attractive infographics for your students, customers, or audience in general.  Within this e-book, you also get our 13 Step Guide to Building an Infographic!

Watch the replay here:

Webinar Slides and Webinar Notes:

Infographics Educate and Inform

We first discussed asking yourself the following questions to make sure you have an understanding of your target audience and your purpose behind creating an infographic:

  • WHO are you looking to educate and inform?
  • WHAT are you looking to educate and inform about?
  • WHY are you looking to educate and inform?

Generating Ideas for an Infographic

Finding inspiration and ideas for an infographic is often a challenge, so we provided a few places to start when trying to brainstorm ideas:

  • Use the News – Current events are timely and can offer access to new data
  • Check What’s Trending – Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook showcase what’s popular through Trending Topics
  • Explore Existing Infographics – Use Google Images, Pinterest, or an infographic directory for inspiration
  • Help a Reporter – Get daily emails from www.helpareporter.com for media opportunities that could turn into infographics
  • Lean On Your Expertise –  Create an infographic on a niche you know well

7 Most Common Types of Infographics

There are many different types of infographic formats you can use, but depending on what you are looking to communicate, you’ll probably find that one type is more suitable for your needs over another.  You may also find that a combination of infographic types in the same infographic can be used based on your needs.  We discussed the following  types of infographics and shared examples of templates in Easel.ly:

  1. List – Supports a claim through a series of steps
  2. Comparison (Vs.) – Compares two things in a head-to-head study
  3. Flowchart – Provides an answer to a question via  reader choices
  4. Visual Article – Makes a piece of writing more visual and interesting
  5. Map – Showcases data trends based on location
  6. Data Visualization – Communicates data through charts, graphs, and/or design
  7. Timeline – Tells a story through chronological flow

Key Steps to Building an Infographic

When you’re ready to get started, the following key steps can guide you through the process of creating an infographic:

  1. Create an Outline
    • Consider your audience
    • Create a thesis or a question
    • Focus or Narrow Topic Down
    • Tell a Story with your data
  2. Design Your Infographic
    • Be Brief and use graphics
    • Limit your colors and fonts
    • Is it viewable and legible?
    • Remember whitespace is good
  3. Ensure the Quality
    • Use accurate data
    • Credit your sources
    • Sign it or Credit yourself

6 Best Practices for Infographic Design

Keep these best practices in mind when designing your infographic, and you’ll be attracting an audience in no time!

  1. Limit your color palette
  2. Keep imagery simple
  3. Be consistent with style choices
  4. White space is a good thing
  5. Two fonts is more than enough
  6. Size of infographic matters

How to Get Started on Your Infographic with Easel.ly

Getting started is easy and free with Easel.ly’s design tool!  Just create an account, and you are on your way to creating infographics that attract, inform, and engage!

  1. Browse and Select  a Template OR Start Fresh
  2. Design with Drag and Drop Editor and other design Tools for customization
  3. Save, Share or Present

Visit our Help Center for guided assistance as you create your infographic: http://help.easel.ly/help_center

Thanks again for joining and we hope you gained some new knowledge! Now it’s time to put your creativity, knowledge, and influence to the test with Easel.ly’s design tool!

Webinar Resources 

Easel.ly Tutorials and Webinars on YouTube (FREE!) 

Crash Course in Infographics e-book (FREE!)

Infographics in the Classroom e-book (FREE!)

Blog: Infographics Can Be Used for any Subject!

Blog: Class Rules: Infographics for Every Teacher 

View our basic breakdown video: How to Make an Infographic (available in English and Spanish) 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW UPCOMING EVENTS

Technical Tuesday: The Importance of Font

What is the first thing you notice about an infographic? Odds are you are attracted to the color and shapes more so than the actual text on the image. Visuals are preferred over text by most content consumers, but infographic creators still benefit from 3x more engagement on their social media and websites.

So what is it about infographics that appeal to visually-inclined consumers? Many experts believe it’s the scale (or order) of font. Our eyes are attracted to subjects that have a clear “order” and that are not shaped like traditional, generic font. Consumers also enjoy font that has a personality, but that is not hard to read.

So how do you, as an infographic designer and creator, find the right font?

It may be hard to find the middle ground between:

hard to read font

Luckily, there are a few ways you can toe this line.

1. Use your style guide.

If you’ve had a graphic designer create your logo or design your website, you’ve already got your fonts selected! This is great news. If you didn’t use a graphic designer, you still have an “unofficial style guide” that you used to create your own logo or website – simply use those fonts!

While you may be tempted to try on a new font or set of fonts in every infographic you create, fonts have a massive impact on your brand identity. If you are just starting up or don’t have strong branding yet, working within the “confines” of your style guide fonts can help your audience see your brand at work out in the wild. Once you gain more of a following, you can explore more fonts and styles.

2. Mix it up with typefaces.

Within the fonts you’ve got listed in your style guide (or have used in your own branding) are “typefaces,” or subsets of that font. This is why we have Arial, Arial Black, Arial Narrow, etc. To create awesome, graded text boxes in your infographic, feel free to explore the use of these typefaces. They are all designed to work together without looking too similar, which helps users see a logical delineation (separation) of the text.

typefaces and fonts

Image via Turnaround Design

Wondering how to get different typefaces in Easel.ly? The Basic Easel.ly account does not allow you to use many different types of font, but for only $3 per month you can upgrade to a Pro Account. Not only do you get more fonts, but you can upload your own fonts and typefaces to use in all of your infographics!

This means you’re not limited to a few fonts and you can use any typography you like! Pretty neat, huh?

To learn how to do this step-by-step, read more here.

easelly fonts

3. Use only two or three different fonts.

This is crucial: Many users try to use a different font for each section or text box of their infographic and the result is generally unappealing:

bad fonts

To see the actual template and customize it yourself, click here.

To avoid this mistake, we recommend that you find two to three fonts that operate as your “infographic font set” moving forward. They can be members of the same typeface, or they can be complementary to one another.

Typography, the style and appearance of text, is an art unto itself. Thankfully, there are many resources out there that can help. To boil it down, though, you want to mix bold display fonts with thinner, more simple fonts.

Here are just a few ways you can mix and match Easel.ly provided fonts to create dynamic visuals that engage and educate:

best infographic fonts

While this is hardly the end-all-be-all of the typography discussion, hopefully this technical tidbit helps you get started today on creating infographics that are beautiful and intelligently designed.

If you have any questions about fonts, typography, or design with your Easel.ly infographic creations, leave a comment below. You can also share your images with us on Twitter (@easel_ly), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/easel.ly/), and Instagram (@easel.ly) to get a share, like, or retweet!

Also, here’s a GREAT typography guide created by Evan Brown at DesignMantic. Thanks for the great info, Evan!

[INFOGRAPHIC]: The 10 Commandments of Typography
Courtesy of: Designmantic.com

More Than Just Infographics: 6 Unique Ways to Use Easel.ly

Many of our users love our awesome infographic templates, objects, and hyperlinking features. We are one of the most popular online infographic creation tools because of this, but we’d like to highlight a few other functions of our Creation Tool so our users can get the most bang for their buck.

Depending on your industry or what you use Easel.ly for, there are a number of unique ways you can use Easel.ly to:

  • Create slides for a presentation
  • Make blog images
  • Create infoproducts
  • Generate email templates
  • Make website images
  • Build résumés

Our infographic templates are what allow our users to create amazing visuals that share an idea, but it’s the other things you can create with Easel.ly that make us special!

Slides

Are you a teacher and need to create slides to show your students?

Do you need to give a presentation at work?

Do you want to share your infographics on SlideShare or create a YouTube video?

Why not use Easel.ly to make slideshows? All you have to do is:

easelly slideshow

Image created using Easel.ly!

You also have the option of inserting your full infographic into your slide to expand on a point, or to incorporate visual elements into your slide so you don’t bore your audience to death!

infographic slideshow google slides

Infographic created using Easel.ly!

Blogging

You already know the benefits of using infographics in your articles or blogs, but have you ever considered using Easel.ly to create blog headers or blog images that pique your readers’ interest?

While an infographic is a visual that shares information, a blog header is usually a graphic version of the title or the main point of the article. Studies show that bloggers who use graphics instead of plain font have higher readerships, more interaction, and more success overall.

If you want an in-depth article on blog images, read this great article via HubSpot.

Instead of using stock photos which are generic and generally unappealing to most audiences, create your images! This saves you money on stock photo prices and can prevent a copyright or intellectual property issue if you use someone else’s photography!

There are a few ways to do this:

  1. Create a blog header graphic

blog header easelly

Blog header created using Easel.ly!

Follow the same steps as the slide creation option above, and create a graphic blog header!

BONUS TIP: The recommended blog header size is 1600×400. Simply drag the bottom right corner of your Easel.ly generated image to resize up and out. The pixels will display as you move. Download a High Quality PNG that you can then insert into your blog.

  1. Create pop-out images throughout your text

blog popout easelly

Popout image created using Easel.ly!

Use the same steps you used for slide creation and blog headers, but keep the size smaller. On average, blog images range from 500×500 to 650×650. You can make yours shorter if you want!

This is a great way to attract attention to major points as your readers scan your content!

Infoproducts

Are you a teacher and need to create a visually dynamic homework packet for students?

Do you own a small business and need to create product manuals?

Are you hoping to create a media kit?

Do you want a unique layout for your next ebook, webinar, or e-course?

  1. For teachers:

Similar to the slideshow section, you can create information packets with the “Start Fresh” option, or you can use templates to create worksheets! From there, simply Download as a PDF and insert the collected PDFs into your preferred software to print!

BONUS TIP: You can even make tests visual!

nitrogen cycle infographic easelly

Feel free to customize this image we made using Easel.ly!

  1. For products or services

We love this user-generated image, which highlights how well you can use Easel.ly to describe your products or services in a succinct way:

infographic search engine

Depending on the structure of your product or service, you could show icons that represent the steps or components. You can also show a timeline of events if you need to highlight the process!

Really, the sky is the limit when it comes to visualizing your products or services!

  1. For media kits or sales information

A media kit is essentially a downloadable kit that you can create to improve your lead qualifications. People who are interested in your services or product can download the packet, get a thorough idea of your services and what you offer, and decide if they want to pursue contact.

You can create a media kit much like slides and simply download the slides into a PDF document! This is a great timesaver and makes you look so professional! The user-generated image below shows the important information about their business, which would make a great end-page for your media kit.

infographic media kit

Image made using Easel.ly

  1. Covers and templates

Want to make an ebook cover?

Want to have a downloadable worksheet or resource for your users?

Do you offer lots of free content and want to streamline your creation process?

Easel.ly is a great resource for establishing a template set. Simply create an image that you like and, if you want to create another one similar, simply hover over the image in your “My Visuals” section. There will be a “Copy” button that you can use to duplicate your image without compromising it!

You can create templates for ebook covers, worksheets, or free content the same way you created slides and blog headers: use the “Start Fresh” function.

We created our Crash Course in Infographics ebook cover using Easel.ly!

crash course easelly

Email Templates

Are you sick of that boring, plain text email you send to your clients, students, or coworkers? You can use Easel.ly to generate unique graphics and email templates that include the body of your email. You can use templates (like the one below) or “Start Fresh”!

You can insert the image as your email body or include it as an attachment! This is a great way to retain subscribers – it’s unique and fun. Read more here about how you can use infographics in your email campaigns.

infographic email template

Template provided by Easel.ly

Website Images

Extensive website copy is going the way of the dodo bird. Well, maybe not that extinct, but it’s much less impressive now than it was even five years ago. If you have a website and want to really retain visitors, you need visuals!

You can create unique graphics using Easel.ly that you can place throughout your website and use in lieu of web copy.

One of our favorite examples of this is from a garage door repair company who used Easel.ly to create a homepage image:

web copy

Image created using Easel.ly!

You can also “Start Fresh,” upload your own images, and change the font to create awesome website images. These website images get scanned by Google and social media sites and help to index your content and site faster! Just make sure that you:

  • Properly format images so they aren’t too big
  • Include alt tag and title tags in your Media library
  • Embed the photos so they lead people back to your site!

The topic of image optimization is an entire article in itself – check it out here!

Résumés

Trust us – if you want to stand out to an employer, what better way than to start with your résumé? We have quite a few templates for you to start with, or you can “Start Fresh”!

infographic resume template easellyThis is an Easel.ly template you can customize here!

Keep it clean, keep it simple, and download it as a PDF. That way, when you apply for jobs, you can either attach the PDF in the application website or in the email! What a great way to start a new career, right?

Don’t Limit Yourself

One thing we always tell our users is that “The sky is the limit” with Easel.ly. Really, you can create any sort of images you need, upload your previous creations, and create amazing content. Whether you’re a teacher, small business owner, blogger, entrepreneur, or just a really big fan of unique graphics – you can do it all with Easel.ly.

With an upgrade to the PRO ACCOUNT, you can even use your own fonts, find even more templates, and thousands more icons and objects. You can make Easel.ly your one-and-only unique graphic creation tool… what could else could streamline your life so “easily”?

We’d love to see what you create with Easel.ly, from infographics to email templates to unique résumés and blog headers. Tweet us or tag us in your creations on Instagram (@easel.ly).

Value Content Over Creation: Make Your Infographic Useful

It’s a New Year and that means a lot of you are gearing up for bigger, better, and more effective marketing and content campaigns. Maybe you’ve even decided to integrate infographics into your visual marketing efforts. If you’re ready to grow your brand, business, or share your message, it’s time to get started!

But before you get too deep in creation mode, trying to build infographic content that will get your product, service, or message noticed, take a step back and ask yourself: 

make your infographic useful

While you may think you need to fill your website, social media, or emails with content, it’s so important to start off your 2017 campaign on the right foot.

Do you want your blog readers, social media followers, or email subscribers to start avoiding your content because it’s not relevant? Because it’s not unique? Because it seems like you just churn it information to get it out there, without really caring about whether or not anyone wants to see it?

This is the pit that many infographic creators fell into in 2016 – creating for the sake of creating, instead of focusing on their target audience and content goals. Even if you’re guilty of this yourself, it’s time to take a good hard look at your plans for 2017.

It’s a New Year, after all. It’s time for a new approach to your visual content, too!

To help you organize your infographic content and make your infographic useful in 2017, we at Easel.ly made a step-by-step guide to help you make sure that your infographic content is:

infographics are

Determining Usefulness

The first step in any content creation plan is, well, plan. So before you start downloading half-baked infographics to share on your blog, we recommend laying out a few infographic ideas for at least the first few months of 2017. The true core of determining usefulness in an infographic is knowing that it will work for the people it’s designed for.

How do you do this? Research what works in your niche, with your target audience, and what kind of information you’re going to be sharing in your infographic.

  • What infographics are other influencers in your area sharing?
    • Do they use JPEGs, PDFs, video?
    • Where do they share these infographics?
  • What is the community response to infographics similar to your ideas?
    • Do they get shared a lot? Do people say they’re saving them?
    • Do people want new and more specific information?
  • Is your audience specifically asking for information, explanations, breakdowns, etc.?
  • Is there data in your industry or business that your consumers will want to know?
  • Is there something that you, as a consumer in your industry, would want to see?
  • Can your infographic be used?
    • Is there information your audience can act on?
    • Is there a Call to Action?
    • For more information on Calls to Action (CTAs), we highly recommend this article by Protocol 80, Inc.!

infographic call to action

Image made using Easel.ly!

All of these questions will help you whittle down those ideas that “seem good” but that your audience just won’t click with/share/respond to/save/download/convert for. Remember: Make your infographic useful! You’ll waste a lot of time if you don’t take this first step, and even more time if you don’t follow through on the next one!

Measuring Relevance

The next step in your infographic process is going to be measuring how similar content performs. In the previous step we analyzed your audience and their use of your content, and now we’re going to see if your content is current, time-sensitive, and trending.

Ask yourself:

  • What sort of infographics “go viral” on your social media circles?
  • What sort of data are you frequently exposed to/have access to?
  • Does anyone use infographics in the way you’re planning?
    • If so, what can you learn from them?
    • If not, research other people in different industries who do – learn from them.

google trends

While you want to create content that is evergreen, it’s ideal that you plan your content calendar around major events, holidays, and trending information so that people can find your graphics when they search! People tend to follow trends, so don’t miss your chance to viral!

If you’re wondering about how to optimize your infographics for search engines, read this article.

Essentially, the relevance of your infographic boils down to: Will it drive traffic? Will people see it? Will they want to click on it?

From this point, you can see whether or not the half-formed ideas you had floating around your brain will actually make an impact. If they do, great! Start building your infographic in our Creation Tool today. If not, go back to the drawing board.

You can pull inspiration from:

  • Your previous content that got a lot of attention (shares, conversions, etc.).
  • A blog post from a site you enjoy
  • Data you’ve stumbled across
  • Trends you’ve noticed in your industry
  • What your audience is saying they want to see!

Then, it’s time to start creating your infographics. If you’re totally new to this game and have no idea where to start, we recommend our Crash Course in Infographics FREE ebook. You’ll get some great insights into design and tips for our Creation Tool.

Speaking of design….

Clarifying Designs

The topic of graphic design spans years and thousands of articles that we cannot summarize here. For the sake of brevity, let’s boil your high-quality infographic design to four points:

  • Make sure you keep the text to a minimum
  • Use the right templates
    • Timelines to tell a story, charts to show data, etc.
  • Let icons do the talking

icons over text

Check out our YouTube video!

  • Get creative: think visual
    • Don’t think in words; think about how your idea can be summarized in images

Other basic style tips that we recommend include:

  • Use two to three different fonts
    • Make sure they look great together!
  • Stick to your style guide
    • Insert your logo, use your brand colors, and any fonts your designer gave you
    • If you don’t have a style guide, pick fonts, colors, and a logo that you can use consistently!
  • Be picky about formatting
    • Spelling errors, improperly sized boxes, or icons that don’t line up are NO GO

If you’re looking at your infographic and thinking, “It’s just not that great!” check out this article we wrote on making infographic stand out.

Check out our YouTube video if you want an in-depth look at making your infographic WOW

Let us know in the comments below if you have specific design questions we can answer for you! In the meantime, though, let’s move on to the results you want from your infographic.

Analyzing the Results

The next, and final, component of creating valuable content is knowing what sort of results you want to gain from your infographics. A lot of times, we create content and think, “Yeah, they’re gonna love it!” but we don’t know the exact metrics behind that statement.

What do you want your audience to do with your infographic? What sort of conversion rates are you expecting? Are you expecting a boost in sales? Website traffic? Instagram or Pinterest followers? The key to getting results is knowing what kind of results you want!

So ask yourself:

  • What results do I want from my infographic on:
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Instagram
    • Pinterest
    • Email
    • Websites
    • Outreach / client work / connections
    • Sales / profits / leads
    • Print ads (if you use them)
  • What am I going to do if I don’t get those results?
    • Recreate the content
    • Improve SEO
    • Share more in places that saw results, less in places that didn’t
    • Create new content to replace it
  • How am I analyzing the benefit to my business?
    • Unfortunately, Facebook likes and Twitter followers don’t make your business a success – sales and profits do.
    • Do you have pay-per-click ads with your infographic to generate income?
    • Are you creating infographics for clients (for a fee)?
    • Is your content going viral and resulting in more sales as a result?

content equals money

(and if it doesn’t, it’s not worth making).

A Quick Recap

Hopefully, your infographic content creation goes well in 2017. With the lists in this article, you should be able to assess your infographic’s:

  • Useability
  • Relevance
  • Design
  • Results

Without all four of these components getting the “all clear” from your assessment, you need to go back to the drawing board. Once you get used to this process, you’ll be able to make your infographic useful just based on prior experience with this checklist! Don’t get discouraged by the amount of forethought your content requires – it is SO worth it in the end.

We hope this content creation guide has helped you develop stronger, more useful infographic ideas that you can use to grow your business.

We LOVE seeing what our users make, so please tag us in your images @easel_ly on Twitter or @easel.ly on Instagram!

Easel.ly Gives Back

image01

Here at Easel.ly, we love giving back whenever possible. Every year, a portion of our profits go to supporting events and people all over the world, and we love teaming up with people who do great work in their communities.

One of these people is Mardie Rees, an artist in Gig Harbor, WA.

As part of her Apprentice Academy, Mardie and her team of great artists host a variety of fine arts education classes for kids. In her classes, children get to the develop their artistic side and are free to create in various mediums. Kids learn how to draw, sculpt, paint, and more with Maddie and her team.

image00

In 2016, Easel.ly partnered with Maddie to help her program reach more children than ever before. We also partnered with Food Backpacks 4 Kids, a charity that helps meet the nutritional needs of hungry children in the Peninsula school district.

Finding children in the area who normally wouldn’t be able to afford such a fun, educational, and explorative summer experience, we provided “scholarships” to the Apprentice Academy. There, kids from all over the Peninsula area learned how to draw, sculpt, and investigate their artistic talents.

image02

This group of kids had a great time at our SummerCamp event, and we at Easel.ly plan on supporting many more programs just like Apprentice Academy in the coming months.
Check out the video below to get a peek into the SummerCamp event, and to see all the great creations these kids made!