Don't have hours to spare crafting something beautiful in Photoshop? Sarah James selects tools that won't cost you a penny...
For all the importance we place on text, it's an indisputable fact that images are processed in the brain faster than words. Hence the rise and rise of the infographic which, at its best, transforms complex information into graphics that are both easy to grasp and visually appealing. No wonder magazine readers and web visitors love them.
The only problem is, infographics that look like they were simple to make are often anything but. Creating something beautiful and instantly understandable in Photoshop is often beyond the limits that time allows. Which is why it's occasionally useful to use a quick and dirty infographics tool to speed up the process.
We've selected our favourites here. They're all free, or offer free versions. Let us know which ones you get on best with...
After the success of our post on aninfographic résumé, it was only a matter of time before this infographic résumé generator turned up. You can visualise your resume in one click and also take a look at previous examples. Enabling people to express their professional accomplishments in a simple yet compelling personal visualisation, we think this is the start of something big.
Google chart tools are powerful, simple to use, and free. You can choose from a variety of charts and configure an extensive set of options to perfectly match the look and feel of your website. By connecting your data in real time, Google Developers is the perfect infographic generator for your website.
This free web-based infographic tool offers you a dozen free templates to start you off, which are easily customisable.
You get access to a library of things like arrows, shapes and connector lines, and you can customize the text with range of fonts, colours, text styles and sizes. The tool also lets you upload your graphics and position them with one touch.
Piktochart is an infographic and presentation tool enabling you to turn boring data into engaging infographics with just a few clicks. Piktochart's customizable editor lets you do things like modify colour schemes and fonts, insert pre-loaded graphics and upload basic shapes and images. Its grid lined templates also make it easy to align graphical elements and resize images proportionally. There's a free version offering three basic themes, while a pro account costs $29 per month or $169 for a year.
Infogr.amis a great free tool which offers access to a wide variety of graphs, charts and maps as well as the ability to upload pictures and videos to create cool infographics.
Customising the data that makes up the infographic takes place in an Excel style spreadsheet and can easily be edited, watching the software automatically change the look of the infographic to perfectly represent your data. When you're happy with your infographic you can publish it to the Infogram website for all to enjoy and even embed it in to your own website or share it via social media.
Visual.lyis a community platform for data visualization and infographics set up in 2011. It allows you both to create infographics and get them shared on social media. The website is also able to match those commissioning infographics - including brands, companies and agencies - with its community over more than 35,000 designers.
This one's a bit niche, but if you take a lot of photos with your Android phone it's worth checking out. InFoto takes the EXIF data attached to your photos and builds nice-looking infographics from it. It's got a great interface, and the paid-for version (which comes without ads) only costs 99 cents.
Venngage is a great tool for creating and publishing infographics because it's so simple and easy to use. You can choose from templates, themes, and hundreds of charts and icons as well as uploading your own images and backgrounds, or customize a theme to suit your brand. You can animate them too!
Dipity is a great way to create, share, embed, and collaborate on interactive, visually engaging timelines that integrate video, audio, images, text, links, social media, location, and time stamps. You can join for free but premium plans offer custom branding and backgrounds, analytics, and custom iPhone apps.