Steps to designing an effective infographic
Step 1: Identify your content
The first step always starts with the content or information that will form the infographic. This is obvious, but most of the time your information will be in a longer form, such as a blog post or a report. So, the important exercise to do here is to try and structure the information in a way that:
When it came to structuring what content should be included I simply skimmed through the Google Doc and highlighted the headings or topics I wanted to include. Typically, and in this case, I highlighted the introduction, a few of the headings, and looked for sections in the document that were bullet-pointed. As I skimmed through, I also kept thinking in the back of my mind what images might relate to the information I'd just highlighted. For example, since the information was talking about health benefits of this diet, I was thinking about what imagery would convey keywords like "Weight-loss" (e.g. weighing scales) and "Heart disease" (e.g. beating heart icon).
Step 2: Plan your design
Once I had highlighted the key information I wanted to include in the infographic, I got a piece of paper and wire-framed out the layout. This method isn't always necessary, but it does help to keep your efforts focused rather than getting carried away inside the tool of choice. You don't need to use a piece of paper for this step either. You may decide to actually use Canva for this purpose, which is completely fine. When I take this route, I create two pages/slides in Canva: 1) is the wire-frame, and 2) is the actual infographic canvas.
Part of this step includes considering what colour theme you want to go with. For example, my infographic is about whole-food, plant-based diet, so using a colour scheme of green with some complimentary colours from the livingwithyoo.com website made things gel well.
Step 3: Source images
Now that you have your basic structure and layout prepared, it's time to start image hunting. For infographics in particular, it's likely you'll want to leverage icons and the best way to find free icons to use is through Google Images and FreePik. Canva also has an icon and image finder built-in, so you can also use this as an images source. However, many of the good icons will require you to pay for them in your final design, so keep that in mind.
The images you'll want to download should be transparent PNG files. This is important because otherwise when you import them on your infographic, you'll get the everything around it as well (see the image example below).
1. Your image search should look like this - <image name e.g. banana> icon transparent png
2. If you're using several icons on your design, it's important to try to find similar looking icons so that your infographic has some design consistency.
3. When you're relying on free images from Google it can take a little while to find suitable and un-watermarked png files, so you might need to scroll through a page or two to find what you need. Just because you've used the search query that includes "transparent png" doesn't mean all search results will show what you want.
4. Before you right-click-save-image-as on the image you want, first click and drag the image away a little. This is a fast way to identify whether the image is transparent or not. Below is an example that illustrates this. On the left you can see there are no white edges to the banana icon, whereas on the right, you can see there is a full white background on the image.
Step 4: Upload your icons and images
Once you've downloaded a bunch of icons to your computer, it's time to upload them to Canva. To do this is simple. Open your infographic layout, click the Uploads icon in the menu then drag and drop your images to the canvas. Depending on how many images you want to upload, this process could take a little while to complete.
See images below for reference.
Step 5: Create your infographic
Now you have all your icons and images uploaded to Canva you can start dropping them onto your infographic and manipulating the elements to built the wire-frame structure from Step 2.
After a little while of adjusting font sizes, types, icons, images, etc. you should have formed a decent infographic you can now use on your website for engaging content, lead generation, and more.
The final product: