1.4 Choose an infographic canvas tool

//1.4 Choose an infographic canvas tool
1.4 Choose an infographic canvas tool 2018-04-30T12:48:50+00:00
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Choose an infographic canvas tool and sign up if necessary. If you are working with a group, discuss pluses and minuses of different tools, as described below in the Infographic Canvas Tool Comparison Guide. You will not be using the canvas tool for your own infographic until Day 3.

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Infographic Canvas Tool Comparison Guide

Last updated: August 31, 2017

After deciding that you and your class are going to create infographics, what’s the best infographic canvas tool for you to use? There are many tools that are designed specifically to support the creation, editing, and layout of infographics; we refer to these as “infographic canvas tools.” Additionally, you can also use any presentation tool, such as Powerpoint and Google Slides, or image/vector editing tools like Inkscape and Adobe Illustrator, or even text editing tools like Microsoft Word. Some students have even created a stop-motion animation infographic! The possibilities are endless, but it’s helpful to have an easy-to-use infographic canvas tool to start with

This guide reports on five online infographic canvas tools: Venngage (https://venngage.com/), Piktochart (https://piktochart.com/), Easel.ly (https://www.easel.ly/), Canva (https://www.canva.com/), and Infogram (https://infogram.com/). All of them have both free versions and premium paid versions; several have education discounts for their premium versions. The premium versions generally include better sharing features that make it easier for a teacher to access the content students create, like high-resolution pdfs, and a wider selection of graphs and maps. In this guide, we will first give you our quick recommendations for which tool to use if you don’t have time to read the entire guide. Then we will compare the online infographic canvas tools in detail. Note that these details are current as of July, 2017 and may change in the future, so be sure to check on details that are particularly important to you before you make a final decision.


Quick Recommendations

Venngage and Piktochart are our top picks if you want to focus on graphs and charts, need maps and have the resources to pay for a premium version. For classroom education pricing for a semester (2017 prices), these are both between $100 and $200 for 30 to 35 students. (See details of premium pricing below.) If you prefer to go with the free basic version, we recommend using Piktochart. Unlike Venngage’s free version, Piktochart’s free version allows you to export the infographic as an image, and share your infographic with other users.

If you don’t need maps and it’s important that it’s easy to download and view or generally access students’ infographics, Easel.ly is a great option for the classroom. The premium version is only $3 per month and gives you access to a large library of visual resources which is useful when students are working on a broad range of topics. The teacher can have just one account, and create a group with a list of student names within their account, without requiring students to use an email address. Easel.ly does not have a great variety of graphs like Piktochart and Venngage, but it does have the essential ones.

If your students are younger and have less experience with graphic design but want to focus on making a good-looking infographic, Canva has some advantages. It constrains users to build their infographic in a vertical format, making it easy to create great looking content especially for social media. It only has a handful of basic chart types, making it a good introduction to working with charts.

If you want to focus on getting a message across and not spend a lot of time on design, Infogram is an option. Like Canva, it also constrains users to a vertical format for graphic design. It does have a good variety of graphs and charts, but design-wise, users are limited to very restrictive color themes. Its target audience is business professionals presenting updates to their peers, so we don’t really recommend it. Students may find that it restricts their creative freedom, taking some of the fun out of making an infographic. It is on the list only because it’s mentioned frequently online as an infographic creation tool.


Overview of Criteria

Our major criteria topics include:

  • Pricing
  • Sharing and Publishing the Infographic
  • Images, Objects, and Graphics
  • Charts and Maps
  • Data Import Options
  • Background and Document Size Editing
  • Additional Usability Features

We will cover why each feature is important and what features are available in each infographic tool. Some features may be added or changed over time as the tools are updated. These features were last checked on July 31, 2017.


Pricing

All of these infographic tools have free versions. Check the tables below to see if you need the premium features, which, for the most part, make sharing easier and include more types of graphs and maps.

Premium Version Pricing (as of 7/31/2017) Notes
Venngage

(https://venngage.com/education-pricing/)

For educators: $29 per month or $99 per year, includes 35 accounts
Piktochart
(https://piktochart.com/pricing/education/)
Educator version: $40 per year for one account, $120 for 4 months for 30 accounts
Easel.ly
(https://www.easel.ly/proaccount)
$3 per month per teacher (for access to large library of visual resources) Even in the free version, teachers with an account can create a “group” that their students can join.
Canva
(https://about.canva.com/pricing/)
$12.95 per user per month (no education pricing)
Infogram
(https://infogram.com/pricing)
$19/month Pro version for one account (no education pricing) Free version: Created infographics are publicly visible, limits: 10 projects per account, 2 maps, 10 uploaded images

Sharing and Publishing the Infographic

Once students have finished a version, either first or final version, of their infographic, you may want them to share it with the class or email it to you for grading. You may also consider publishing it on the school website or even sharing it with the world at large.

Venngage Piktochart Easel.ly Canva Infogram
Share with a specific group no no yes yes (10 team members limit) not specified
Share through social media yes yes yes yes yes
Share with specific user (to appear in their Shared with Me) Premium Premium no yes Premium
Sharing with more than one teacher, sharing with classroom yes no yes not specified not specified
Download infographics shared with me? unsure unsure yes not specified not specified
Share via email yes yes yes yes yes
Export as PDF Premium Premium yes yes Premium
Export as png or jpg Premium yes yes yes Premium
Embed code to Publish on a blog no yes yes yes yes

Images, Objects, and Graphics

Uploading Images

Venngage Piktochart Easel.ly Canva Infogram
Uploadable types of images jpg, png jpg, png, vector format: svg jpg, png, vector format: svg jpg, png, vector formats: svg, eps png, jpg
Upload size limitations per file 2MB 2MB Not specified but can upload 8MB file 50MB not specified
Upload size limitations per account not specified 40MB not specified 1GB 10 files

The ability to upload vector images means you can change the color of the image once it’s on your canvas. It allows for more creative freedom and design flexibility. The initial color of the vector image needs to be black for this feature to work.

Even though Venngage and Piktochart have a file size limitation of 2MB, this does not have to be an issue. An image size of 500KB, which is a quarter of 2MB, would be the equivalent of a decently detailed photo you can find online. If you have an image that is bigger than 2MB, try scaling it down.

Accessible Image Library

Venngage Piktochart Easel.ly Canva Infogram
Large library of graphic resources yes yes Pro version yes yes (mostly for Premium version)
Easily search and find images in their library yes yes yes yes yes

Manipulating Images

Venngage Piktochart Easel.ly Canva Infogram
Copy, paste images within infographic yes yes yes yes yes
Crop images yes no no yes no
Rotate images yes yes yes yes no
Recolor black icons from their library yes yes some, not all yes no
Group objects (includes text) yes yes not specified yes no
Drag and relocate images yes yes yes yes yes
Save color to reuse yes not specified not specified yes no
Show alignment guides when dragging objects yes yes yes yes no
Show grid to align objects yes no no no no
Edit pre-made template yes yes yes yes yes

Charts and Maps

We have divided the chart types available in infographic canvas tools into “standard” and “non-standard” categories. The standard ones are commonly used and relatively easy to understand (although they require basic graph literacy to use correctly). The non-standard ones are less common and, thus, may be more difficult for students to use appropriately or for readers to understand. Despite the availability a large selection of chart types, students do not instantly know how to use every type of graph or what the best graph would be for their data. We recommend that students use non-standard chart types with caution in order to avoid misleading or confusing readers.

You are not limited to using only the available charts. You can create a chart, graphic, or word cloud with any tool (i.e. spreadsheets, image or vector drawing program, online design tool, map design, online chart tool), save it as an image, and import it into the infographic canvas tool. If saving the chart as an image is not an option, you can also take a screenshot of it. Methods for taking a screenshot vary from one computer operating system to the next (i.e. Windows, Mac, Chromebook, phone).

Most charts come with preset styles that limit the design and layout for the chart title, axes titles, and legend. (Easel.ly and Canva charts do not come with chart titles.) You can make these as separate text boxes to have more control over the design and layout.

Standard Chart Types

Venngage Piktochart Easel.ly Canva Infogram
Pictogram (Icon matrix) yes yes no no yes
Line graph yes yes yes yes yes
Area graph yes yes yes no yes
Pie chart yes yes yes yes yes
Bar graph yes yes yes no yes
Column graph yes yes yes yes yes
Stacked Column yes no yes no yes
Combined Line and Column yes no no no Premium
Scatterplot yes yes yes no yes
Dot Plot yes no no no yes

Non-standard Chart Types

Venngage Piktochart Easel.ly Canva Infogram
Half Pie (gauge) yes yes no no yes
Donut chart no yes yes yes yes
Swatch no yes no no no
Triangle Column no yes no no no
Bubble yes yes yes no yes
Stacked Bubble yes yes no no no
Cloud Bubble yes no no no no
Word Cloud yes no no no yes
Tree Map yes no no no yes
Pyramid (gradient hierarchy) Premium yes no yes yes
Progress no yes no no yes
Venn Diagram no no no yes no
Timeline no no no yes no

Maps with Data

These maps use differences in shading or coloring for countries, states, provinces, or counties to indicate corresponding numerical values in those areas. Static map images made outside the programs can be imported (see “Uploading Images” table).

Venngage Piktochart Easel.ly Canva Infogram
World Map Premium yes no no yes
Continents Premium yes no no yes
Countries Premium yes no no Premium
US country Premium no no yes
US Individual States Premium no no no Premium
Canadian Provinces Premium no no no Premium

Data Import Options

For the most part, you can copy data from a spreadsheet and paste it into the data table for the graph or chart. This option can be tricky to use because your data may not be in the right format for the infographic tool to read and process into creating the graph you want and you may need to restructure it after importing.

Importing from Different Sources: Spreadsheets and Survey Data

If you’re interested in collecting and analyzing survey data, we recommend using Google Forms since the data goes into a Google Sheet and can be imported by most of the tools below. If you prefer Surveymonkey, Piktochart would be your best bet.

Venngage Piktochart Easel.ly Canva Infogram
Import *.csv no yes no no yes
Import Microsoft Excel file yes yes yes yes, paste in yes
Import Google Sheets yes yes no yes, paste in yes
Import data from Surveymonkey no yes no no no

Background and Document Size Editing

Some infographic tools can be tricky when trying to do minor things like change the size of the infographic so you can add more to it. Here’s a rundown of what is possible with each tool.

Venngage Piktochart Easel.ly Canva Infogram
Easily change height of infographic no yes yes no no
Easily change width of infographic no no yes no no
Change background color or image (pattern for background) yes yes yes yes no

Additional Usability Features

This section covers features that you might expect to see, but which are not available in all tools. For example, you can’t undo actions in Infogram.

Venngage Piktochart Easel.ly Canva Infogram
Undo/redo actions yes yes yes yes no
Ability to move graph elements like the chart titles and other text no no no chart titles no chart titles no
Cuts off parts of images when they are off the edge of the infographic because they won’t show in published version no yes no yes Not applicable