Nothing spiffs up your website or event schedule like cool graphics and infographics. Read on to find the programs best for you.
Good – visual.ly
Visual.ly takes the hard work out of designing and produces beautiful infographics very quickly. Simply use its user-designed templates and input your data. Visual.ly also offers infographics based on your social media use. If you like your Facebook or Twitter to the site, it will create a fun graphical representation of your activity. Visual.ly is also a repository for public/government data and pre-made infographics on just about any subject you can think of. If you need to spice up a blog post or report quickly, infographics from Visual.ly can be incredibly helpful and aesthetically pleasing.
Better – GIMP
If you want the basic tools of Adobe Photoshop at no cost, you may want to check out GIMP, an image manipulation software compatible with almost every mainstream operating system. GIMP will help you to create simple graphics and edit photos using the same basic tools as Photoshop and more expensive programs. It allows for photo retouching and color correction. It takes up a lot less space on a hard drive than a professional program does, and is easier to learn. However, it’s color capabilities aren’t suited for print media, and its open-source platform mean less user support (you didn’t pay for it) and more bugs.
Best – Adobe Creative Suite
We’ll just say this right off the bat: the Adobe Suite is professional software, and it is pricey. But this high-end, versatile software is well worth the money if you know how to use it to your advantage. Once you and your team are trained to use it, you’ll be able to design page layouts, vector graphics, webpages, videos, and more. Use Adobe Illustrator to create infographics to your exact specifications. These files are vectors, which means that you can make the poster or images as large or small as you like without losing definition and clarity. For photos, use Adobe Photoshop to edit and manipulate images for online use and for printing. However, the programs have a fairly steep learning curve, and you’ll likely want to take a class or two to learn how to use them. Buying these programs will require a large investment, but the returns can be huge if you use it right. But if you aren’t a designer, and don’t want to be, purchasing these programs isn’t likely to benefit your business.