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Creating Infographics

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Michelle Jilesen

Michelle Jilesen

About the Author

Michelle is an Educator with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Education from UOIT. Michelle has lead coding workshops with students in JK – Secondary school. She enjoys camping and being outdoors. One of her passions is to inspire girls to take an interest in math, science and technology.

Art & Design
Lesson Plan

Introduction

Infographics present information in a concise and easy to view manner. Students will create an infographic on a broad topic of the teacher’s choosing. Students may choose a more specific topic that fits within the broad topic.

Learning Goals

By the end of this module students will be comfortable creating infographics using Piktochart. They will be able to think about their intended audience, and identify what key points are most relevant to that demographic.

Vocabulary

Infographic
a chart or diagram that represents information or data in a concise visual manner.
Block
a section of the infographic. Sections can be added or removed as needed.

Guiding Questions

  1. What is an infographic?
  2. What type of information is best-suited for an infographic?

Curriculum Links

The infographic can be done on a variety of topics allowing it to connect to any curriculum. For example, students could create an infographic on World War II alliances, the plot in their novel study, equations for volume, the difference between animal and plant cells and much more!

Materials

Piktochart account – Register for Piktochart

Non-Computer Activity

Look at these print ads and identify the intended audience.

Alternatively the teacher could show ads from the community that might be familiar to the class. Ask the students what helped them determine the target audience? Images? Words? Slogans? How could the ads be adjusted to make them targeted to a different audience?

For example the Berocca vitamin ad targets adults who want to stay fit and healthy. The imagery of a cyclist makes people think about being fit and active. The text talks about being “on top of your game”, which appeals to an activity- or sport-oriented demographic. If the audience was switched to teens, an extreme sport might be more relevant, as well as a more vivid colour scheme. For seniors, an activity like water aerobics or walking might be most relevant to them.

Computer Activity

For this activity students will create an infographic based on the topic given by the teacher. To create an effective infographic, a few things need to be considered:

  • Purpose: What is the purpose of the infographic? What information does it need to convey?
  • Audience: Who is the target demographic for this information? What is relevant to them? What do they need to know? What do they want to know? Make sure the data relates back to the topic in a way that is useful for the audience.
  • Research: After thinking about the audience, you may need to rethink the purpose in more detail. Investigate your topic gathering any information you need, always keeping your purpose and the audience in mind. Check all facts for accuracy. Explore the ways your data could be shown visually.
  • Outline/Draft: Create a rough sketch of your idea and the points you want to cover. Keep assessing for the relevance to your audience and see if there are any gaps in information where you need more research.
  • Assets: Gather any images or icons you will need. Include any sources for your data to show credibility and give credit for others’ research.

There is more that can be considered when creating an infographic, but this is a good starting point. PricewaterhouseCoopers has a great article on their site about When and how to create an effective infographic.

Getting Started

  1. Begin your Piktochart project by selecting a template from the Infographic tab (the menu on the left side of the screen).
Four options listed on the left menu in Piktochart which consists of Dashboard, Infographic, Presentation and Printable
  1. Hover your mouse over your chosen template and select “Use Template”.
  2. In the Editor page that opens, there is a new menu on the left side of the screen with six tabs for the different editing sections: Graphics, Uploads, Background, Text, Colour Scheme, and Tools.
  3. On the immediate left of the infographic there is a toolbox with shortcuts to add, move, clone and delete blocks in your infographic.
  4. The grey bar between each block allows for the size of the block to be adjusted.

Graphics Tab

There are four subsections within the Graphics tab: Shapes & Icons, Lines, Photos, and Photo Frames:

  • Shapes & Icons: a library of simple images and icons for adding visual interest to your infographic. You can search for specific items or scroll through the different objects. Click on an object to add it to your page, or drag it where you want it. You can move it around. Note: holding shift while resizing will maintain the aspect ratio and avoid distortion.
  • Lines: Lines help separate information or draw attention to titles. After you have added a line, you can customize it in the menu above the infographic. You can change the Colour, Opacity, Line Width (from 1% to 100%) and Line Style (Solid, Dashed, or Dotted).
Menu with the Graphics tab opened displaying the subsections available
  • Photos: Piktochart has a robust library of images available, sorted by category, or you can search by keyword. You can also click the plus sign to upload your own images.
  • Photo Frames: unique shapes and containers that you can insert images into. To insert an image into a photo frame, simply drag and drop onto the frame. To adjust the view within the frame, double click the image, adjust as desired, then click Done at the top left corner of the image.

Uploads Tab

  • To upload an image click the “Browse Images” button and navigate to the image on your computer.
  • Any images you upload will be available here.
  • Click the images to add them to your infographic and adjust the size and position as desired.

Background Tab

From this tab you can change the background colour or pattern.

  • To change the background colour, click the bucket icon and (1) enter in a hex value, (2) select a colour from the selection at the bottom of the palette, or (3) choose a custom colour by clicking the plus sign under Recent Colours.
  • To add or change the background image, select one from the library. You can adjust the opacity of the image to show the background colour beneath. This is also useful if the background is distracting from the text.

Text Tab

From this tab you can add different types of text: titles, subtitles, and body text, and add preset text layouts from the library in the Text Frame tab.

  • Double-click any text in your layout to edit the content.
  • Use the menu at the top of the screen to change the colour, font, size, opacity, alignment, etc.
Text presets that can be found in Piktochart. This text frame is a company name and tagline. The menu at the top displays the different editing functions available.

Colour Scheme

From this tab you can select a preset colour scheme that works for your content. There is an option to choose your own colour scheme that requires paying for an upgrade.

Tools Tab

From this tab you can add Charts, Maps and Videos.

 The tools tab is selected and the tool choices are Charts, Maps and Videos. There is a space to add a video URL for adding videos.
  1. Charts: opens a window where you can create a chart or import your own data.
  2. Maps: allows you to add a map to your infographic.
    • Select from the list of Countries or Regions.
    • Click Edit this Map to customize the map’s appearance.
    • You can change the Map Colour and Border Colour of the entire map, or each individual state (province, territory, prefecture, etc).
    • You can also selectively hide or show specific countries or regions.
    • Under Data Visualization you can add a Caption on Hover and also create an Area-Value Map based on population, or your own data (which can be added to the chart under the Data tab.)
  3. Videos: Enter a URL to add a video.

Finishing

When you are finished with your infographic, download it by clicking Download Visual under the File menu. In the dialogue that opens select the File Format, Quality, and whether you want the file downloaded as individual blocks, or all as one graphic. After downloading your file, you can print your infographic to share with others.

Conclusion

Print everyone’s infographics, post around the classroom and create a scavenger hunt. Have each student provide a question for their peers to answer based on information found in their infographic. Give students the opportunity to go around and read each infographic and try to complete the scavenger hunt.

Resources

  • Smore is a site for creating newsletters that provides statistics on your newsletters. It also has an article explaining infographics and provides excellent tips.
  • PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) is a business site that looks at new ways of keeping a competitive advantage. Their article, “When and how to create an effective infographic”explains what makes an effective infographic and when it is appropriate to use infographics.
  • Easelly is an infographic maker website with a blog post about incorporating infographics into any subject area.
  • Hubspot is a company that specializes in marketing and sales software for attracting new customers. They have a blog post about the basic elements of graphic design. These elements should be considered when designing advertisements and infographics.
  • Plain Language has an article that briefly explains how to write for your audience.

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