Infographics are a great way to communicate complex data or ideas in a more digestible format. Infographics also allow you to quickly identify patterns and trends in your data and information that may not be as readily apparent in a non-graphic format.
Getting Started: Once you have an idea of what you want to turn into an infographic, consider the following;
- How can I best display this information? Is a chart or graph best? Maybe a symbol?
- Are there patterns and trends I want to highlight?
- Is the information easily viewed? Is the size too small? Are you trying to display too much in one graphic?
- Can you include citations to your content for others to follow up with?
- Is it clear what you are trying to communicate? Tip: Maybe have a friend or family member look it over
- Are the symbols you are using considered universal?
There are two main areas of copyright to consider when creating an infographic:
- The copyright permissions attached to the images you want to use
- How you would like to license the completed infographic when you finish it
So, how do you handle those issues?
1. Copyright permissions on images
- Create your own images
- Find public domain, CC0 or other Creative Commons Licensed Images
2. Licensing your infographic
When you're using third-party content you have to be careful about how you are licensing the finished product if you want to share it publically on the web. If you're using any Creative Commons licensed images in your finished graphic that has a ShareAlike element then you have to share your finished graphic under a compatible license.
Also, make sure that the images you're using all have licenses that are compatible with each other, Creative Commons has a matrix that explains that: https://wiki.creativecommons.org/wiki/Wiki/cc_license_compatibility
If you're in doubt about what you can do with a specific image, or you're not sure how to license your final infographic you can email firstname.lastname@example.org for help any time.
Where can I find images?
- Flickr: Creative Commons
- Many Flickr users have chosen to offer their work under a Creative Commons license, and you can browse or search through content under each type of license.
- Flickr: The Commons
- The key goal of The Commons is to share hidden treasures from the world's public photography archives.
- Images for Publication
- Sources of free images for scholarly publication, and fee-based licensing for all publication purposes.
- Laurier Archives Images
- The University Archives collection of digitized photographs, documenting WLU life, people and history.
- Google Images (advanced search)
- Click "Tools", then click "Use Rights", then click "Creative Commons Licenses".
- Wikimedia Commons
- Images, video and sound clips from Wikipedia, mostly in the public domain.
- The Noun Project
- Creative Commons images and icons that are easy to use and search.
- Stock Snap
- Database contains free to use images under Creative Commons 0 license.
- Images are available for both commercial and non-commercial applications.
- For more suggestions on where you can get images, please visit our Images Research Materials page.
What tools can I use to create inforgraphics?:
- easel.ly Online application to create infographics.
- Creately A free, online version of software that helps you create custom diagrams and charts.
- Infogr.am Create super simple interactive graphics.
- Piktochart Online application to create infographics.
- Canva Create a free account to start creating your infographic.