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Sep 15, 2016

To Use or Not to Use: Customized Infographics vs. Templates

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To Use or Not to Use: Customized Infographics vs. Templates

If you’re new to infographics, it seems like there’s a lot to take in. Once you know how to use infographics, and what kind of data is best translated into one, you’re left with one final choice. Should you create a custom infographic from the ground up, or stick with a tried and true template? The answer depends on what you’re trying to accomplish with your infographic.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Custom Infographics

Custom infographics are great when you’re working with special circumstances. If you need to contain visuals within a visual, a custom infographic makes it easier to do so. If you’re trying to convey several points simultaneously, this may require some special design considerations that you simply cannot get from a template.

Custom infographics are also an excellent display of showmanship. They give you full freedom and creativity to craft a unique design unlike something a viewer will have seen before. These custom infographics are often re-shared, so if you watermark them, they may help drive new viewers to your site.

An example of Custom infographic:
5 Challenges To Awaken Your Creativity - infographic
Courtesy of:

The biggest disadvantage to custom infographics is the amount of time they take to design and develop. Starting from the bottom up is difficult. You’ll have to find or make supplementary graphics on your own, select a color scheme, and find the clearest way to show the data. If you’re working with simple information, all of this effort may be unnecessary.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Templates

Templates make any task easier, and infographics are no exception. All you need to do is pick your colors, plug in the generic visuals and graphics, and stick your information into the template. If you’re working with simple information and you need to be able to turn out an infographic quickly, using a template is your best option.

There’s no reason why you should build a custom infographic that would convolute something that would be easy to understand without a ton of bells and whistles. It’s a more effective use of your time to use templates for easy jobs – especially if these infographics are going to accompany an article that does a lot of explaining.

An examples of Template based infographic, made in piktochart

Source: Piktochart / Pinterest

Templates might be a bad choice when things are not so easy to communicate. Trying to squash too much information into a template can be a nightmare. No one will be able to understand the flow or progression of what you’re trying to say. This means you’ve wasted your time and resources creating an infographic that won’t be useful. In this scenario, it’s better to spend a little longer on a custom infographic that you know people will understand.

How to Make the Choice

Based on a clear understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of both styles, you may know right off the bat which is the best choice for a project you’re currently working on. If you’re still undecided, process of elimination can help you come to the correct conclusion.

Think about what you’re trying to convey with your infographic, and look at templates. Find a few that seem like they’ll work, and visualize your information placed inside of those templates. Would the layman be able to understand what you’re trying to say? If so, then go with the template. If not, then start drafting out your custom infographic.

Sophia Mest is a Content Manager at BizDb, where she aspires to put her writing passion into practice and spread her words across the world. She spends her free time travelling and exploring the wonders of nature. Follow her on Twitter @MestSophia.

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