Icons and Images : 5 ‘Must-knows’ on how to use them effectively

This is part of the Infographic Design Series. In this post, we will show you some neat tips and tricks to make clear and attractive contents using Piktochart’s icons and objects. They are easy to apply and with this post, we hope to inspire you to make more attractive designs.

You may not know this but Piktochart provides a free library of over 4,000 icons! You can give our icon library a try creating a free account on Piktochart right away. Here we are giving you a couple of simple guidelines to optimize the use of icons and images in creating great infographics

1. Repurpose images with shapes

Imagine how a simple trick could change the look of an icon or image; you can turn dull-looking images into shapes with attractive, meaningful visuals. On top of that, this is a solution for when you find an image to your liking but are unable to use it as it does not fit your design. What is this trick you ask? It is the masking tool!

With this tool, you can combine an image with icons to make cool designs that work for your theme. The best part is , It is as simple as giving candy to a baby (don’t take candies from babies please). Go Here if you want a video tutorial and some other neat tricks.
how to mask images
Note: To use the masking tool, you will need to select BOTH (hold down the SHIFT key) the image and a shape (icon) and click on “Masking” on the top menu.

2. Create text banners in seconds

Sometimes, you just need to quickly put something together without wanting to fuss over the design; our answer to that is ready-to-use text frame designs.  Text frames contain both  text and graphics that you can place anywhere on the canvas allowing you to customize it to your liking, making it work for your theme you can create designs in seconds.. You can find this by clicking on the “Text” menu on the left vertical bar.
icons and images
Note: Text Frames are available under Text tool on the left panel.

3. Control opacity for readability

Have you ever come across text that is so difficult to read due to the background image? That’s usually because there is no sufficient contrast between the background image or color and the text on top it. Having good contrast is important to create depths and readability.

There are a few ways for you to control opacity of your images or icons. You can create ‘tints’ by adding white or create ‘shades’ by adding black to your original image. Or you can also create layered background or add shadows. Check out the following examples for some inspirations.
background image transparent
Note: To add tints on an image, you can use the opacity slider to adjust the percentage. To add shades, you will need to add a rectangular shape on your original image in dark colors (or any other color that matches your theme) and adjust the opacity percentage to get the desired shade. Try this feature by signing up and editing a template from our gallery.

4. Use matching icons for sharp and clean design

To create sharp looking infographics, it has to be balanced and clean. One of the tricks is to use icons of the same family. This ensures visually pleasant appearance. Consider the following comparison. Matching icons simply makes the design looks neat and attractive, while unmatching icons makes you feel unorganized and confused.
matching icons
Note: You can use non-colored icons from the “Icons” gallery and manipulate the colors to create a uniformed set of icons. You can also include shapes with the same color as the background to match.

5. Customize images to create meaningful visual

Visuals play an important role in helping your audience understand the message you are delivering. Therefore, you should try to use relevant images as much as possible. However, sometimes there is still a need to tweak it further. Slight manipulation of images and shapes can produce meaningful visuals that fit your content purpose. Make sure to tinker with the available tools and images to make the best out of it.
customize images, customize icons
Note: Try to manipulate icons, shapes, and images from the Graphics Gallery to get the visual you need. You can use the “Arrange” tool and the color palette to create different layers for your visuals.

Hope you enjoyed the tips in this post. Want to try out these tips right away? Create a free account on Piktochart and edit a template from our infographic gallery. Feel free to check out our presentation, poster and report templates. 

Do you have your own tips and tricks in your pocket? Please share them with us by leaving your comments below.

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