Road tripping is one of my favorite ways of exploring the big ‘ol U-S-A. There’s just nothing quite as liberating as sitting behind the wheel of a car and knowing you can make a pitstop anywhere you want. And as a travel blogger, winding through the many distinct landscapes of America leads to endless documentation possibilities.
On the other hand, road tripping is a pretty common form of travel. We all know the classic image of an empty highway fading into the horizon. And as beautiful and timeless as that concept is, it’s also been done a hundred times over.
I recently got home from a cross-country trip and wanted to not only show off my awesome journey with a unique image, but to create something informative that would give people a deeper look into my journey. So I took my quandary to BeFunky’s online Photo Editor and created my very own infographic road map.
Step 1: Start from Scratch
When you draw, design, or pick out your basic map background, make sure it’s not already filled with numbers and words. That might clutter your infographic.
I snagged this basic outline of the United States of America for my template. I chose the bright pastels because many of my road trip activities were fun and summery and I want my colors to reflect that vibe.
Step 2: Get To Know Your Tools
There are a couple tools in the BeFunky online Photo Editor suite that are imperative to designing your road map infographic. Not only will they make your creative process much simpler, but they'll also make it a lot speedier, too.
First, there’s the Graphics section. It’s an expansive source of images that you can add to your picture, size accordingly, and generally mess around until they fit your vision. There are tons of options here; get familiar with the many different categories so you know what’s possible.
Secondly, meet the Duplicate button. When you’re adding lots of different-but-similarly-formatted captions to your image or multiples of the same graphic, it’s a life saver. In this tutorial, you will use it frequently.
Now it’s time to get down to business.
Step 3: Fill Your Map Out
Before you really get into creating your road map, you have to ask yourself what exactly you want to emphasize from your trip. I wanted to do two things with my infographic: 1) illustrate all my favorite stops across the country, and 2) plot out my route across the USA.
So before I even began editing, I wrote down a list of spots I wanted to highlight and checked out an actual route map to envision of my driving path. This gave me a clear idea of what graphics I wanted to use and how I wanted my map to lay out. And then I began the creative process.
First, I added a star graphic from the Geometry category. I wanted to use it as an icon for my starting point and my end point.
I played with the settings on my star until it fit what I wanted. I then placed it on my starting spot in New York, duplicated it, and placed the second star on San Francisco, CA, my end point.
Next was the really fun part. I added graphics to illustrate all my favorite spots during my travels, double-checking with the map to make sure everything was geographically correct.
I then included captions for each place that I highlighted. I changed the text and added a background color so that they stood out from the image. I also added a graphic from the Designer category to connect the pictures with the captions. I duplicated the original, using the eyedropper in the color setting box to match the state that each spot was in.
Now that everything was lined up, I could lay out my route. I used one of the circular graphics from the Designer category to make a dot, just like one that you would find on a trail guide. Once it was the right size and color, I duplicated it about thirty times. I then filled in the spaces between each of my destinations.
Once I had completed adding all my graphics, it still felt like my image was a bit disjointed, so I flattened my image, went into the photo editor’s Effects section, and placed a Grunge Effect over the whole thing.
Finally, I added a header and framed it for final touches.
Voila! So next time you want to show off your recent road tripping experience, don’t settle on a regular map or a simple image. Create your own infographic to impress your friends and followers!