Data Designing: Creating an Informative Infographic in Illustrator | Rhiannon Fox-Nanette | Skillshare

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Data Designing: Creating an Informative Infographic in Illustrator

teacher avatar Rhiannon Fox-Nanette, Information Designer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (18m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Datasets

    • 3. Research

    • 4. Icon Development

    • 5. Sketching and Layout

    • 6. Electronic Development

    • 7. Color Development

    • 8. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Join information designer Rhiannon Fox on her first online teaching opportunity with Skillshare! During this class you'll learn to visualize a small amount of population data in a simple and easy to understand infographic. You will work through understanding your data, learning to tell a story, and how to use a monochromatic color scheme to maintain a visual hierarchy. 

This class is inspired by the growing population of the world and the trends we may see. 

- Understand the data provided (or find your own dataset)
- Develop your visual graphic through research and sketching
- Design a simple and concise infographic

Anyone who is looking to branch out into data visualization or try something new, this is the perfect opportunity to test yourself with a simple yet beautifully put together graphic! 


Adobe Illustrator (with at least a basic knowledge of understanding)

Pen/Pencil & Paper

Meet Your Teacher

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Rhiannon Fox-Nanette

Information Designer


Rhiannon is a Bermuda based Information Designer, and is new to the SkilShare teaching community!

She is currently pursuing an MSc in Interaction Design & Information Architecture at the University of Baltimore, with several years experience out of Parsons the New School for Design. Her undergraduate thesis has been exhibited internationally, in 2011 at the Global Assessment Research Report for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Geneva, Switzerland, which attracts over 2,000 United Nations delegates from all over the world, and in GeoCity SmartCity Exhibition, Beijing 2012. She has previously held a lead infographics analyst role with the CFA Institute and interned with Steve McCurry of National Geographic and Magnum in New York City.

Rhiannon has a pass... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Brianna. I'm an information designer from Bermuda. Information design is the integration of design principles and dot our coffee content. The use of infographics allows designers to simplify a load of content into an easy to understand graphic, which can help deliver clients message more effectively. My school shirt cause it's called data design, creating informative infographic and industry in this costs will look at understanding data , developing a story to tell on the design process. It's important to grasp the concept of what the data is tending on, what you or the client wants to betray story. Then when you're designing, you'll need to sketch developed things like the typography, icons mayo in Iraq. The hierarchy is also important because it leaves the viewer through the graph. Where do you want them to look first, what's most important and what's maybe not as important, I'll show you my creative process. I'm God you step by step. This class is for anyone who might be looking to incorporate infographics well, the principles of information design into the design. I love what I do, and I'm very happy to share with others who may be considering information design, just looking to learn something new. Thanks for watching, and I hope you enjoy 2. Datasets: before you begin, you'll need to acquire the data set you wish to use and determine the client's specific requirements for the end product. The data set I'll be working with during this class is the commuter population data from 1911 to 2010. You're welcome to use this data as well or to use your own data. If you prefer, you can find my data file in the class description. Okay, let's look at our spreadsheet. This data is from the Bermuda dot Io website, which is a free open source website for commuted data. So what the data shows us is the years the census was recorded, the total civilian population and the breakdown of males and females. This is great as it gives us an extra layer of information without it being too complicated . So what we will need to show is both the overall population on the male to female breakdown by year within one visual concept or essentially have two layers of information together. Now we've got our data. Let's move on to the research phase 3. Research: now we're comfortable with the data were visualizing. It's to a bit of research for this project. I only want you to spend about 30 minutes on this at the very most for the purpose off this class, I'm more interested in your creativity on what you produce, rather than your ability to do research. My first step in research is always key words, writing down as many different was that relate to the project. The client on the data is essential. Start off by writing down the obvious keywords commuter population, census, etcetera. Then move on to the more abstract words. These keywords will help kick start your research on visuals, and they may come in handy If you ever get to a point where you are stuck during your creative development, you can always come back to these words on rework an idea through different visual. With each word, you can Google image Search for inspiration. Don't spend a long time on the image search unless you're struggling for ideas. Let's move on to the icon development 4. Icon Development: I prefer to sketch everything first before moving on to the computer. There are many different ways you can go with a Nikon, but let's start sketching all the options. I decided to use a gender neutral icon as I would like the total population to be the first thing viewers see. The single icon was create a cohesive flow to the graphic, and then the male and female breakdown will be the secondary layer off information. Once you have chosen the icon star you wish to use, move into Illustrator. Depending on how comfortable you are an illustrator, there are a few options. See you at this point. You can create the icon immediately and illustrator without any tracing or guidelines needed using just the pentacle and shapes. Or you may want to scan or photograph your sketch and place it in your file to trace over it. Go ahead and welcome factoring your icons and then move on to sketching a lay. Oh, feel free to write in the community section. If you have any questions or need any help with this stuff, 5. Sketching and Layout: now you should have affected Illustrator Icon and be ready to sketch a layout. I find it a lot quicker to sketch before you move into Illustrator, as you're less concerned about perfection and don't quite need to be is refined. Sketching allows us to eliminate some of the ideas we originally may have thought might work. But we realize may know it's better that we do so before spending time in Illustrator Be Rough on Approximate the different Elements. How will the icons sit in their respective years? How will you show each year's population increase? How will you display the actual numbers associated to each year on the gender breakdown? Where is the best location for the title? All these questions can be answered before you even move onto the computer. You can see my sketching is rough. I'm just trying to test lots of different labels. I am happy with my sketches here and how they might flow. So let's move on to the Elektronik Development 6. Electronic Development: time to create the Elektronik graphic. Now we've done most of the work already, so it should go pretty smoothly because I have my icon created. I am not going to trace my lay out sketch as I have the idea. Visualized already. If you are more comfortable with using your sketch as a guideline, feel free to scan or photograph it and place it in your file to help you out. Because print is not a requirement off this project, I'm going to make my file our GP. If it's a small enough data set, I like to place a screenshot right on my art board for quick referencing Why we work on the graphic. Now let's work on the icons and data. First, I will do 1911 on Lay Out their total number, 18,994. I'm going to use the scale. One icon equals 1000 people, so I will have 19 icons for 1911 for now, laying out 10 for both female and male making female a low opacity so we can tell the difference to work on the partial icon. I take a rectangle the same height as the icon, which is 0.5 inches. Divide by 1000 and multiplied by 70 as our only 70 people in that last 1000 for male, a line both the icon on the shape to the bottom, making sure the shape is in the front. Then right click to make it clipping mosque. You then need to duplicate the icon and create a second clipping mask that shows the top half off the icon as this will still be part of the female count. Once you have done the male split, make sure you do the female split for the last icon as well. I always recommend doing the first and last Abbasid or the smallest to biggest asset, because then you can gauge the area you will need. Luckily for this 1911 on 2010 off the first and last and also the smallest on biggest, the same thing needs to happen with 2010 for the portion of the last 1000. Make your calculation and create the clipping mosque. Remember, for the female calculation, you need to subtract the remainder off the male female split. You adjusted for the male section from the female total so you get the correct icon amount for the last female. At this point, it is a good idea. Toe add references so you don't get lost or confused about what is what If, for example, I just noticed I miscounted on the 1911 icons. That's okay. It happens. Just make sure you always double check your data and your visuals to make sure they're accurate. Now is a good time to start working on your typography at the labels on work on your sizing typeface and wait to see what gives you the best high Rocky. I am maintaining the high rapacity with Male, so I will continue that through the typography as well. I have chosen to make two small symbols for the female and male. This is to help balance labeling, so there isn't too much text. I'll also create a legend at the end so the viewer come reference those icons once you are happy with your labelling layout duplicated for the 2010 to make sure they are the same, you can go ahead and build out the rest of your years now, once you have completed all the years the legend and laid out your page. Don't worry. If is not exactly the same monsieur sketch that's part of the design process. Developing it as you go means you are finding better solutions. As you work through your project Notice we are still only working in black and white. This is very important. If your graphic doesn't work in black and white, it won't work in color, sold all your issues first and then move on to your color development. The last bit I work on is the title. Titles can be reworked a lot, and I usually the most dynamic, So play around with different sizes on locations again, Working on the hierarchy of the graphic is a hole. Notice the legend in the right hand corner. It is telling the viewer what the icon represents, what the two symbols mean on any information about the data that is required to be stated. Where you got the data from the date the data was survey, etcetera. Okay, looks like we now have a solid black and white infographic. Let's move on to the color development 7. Color Development: with this project. We don't have any restrictions, so I'm going to try a few different backgrounds. First, I'm going to duplicate what we have and start with a photograph off Bermuda. It is a dark sunset, so there's not too much going on in the background. Remember, you may need to change the colors of your icons, depending on the color of your background. But as you can see, it still doesn't work. It is still pretty busy. We can then try adding in another layer on top of the photograph to help push the image back further into the background. It's looking better. The graphic is still competing with the background. I'm going to try 1/3 option that is a single color. I'll start by using the default colors. For now, I like to start with them, and once I've picked the color group, I like to then move into the color wheel to adjust to the specific color I want. I actually think this light blue works really well. It is very bright and gives a vibrancy that the photograph never did. Make sure you use a color that has a reference to your subject. Blue is a prominent color around him, you know, because of the ocean. Simple reason. But it works. Play around with different colors, the vibrancy of the colors and even some imagery to see what works best for you. You've worked hard through all these steps and you've almost completed your infographic. 8. Final Thoughts: now on to the final tweaks of your project. I can't wait to see what you've created during this clause. You've now keywords basic research. I've come development, sketching, creating your infographic administrator. I'm working on a suitable color to use. Makes you with post your project in the project section. I hope you enjoy my first class as much as I did and learn something new along the way. Feel free to ask any questions on the discussion board. But even writer of you thanks so much. And I look forward to seeing your finished projects.