Business & Marketing Infographics: Designing Visual Data in Illustrator | Rachel Furlong | Skillshare

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Business & Marketing Infographics: Designing Visual Data in Illustrator

teacher avatar Rachel Furlong, Web Design | Graphics

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Why Infographics?


    • 3.

      The design process


    • 4.

      Visualising data


    • 5.

      Research + Story + Design


    • 6.

      Set up the layout & colours


    • 7.

      Make graphs & styling


    • 8.

      Make a Pictogram


    • 9.

      Make a stacked bar graph


    • 10.



    • 11.

      Assemble the infographic


    • 12.

      Project & next steps


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About This Class

Hello my name is Rachel and I am a freelance designer creating infographics & illustrations for content marketing companies, entrepreneurs & small businesses and I love creating infographics & bringing data to life using Adobe Illustrator.

In this course, you will learn how to create an infographic creating graphs, pictograms and icons, integrating them with text to tell a story. I will show you how to design the visuals for your infographic to look appealing using a defined colour scheme with graphs, icons & text. Some previous experience in Illustrator would be useful for this course although not essential.

Meet Your Teacher

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Rachel Furlong

Web Design | Graphics


A web designer and education professional, I have over 15 years experience in web design, development and marketing. I design and present courses in infographics and data visualisation on Skillshare. As a coding tutor I love to help students succeed in their studies, supporting the acquisition of skills & project work on their way to becoming professional web developers.  I freelance in building websites for businesses & agencies to help clients promote their services on the web.

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hello. My name's Rachel for long, and I'm a freelance designer, creating infographics and illustrations for content marketing companies, entrepreneurs and small businesses. And I'm excited to tell you everything I know about designing and building an infographic in this class. We're going to create an infographic using Adobe Illustrator, and you're going to walk away with a template, including charts, icons, text and more. So you will have an infographic all ready to go for your company or client. Our world is full of data, and for it to mean anything, it has to be presented in a way that enables us to understand the information quickly on one of the best ways to do this is visually I loved designing infographics that tell stories in creative visual ways which engage people, and I want to show you have to do that. One of the biggest issues with infographics is getting past the point where you're gathering and exploring data on attempting to turn it into an effective visual presentation and finding the stories that your date to Comptel students on this course will learn how to make an infographic using the data and following along with the demonstrations on. They'll learn about the different ways in which data and information can be displayed to create an effective infographic to display on our website and shared across social media. Who should take this class if you're a designer and would like to develop Adobe illustrator skills to make infographics? If you're a marketer who would like to create visual assets for your company or an entrepreneur who wants to promote product or service visually, this is for you. So if you want to know how to make greater infographics, let's get started. 2. Why Infographics?: infographics official displays of information which make complex ideas easier to understand and to communicate information more clearly. Over the past few years, interest in visual content has grown hugely. This is apparent when researching Google trends, where the figures show there's been a significant increase in worldwide searches for the term infographic every year since a platform began. At the same time, people are learning more visually, according to research. Visual R. Q is growing amongst the general population, people are more likely to share or like visual content. However, with the amount of information available online, attention spans are shrinking. Add into the equation the fact that people remember much more off what they see or do, and you can see why. Infographics, as a method of displaying information, has grown in importance to help you keep pace with these trends, let's take a look at some of the uses for infographics to display information. Usually when you come across types of content, which contained dense amounts of information or statistics, these are often better displayed visually. Types of content, such as reports, training materials and promotional marketing content, can successfully be made into an infographic resumes work while in infographic style and could make you stand out when applying for a job. Or you could use infographics to promote successful results from a recent business event. Case studies, success stories or a business report. So what specifically, do you need to make an infographic? Let's take a look at the toolbox. First of all, you need to gather the content of the infographic a data set, for example, and think about the story line of the point you want to put across. Other considerations are the layout, the style, including fonts, colors, icons and charts. Consider your target audience and how you plan to share your infographic, for example, across social media or perhaps on a Web page or in a block post. 3. The design process: So let's look at the design process we will be following. Have a think about the information you would like to show in your infographic. If you're not sure, you can just follow along with the lessons. Using a data and storyline I provide in the project area for this course, when you were doing research, there are either primary sources or secondary sources. Primary sources can be surveys you've done yourself, such as using an online survey makeup and sending this out to your network or doing face to face surveys with your colleagues. Secondary sources are, for example, industry surveys already published or from blocks or published reports. Once you have gathered your information, you need to set about analysing it on organizing it, deciding on the key points you want to get across the headlines. This is followed by supporting information on miscellaneous facts. To finish with the organization is similar to the way you might go about writing a press release. For example, you could use the five W's technique who, what, why, where and when. Once you have an idea of the story you're telling this will then help you with deciding on the layout think about it when someone reads your infographic, What information do you want them to notice? In what order do you want them to see? The information. Vertical layouts are currently the most popular type of layout. However, you make a for a layout where the viewer reads left to right. Two column layouts can be used for making comparisons between two different ideas or points of view. If there are several headlines of equal importance or the order of information doesn't matter too much, you could use a Siris of squares bearing in mind that readers tend to start scanning a page from the top left hand corner to the right side and down in a diagonal across the page. You could also consider an F shaped pattern where the reader scans down the left hand side of the infographic and then scans along horizontally. As soon as I find something of interest 4. Visualising data: for display in statistical information you have gathered from surveys. There are numerous chance you can choose from to get your information across. We will be exploring some of the following charts in the infographic we will be making in this course. So how do we choose the right chart for comparing values such as business results or marketing metrics? Bar Charts from Column Charts are the most commonly used type of chart, although bubble charts can work well, too. Doughnuts and pie charts are very popular, and I used to compare parts of a whole often using percentages. A pictograms is a chart that uses pictures to show data. Pictograms are set out in the same way as bar charts, but instead of using bars, they use columns of pictures to show the data Concerned. To compare categories, Stack charts are useful and to compare trends over time line chart on area charts are ideal . There is also what is called a multi Siri's chart, which will allow you to display data from multiple data sets, for example, to compare the number of product purchases each month on the sales trends over time. Finally, for organizing data and information you could consider tables, mind maps, lists, flow charts and Venn diagrams. We clever use of typography scorecard type data can be very effective too. So the next stage is to put this knowledge into action. In the next series of lessons, we will be looking at how to create an infographic using Adobe Illustrator. The aim of these lessons is to learn design skills to put together an infographic using primary and secondary sources. 5. Research + Story + Design: the infographic we will be making is titled Infographic Design Trends and Users. Research information from a random sample off 70 infographics found using the search term infographics 2018 using Google Chrome browser. I have also added in some statistics relating to search trends for the word infographic and compared this to searches for data, visualization and information design. Using Google trends, I use statistics for search volumes for the term infographic using Morse keyword Explorer, as well as selecting some secondary research statistics from online marketing surveys. When you are planning an infographic, you need to define the questions and the kind of data you require. Ways you could gather information could be by online survey makers, such a surveymonkey poll, fish or type form. You could surveil network on LinkedIn or conduct face to face interviews. Many infographics use secondary sources from reports and industry surveys published online . Infographics usually have an area where research methodology is explained or from, or information sources are referenced. There are many free data repositories online, too. I collected the raw data from my own research into a spreadsheet and then summarized the findings together with any additional supporting information so that it was easy to read. I have provided this research in a file in the course notes, which we will be using to inform the infographic. I then spend my time thinking about the information and planning the charts of layouts I could use to display the information. I often sketch out a plan using paper by 53 where I can draw out charts and move them about on the page to get an idea of how the information can be displayed effectively both from a visual point of view, as well as displaying the information in an easy to understand way, using headers, sentences, charts and icons. For this course, I have saved all the paragraphs and headers we will need for the infographic in the course files together with the data we will be using. Following lessons will show you how you can build an infographic, ready to add to your website and share online 6. Set up the layout & colours: in this lesson, we will set up the document for the Infographic Open Illustrator and go to file new and select Web layouts. Set up a document that is 800 pixels wide by 2500 pixels. High, select poor traits and quick create. Go to windows, layers and in your layers palette. Create three layers and labeled on background graphics and text. Look the text and graphic layers. Then on the background layer. Select the rectangle tool and drag across the board, changing color to a dark gray. Show rulers and drag the rulers into the edge of the art board, then from the rulers, dragging some guides and place one in the center and two others 50 pixels in from each edge at two more guides. 50 pixels either side off the center guide and save your document. Next, we will make a color scheme for the rental. Unlock the graphics layer and look the background layer. Select a rectangle tour on drag out. Two rectangles made the 1st 1 of bright red color on the second square, a turquoise color with a blend tal. Click on the first rectangle, then the 2nd 1 to create a blend. Double click the blend tool and make sure you have specified steps selected. And for this example, we will have five steps and click. OK, and then you should see a range of colors with the square selected Goto object Expand appearance. Object to expend click OK and objects on group. Go to window swatches and in your swatches palette. Go to the pellet options and select all unused and then deal aktham. Select each of the squares and add them to your swatches palette for later use. 7. Make graphs & styling: In this lesson, we will learn how to create graphs for the infographic using area grafts. Don't not graphs on a bar graph. We will start by creating the bar graph. Go to the tool box and select the bar graph tool. Click and drag in your document and you will see the beginnings of a bar graph and the dialogue box where you can add in the statistics. For the graph, open the Excel Document, which you will find in the project files. For this course, copy the data about sectors and paste it into the dialogue box in Illustrator Click Luttig on a bar graph would appear representing the figures you entered. There's an option to transpose figures in the dialogue box, which in this case creates a legend for the graph. Now select the area graph tool, which we will use to display Google trends Data over time again select the data from the Excel Document and add it to the dialogue box and illustrator. There's another option in the dialog box that enables you to import a CS file of statistics especially useful if your data is more extensive. Next we will create a pie graph with the pie graph tool, drag, autograph and add in the date from the Excel Document, which will be about infographic data sources and that it's illustrator. These statistics are percentages and percentages must start up to 100 when creating pie graphs. You can also make bubble charts with this tour. Click the transpose button on the figures are transformed into a Siris of bubbles, all in the correct proportion. Now it's time to style the charts. I'm going to focus on the pie chart, but all the other charts are styled in the same way. Use the direct selection tool to select each of the segments and select a color from the swatches palette and then delete a stroke. At this stage, you can still change the data and see it reflected in the graph. To see the data again, select the chart with the selection tool, then right click and select data on the data dialogue box reappears. So, for this example, if I change your figure to 73 on the other one here to 12 you will see that the graph adjust to the figures, However, to recite a charts and do additional styling, you have two unlinked the data from the graph by going toe object on group. Another dialog box will appear telling you that the data will be on group from the graph. Quick. Yes, now the graph will be creditable like any other shape in Illustrator. To style this chart, select the direct Selection Tool. You could drag out some of the segments to create an exploded pie chart appearance, but this infographic we will be making a doughnut chart. To do this. Select the Ellipse Tool on by holding down the option key. Click and drag from the center and holding down the shift key to keep the circle in proportion. Draw on the lips on top of the pie chart. Select a pie chart on the Ellipse with the selection tool. Then, with the shape build, it'll hold down the option key on Take Out with center of the doughnut. I'm also going to delete the legend as well 8. Make a Pictogram: in this lesson, we're going to make a picture grand. We're going to use this to illustrate the statistic. About 74% marketers. So to do this, go to the rectangle tool and drag out a long, slim rectangle on dragging the corners. As far so go use a selection tool. Hold on option or okay, drag the rectangle along to make a copy and the shift key to keep it level. Let go and then object. Transform, transform again and use commanded to repeat the process. Then, with a selection tool, select both of the outside rectangles and drag these upwards about halfway and then make a copy off one of the shorter rectangles and drag this across to the middle. Drag across all the rectangles. Andi In the past, find appellate. You'll see an option for unites and unite all the shapes together and then draw a rectangle across the top. Lt shapes selectable and in the line palette. Vertical aligned top to make sure they're all lined up. And then again select the mall Pathfinder. Unite! Go to the ellipse. Tall on, Hold on. Okay, on cooking drag out from center to make a hit. I'm going to move that down a bit and then select both body and the head and make sure they're lined up by selecting horizontal align, center in the line palette and then object group. Zoom out a bit so that people a bit more space to work with. A. Move the image over to the left and then hold on the okey Brian. Click and drag. Hold down the shift key to keep the image level and then command E to repeat the copy. So you've got five images in a row and then select all of them. Selection tour. Hold on OK, and click and drag. Hold down the shift key to keep them level, and then you should have 10 images to use for your pictograms. Next, we're going to look at how to create 1/2 person because we got 74% or marketers in this statistic, and I've got to work out how to depict this visually. So each of these images would represent 10 mark to say so. This would be 100 marketers, so to represent 70% marketers, you would need to slip the top five on the next to on they could be right, for example, that would represent 70% marketers. But to represent 74 we really need almost another half a person. So to do this, we're going to make number eight red as well, and then edit Korpi, edit paste in front and then make this front copy the same blue color as the other, figures the remaining figures and then go to the rectangle tool and draw a rectangle over half off his shape cause we just extend it a little bit more cause it's slightly under 75% . And then with the selection tool, select both rectangle and the figure and right click make clipping mask so you gotta picked a crime there representing 74% marketers. 9. Make a stacked bar graph: so by no, you should have a number of graphs Ready Style to add to the demographic here, I've styled bar chart we made earlier in the area chart my body Two more pie charts which represent the statistics to do a background color. So this is 27% Andi. I think that was 23%. And the final one, a want ad is a stacked bar graph to represent the statistic about the average number of sections in an infographic. Looking at our data, we can see that the average number of sections per infographic is 6.6. So to represent it, I'm going to make a stepped bar graph with 1/2 a 6.6 and the other at 3.4. So to do this, I'm going to go toothy chart pellet as before and choose stacked paragraph two contract in the canvas on type in 66 and 30 four. Represent this statistics I was get rid of the dollar box object on group and with direct selection tool, take out the axes and then select Thank you on the left. Make that reds on the other side are make that blue and then to take the stroke and then with the selection tool, Snecma graph members who narrow it a bit. No, we have all the graphs ready to include within a river graphic and in the next lesson, look at how to create the typography. 10. Typography: in this lesson, we're going to be setting up paragraph styles and making labels. Here we can see the finished infographic we're going to be making and some of the charts that we made previously. If you look at the layers palette, I've got the three layers and I'm going to turn off the graphics layer so you can see the kind of topography that we're going to add to the infographic. So to do this, make sure that the background layer is looked and also the graphics layer and that you're working on the type player here. I've set up some paragraph styles on. I'm going to show you how to do that in a minute. If I draw out a text box and go to the text tool and drag in the document, you can see that the style here is represented by the large header. And then that's a small head of size on the paragraph size getting smaller and smaller, and it represents the kind of contrast I've got between the different sizes of texts in the infographic Teoh create a new paragraph style or you need to do is go to the options here. New paragraph style, or you can click on the icon at the bottom there. Andi, you can see there's all different fields where you can add in the fund family front style, for example, with one hyphenation character color. And there's a whole range of adjustments you could make. But what I'm going to do is copy the each one. Start the large heading by dragging it onto the icon at the bottom. When I double click on it, you'll see that all the settings are already there. I just can adjust them slightly to make a new style. So in basic character formats, we're going to change the font family to impact sized 52 and the leading to 55 and give it a new name as main header. So to use the paragraph styles, go to the type tool in the toolbox and cook in a document on type in the heading for the infographic. Select word trends with the type tool and select the color it from the swatches palette and then place your cursor just before the word design on a quick return on, they design trends on the second line. For those of you following along with the tutorial here, the settings for the paragraphs Basic paragraph is fun. Family later, Front star. Regular size. Nine points on the leading 11 points and no hyphenation on the color is white juice. Upper Case for the paragraph with Capitals before heading teas. Got the same funds. Star regular size 20 points with the leading off 24 points. Who heading to Bold Center but the basic character formats as before. But the front style is bold and in dense is facing alignment. A center and then the character color is white as before, and no hyphenation for H one headers. It's the same fund, besides is 55 points and leading is 72 points and tracking minus nine. Main Hitter, which recovered before we have the front family of impact. Regular size 52 leading 55 tracking minus nine and cases all caps. Next, we'll make some of the smaller headings on blue backgrounds like this one. Go to your text file in the course notes and select one of these small headings and copy this into the illustrator document and then choose H two Bold center. Well, the paragraph style go to the rectangle tool and click and drag across over the text. Find your swatches palette and make the rectangle blue, then object. Arrange sent back and drag outs of guides to the center of the tangle. Let the rectangle and center it and the same with the text and select the rectangle. Go to effect style eyes. Drop shadow preview to see what it would look like and then click. OK, if you're happy with and then slept Both text on the box. Hold on the okay, click and drag copy the books and then hold down. Command Andi to repeat that and go back to your text file and slipped one of the other headings and paste that in. I'm the same with the other two, and there you have the four headings ready to add to the infographic. 11. Assemble the infographic: Now that we've gone through making the charts and labels, I'm going to show you how to go about assembling the infographic. It depends on the brief. I've been given what options there are for the layout of the infographic. Some projects have set layouts, and some have more scope for creativity. This demo, I'm going to work from a fairly basic plan or sketch to allow for designing in the document . As I work, it must get the infographic. I plan to have an area at the top for the main points, the left hand side for marketing information on the right hand side for design statistics. To start with, I will outline these areas with a dash stroke using the pencil. Thank you. Nick wants the top. Hold on the shift key to keep it vertical, Sisy Vertical quick once at the bottom and then press the escape key to create an open pass . And then then, with a stroke, set toe white on the weight set to one point, make sure dash line is ticked and type in 12 point for both dash and get in my quick out of the line. You should see a dashed line. Now I'm going to move that to the center of the documents where the guide is just so you could see how to make this more clearly. Then I'm going to repeat the process with the Pentothal and draw some horizontal open paths in the same way. Now that we have defined some of the areas to place the charts, we can start placing them on the or board before placing anything on the outboard. Make sure all the charts and text are individually group. So to do this, just select the two elements here on an object group or command J. Next, I'm going to play some of text in our source document onto the canvas, ready to go onto the outboard. Make sure you paste this text onto the text layer and not the graphics layer. I'm also going to play some of the figures from the research data document onto the canvas . Ready to use. You could miss out this stage in place, sir. Text directly on the outboard as you go along. Next, I'm going to do our speeded up demo so that you can see the process rather than go through the whole time it took me to create the infographic. I'm going to start with E heading and the pie chart for the top left hand corner. At this stage, I just place all the elements onto the outboard. Andi, think about things that alignment bit later on. It's just getting all the information on Start with are you see paragraph styles we created earlier and then adjust. Um, if I feel that's necessary. It's important that thes statements are in close proximity to the charts that they represent, and I'm adjusting the bar chart here. It keeps the measurements in proportion, but it also fits into the lay out off the infographic. I'm adjusting the leading off the text here so that they learn up correctly with the bars that they represent, and I'm also going to write a line them. I'm adding in a couple of miscellaneous fax here, and I'm going to display them a scorecards, friends. It's deciding how best to create these elements and maintain consistency. I copied one scorecard there to the other so that they look exactly the same layout from my sketches. I noticed that there was a bit of space for another bar chart so this one represents the serif fonts or salsa response inthe e infographics are analyzed, so I'm quickly making it on the canvas, and then I'll add it over into the art board, not in the title. I think I should perhaps move that title down a bit later on. When I align everything, I use the selection tool and hold down the shift key a lot just to scale all the different elements to the right size. Andi, if you're not sure of anything I'm doing here, you could have a question for me to the discussions below. It's really up to you to experiment with the statements you've got on the visual elements and think about how you can arrange them. I generally put the information into the infographic on. Then I think about different ways in which I could display the information on review. See how it how the information comes across here. I'm using the path tool in the type of the path tool to write the word searches up the side of the area charts, and then I'm going to add in the dates as well and then in adding irrelevant colors to the legend seem important to maintain consistency across the text in their elements in Infographic, and sometimes I just copy over some of the other text to different areas within the infographic. That's a similar I'm going to add in some social icons, which are from a site called flat icon dot com, which I've credited in the sources. But you could also create your own. Finally, I'm going to add an area to the bottom of the infographic to list my sources on to document any research methodology. And then, finally, it's a case off looking through the infographic on making any adjustments that you need either to the overall layout or if you're happy with the layout you've created, you could start thinking about alignment. Draw out some guides from the rulers on, and then you'll start to see which areas are not lined up. Also, check through the information and make sure it's all correct. I can see that I need to redo the legend for the area graph, as it seems to have been deleted at some point while I was working. Also, there's some corrections needed in some of the text boxes and not more time spent on alignment is needed In this finish version. I've made the amendments and spent time adjusting the text and images. Remember the design principles, contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity to help you create professional finish, and when you finished your layout, you can export for screens and savers, a P and G fall. 12. Project & next steps: The advantages of following this class means that you've developed a process of how to visualize information and some practical skills to put your ideas into action. There's plenty of scope to experiment with the presentation in Illustrator. You could do some research yourself and create a brand new infographic for promotion on. Why not share it with us in the project area as well? If you're inspired to go further and find out more about infographics, here are a number of books that are useful to read for expiration. Some I have here are Nathan yells visualized this, which is great for information on different visualization tools and finding the stories that your data Comptel information is beautiful by. David McCandless is great for inspiration, containing visualizations about facts and trends of the modern world in a very creative way . Finally, The Infographic History of the World, by Valentina DeFillippo and James Ball shows some amazing visualizations off the history of the modern world. I really appreciate you taking this class, and if you have any questions about the car, saw anything about infographics, I can help you just let me know. So I hope you enjoy the class and learn new skills and thank you for watching