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Building Infographics in Illustrator

Lesson 15 of 21

Illustrator and Text

Jason Hoppe

Building Infographics in Illustrator

Jason Hoppe

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Lesson Info

15. Illustrator and Text
Continue learning about Adobe Illustrator and text and how you can manipulate the words in your infographics.

Lesson Info

Illustrator and Text

So, now that I've gone through, I've got all my fonts here. I'm starting to see a really nice thing coming together and starting to coalesce here. I may use the different type faces in between but being the very quiet and non-dramatic person that I am, well hardly, I like drama. So we go ahead and put a lot of drama in here with the really thick and the thins here. We can keep it so it's all the same weight and we can just vary the size and the tint as well which could definitely work. In fact, I'm just gonna try that up here so we can see kind of how this works. So with this, I could go in and I could do this as bold here and with something like this, even if I went with, I'm actually gonna go with black. So this is what, bold and that's black. I'm gonna go Ultra here. A lot thicker because I keep forgetting to do, there we go. So, now what I want to do is I want to show you what it looks like when I have the same weight but I go in and I simply tint things differently to create a dif...

ferent emphasis on what I'm doing. And so I'm gonna select my 59%. Eye dropper tool. And I may go with my lighter blue. Take my type tool here, click on consumed on weekends or weekdays. Eye dropper tool. And I may do my darker one right there. So now, I get a very different feel from my type here. Even though it's the same type face I get a very different style and feel from my type. Let me try the darker red here. And I'm gonna try a lighter red here. Like so. Okay. But this is gonna become the Ultra as well. Cool. So, there I've got this. I've got the lighter and the darker. I've got the darker and the lighter going on here. And this is all keeping the same visual weight. This may be a little bit too light I think. I want to go back in and I want to grab just the medium original color. Okay. That works. As opposed to something like this. Now, this is gonna be far more dramatic. This is gonna be less dramatic but it's gonna be more color coded. And depending on what type of graphics I'm putting in here, infographics I'm putting in or icons, depending on what those are gonna look like this may blend into the background because I may use a lighter color of one of these with a bar behind it. This could be on white to give more impact here but I want to try that. So, same amount of information but just portrayed in a very different way. And I get very different feels about this. This is a little bit more continuous. This is a little bit more dramatic. But, still I think I can use this. I think I can definitely work my way through this all. So of course, I keep running out of room. So I keep making my pasteboard much larger because we need more room for our copy. So, I'm gonna do a little bit more copy here because these I've kind of done in blocks right here. I may want to go in and do some type of list or a little bit of story here. So now, I've got what, the average cost for a family, for a family. Space. A grocery bill per month. Okay. So there I have it. I'm just gonna take my eye dropper tool. I'm gonna sample this. And I kind of like the all caps even though putting things in all caps isn't the best. I'm gonna see how this looks. So, average cost for a family of three. Can't spell either. Grocery bill. Average cost for a family of three. I like to split this up as if you're actually on top, grocery bill per month. Okay. So, there's a story that we can tell with using text. So, the important thing is a family of three. And how much per month. So I'm gonna increase the size of the money right there. And I'm gonna bump it up so lettering wise it's gonna tuck right in there. And family of three is really important too. So, I don't know if I'm gonna go in and change the size of each line. Actually, I'm gonna take the per month out of there. And the reason why is because I don't think I need it in there. I'm gonna put it over here and kind of make it a small little footnote to the copy right there. Okay. So, now I have this. So this is the important part right here. Family of three. So that's probably gonna be very large. A very heavy weight. Right there. Maybe a little bit too heavy. Bold, Ultra, Black. Black, that works. Okay. Then of course, the price right here. I don't know if I want to use the dollar sign. Keep the dollar sign there. I may just go in and take that dollar sign out. And that may be my little infographic thing that's gonna call that out. So, this is per month. So here's my little nugget of information. So maybe I put the word grocery bill up here. Average cost, family of three. Actually gonna take out grocery bill because I'm gonna use that as a header instead. So, average cost for a family of three. And, there's my price. Okay. There it is. And per month. Per month needs to be kind of small and tucked in there. And I can have some fun with this. You know, maybe it just runs underneath like this. So they don't really notice it. Maybe turn it up on its side there. Something like that. I think I'm just gonna turn it up on its side like that. Of course I need to go in and I need to rotate my type because one of the things I have here. Double click to convert to point type. Yeah. So Illustrator has changed how they have done their type here. And if you haven't noticed here, one of the things we run into. So, just a quick little run through of what Illustrator has done in the way of type. If I take my type tool. I simply click someplace and I type. What happens is, what I get is what's called point type. Which means if I keep typing it'll type continuously all the way off the edge of the page until the end of time. And as I do that it just keeps going and going and going and going and going. I have to put in a paragraph return if I want things to break. Now, you'll notice that I went in and I tried to rotate my type here. My type will rotate if I use point type. Which means I click on a point and I begin to type. Then when I go in and I rotate, that's gonna all rotate with it. When I pull the entire container, that will also stretch the type as well. Now, the one thing that I don't like about that is that you can stretch the type. And if I do have a lot of information here and I decide to go and make a paragraph here and I would like to revamp that paragraph by changing the size of the container. I would just like to make it smaller to re-wrap, it doesn't. It actually changes the size of the type. So, little did you know, we could always change paragraph type to point type and point type to paragraph type. Paragraph type is this. I actually clicked and dragged and create a container with my type tool. And when I did that I went ahead and I was able to get a container of which I was then gonna put the type in. When I have a paragraph container like this and I close it up here, it goes, it's gonna go ahead, I guess I didn't do that. So, type tool, draw a paragraph here. If I go ahead and type in here in a paragraph container. Now, when I close up my container here you'll see that it doesn't stretch. I just simply re-flows. That's the difference between paragraph type and point type. Point type, you click on that point. You type from there. Any line breaks you have to put in. Any change of the size of the overall shape stretches and skews the type. If I have a container that is either a point type container or a paragraph type container the one thing that tells me which is which is this handle that sticks out the right hand side. When it is a clear little point that means I have point type. When I have paragraph type it is filled with blue. Okay? If I want to convert point type to paragraph type, meaning I can then change the size of the container without it stretching and skewing the copy I simply click on that little handle. Get my little type symbol with an arrow. And it says, double-click to convert to area type. Double-click, and now, if I have area type or paragraph type, now it will then cause it to reflow. If I take paragraph type and I double-click it becomes point type and I change it and it skews everything. So, couple different things. Paragraph type, if I rotate the container. See what it does? Okay. Now, it's kind of cool, but it's like okay, really. So how you get by with that is you convert that to, you convert that to obviously point type. Double-click on there, convert it to point type and then when you rotate there, then you don't have the issue with it going and rotating and staying inside fixed, as the container then rotates. Which is what I had to do here. I had clicked and dragged and created a container and now I went in and decided to just go ahead and make that so we've got that. Okay, so if I'm doing the average cost of groceries here. And this is a nice little nugget of information right there, creating a nice little infographic. Let's see, I'm gonna do groceries. And I, so I did have my dollar sign right here that can kind of work. And I also created a little grocery bag as well. And I want to keep the same look and feel of everything here. So I'm gonna have the thick and I'm gonna have the thin which is kinda gonna determine the spacing of my objects on my infographics and the quality of it as well. So, if I have my little shopping bag right here. Which I kind of made. I just rounded the whole thing. I've got shopping bags right there. And I want to go in and what I want to do is I want to specifically show the difference between a family of three, four, five, and six with the cost, not only the cost here, but visually the change in cost as we go. So, one thing that I may be able to do. I'm just gonna pull this over here. I could just create a grocery bag like this. Have that. That's one thing that I could do. I had also created a family right over here, which I'm gonna copy and I'm gonna drag over as well. And that may be useful in here for the number of people in the family. I'm not quite sure. But I'm just doing things that are visually gonna tell kind of a cool story. So, average cost for a family of three. Does the girl go away or does the boy go away? Who knows? Okay. So there it is, average cost for a family of three is gonna be this much. Now, I can do this visually and show a family of three, show a family of four, show a family of five, and I could also show groceries as well. Grocery bags on this too. And I could show dollar signs. But I think I've already got the idea here. I may way to create some type of chart that goes along with this as well. Not only telling the story here, but basically showing a difference between a family of three, four, five, and six. So, I may just use my grocery bag as kind of like a chart to show things coming out of it or show the length of a shopping bag or something like that to show the difference between a family of three, four, five, and six. And showing the increase of dollars. I don't want to just stack dollar bills on top of each other. I don't want to stack, you know, multiple things here. I could do some type of fun little graphic that's then gonna incorporate this stuff all together. Not quite sure of what that's gonna be but I'm starting to see some cool stuff happening here as I begin to put this stuff together. This is kind of creating a nice little tasty morsel of an infographic. And, because these are all gonna be part of one group of the infographic these may be all the same color. So I want kind of a personal color. Green may work. Kind of friendly. Like that? Nah. Yuck. (chuckles) Blue can work. Let's do red. Red's a really warm color, right there. So, family of five. Okay, that could work. All righty. Family of three. And I may change the color of this because my graphic representation of whatever chart, ramp, circular, square, triangular, whatever graphical interpretation may correspond to the number of people in here. May correspond to the color of the people. So, guess what? That's what I'm gonna do. Awesome. Okay, number of people is gonna correspond to the number right in here. The green right here, well, guess what? I think I'm gonna make that green just because. 'Cause green is money. Alright, I can work. Not sure what I'm gonna do with these I'm gonna kind of move these out there but I'm definitely seeing some nice type of grid structure thing coming together with this here. Have no idea how it's gonna come together in the end, but I'm starting to get a good feel of other things that are working together here and seeing how I can throw in some icons that I've made. And if anybody wants to chime in from the chatroom on stuff that they wanna see I'm totally open to this because like I said when we started this whole thing, this idea came to me at six o'clock in the morning. Doesn't matter when it comes to you, but I just did a lot of research for a couple hours and I just wrote all this stuff down and it's like, yeah, fun stuff at a supermarket. But it doesn't need to be boring and so I wanna make this not boring. So visually the type is gonna help, the color is gonna help, the placement too, but I mean just look at this. We haven't even done any visual representation of distant, size, values going on through here so colors starting to work, weights are starting to work, shapes are starting to work as well. Yeah, so if anybody has any input you just let me know. Okay, I think this needs to be color as well and since we're using, the other colors there. Oh, that's too pink. Too pink. Maybe that will work. Well, that could work just fine. Do the same thing for "per month" and that's gonna be the same thing with that dark brown as well. You don't want it black. We can use black everywhere. Why do we need to use more black? Okay, so I think I'm liking that. I think visually the weight is working well with that. I'm probably gonna do this to another set of information here. Don't quite know how the dollar sign or the shopping bag, if both, one, neither are going to come into play. I think the dollar sign is gonna come into play here. I'm just not sure how it's gonna do that. We may need to go in and actually put the dollar sign in front of that and go in and reduce the size of that so it becomes more of a block like so. So we get the impact of just how much money is spent every month on groceries. Don't know if I like the per month off to the side there or we basically put it in some place here and park it. Who knows? Something like that. Don't know. We'll figure it out. For now that works. So kay-kay-picks. Yeah. Came up with a great idea. Awesome. You could use like a grocery cart. Sure. Like this grocery cart that I started over here? Yeah. Love it. Absolutely love it. Awesome with more carts as the family size grows. Absolutely. Yeah, definitely and more food and yeah. And you could also go in and as a visual here what I'm trying to do is I'm trying to think of some visual kind of chart graphic beyond this maybe we don't need a chart or a graphic showing you because I think we've got the perfect one for butter and I've got the ones for butter here because I mean cost of butter over time. Oh, this is great. I mean 'cause we can use blocks of stuff in bars and we can show you a visual representation of time and stuff like that. And of course we could use yellow but we're not gonna do it just in like blocks. I'm gonna show you how to do this so we can actually like segment the line over time which would be really cool and we're actually gonna do it as a curve. So I can put the dates up here and put the curve over. Yeah. Awesome. So let's grab the shopping cart that I had started to work with right here and I started to do a shopping cart and I don't think I need this little handle because like I talked about before. See when we do a stroke here and I do the angle see how the butt end of it is at an angle as well? And it kind of doesn't work. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna get rid of the the handle right there. And I think this handles just gonna go and connect right to the line right there. Wanna keep it kind of square and beefy. And what I want to do is I want to make sure that when I do this shopping cart, group it together here and I do the shopping cart I want to make sure that I get the line weight so that it actually fits. I don't want something in between my line weight here. Do I want a beefy or do I want it really light? Really light isn't gonna work. So I'm gonna try and I'm gonna see when I go in and I really thicken up the weight over the cart to kind of match the thickest style of my type. I'm gonna round the end of the cart here just to kind of soften that a bit and also go in and put the little wheels on. For those of you that are British littl6e trolley wheels. So we create the trolley right there. There's our little trolley right there. I like the shopping cart. Yes. I think this actually needs to, handle needs to come up here. Yeah, I like that better. Okay. So there's my little shopping cart and clearly it's way too impactful. According to everything else. So with this what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna take everything here and I may just do a light blue. There it is. I'm gonna swap out the stroke for the fill. I think I had a 15 point, no more like a 25 point stroke on there to get kind of that beefy weight right there stroke round the end. Okay. You know that could work as a nice little info graphic for shopping cart. Yup. So with her idea with a shopping cart. I like that. So how would you represent that over time? So we represent different portions of the shopping cart. You know because we want to show the difference in money here. We have that impact there. We've got that, got this. I'm just curious how we're gonna go ahead and we're gonna show the difference in money where the cost of the family of three, four, and five. And you know what? Instead of talking about let's just figure it out. I'm gonna move this up here, grab my little shopping cart I'm gonna group that together so we don't have to keep selecting all the items. Group. There it is. And now I'm gonna take the same information and I'm gonna drop it down here. And of course we're gonna do a family of four. I'm going to croppy the girl over, bring her in. Use me smart guides to line her up right there. Again choose this, family of four right there. Type change that to four. And how much did we say for a family of four? $639.78. Okay. $639.78. This is a little bit bigger and goes beyond the end there so I'm actually going to just do a little bit of kerning here. Bring that way in. I may have to just reduce the size ever so slightly. Kind of bring that in. So there is my family of four, there's my family of three. And, oh wow this is looking really nice and infographicy, isn't it? I can do it! I can't believe it! Practice for so many years. Once you get under the pressure here and we can finally go through the whole thing and do it as well. So I like this. I still like the shopping cart idea. Maybe we don't use the family, maybe we just use four shopping carts three shopping carts things like that or maybe we have some fun. Well actually I like to have fun because one of the statistics is the number of kids that fall out of shopping carts there. So let's put a kid in the shopping cart. Yes?! Perfect. I like that. Great idea. Okay so I'm going to just put a little head right in here. Boom and select that and then of course a great way to do a body of course is just take the same circle right there, chop it in half. Just take the bottom right off. Close that up. And I want to use the same kind of spacing so I'm in a group this and I want to use the same kind of spacing. The kind of the weight of my line here that I have between the object or since I have the spacing already established between here I may keep this same visual spacing between here and between the cart. So there is a little kid in the cart right there. I like because now when we do the shopping cart accident we can just have the kid come right out. So I'm liking that. And, yeah, so a family of four. So what do we do? Do we just extend the shopping cart and put people in there? Who knows? Let's try it. Looks like we need some more art board space. There we go. Move it all over. And first one of the chat rooms. What are you grabbing when you want to change the art board space, please? Just grab the art board tool right above the hand tool great and you can see the dotted line going all the way around your page and I just grab any place doesn't have to be on the pole handles by the way. You can just click and drag anywhere on the art board space switch back to any tool and your art board space goes right back to normal. Do you ever find the need for multiple art boards? That question came up earlier. You can and how you do that. Yeah, there we go. So I could just take another art board here and I can just drag and draw another art board right there. I just don't see the need for another art board because when I print I can print one art board or another. And you can see how I do this that I'm just going through and working through this whole thing. I just keep making it bigger. Six art boards as opposed to one huge art board. I'm not gonna try to you know walk through a door with his art board so it doesn't really matter how big it is. Let's just make it really big. Okay. So I'm loving this. I just think this is absolutely awesome. I do kind of like the people but I like the cuteness of this little cart thing right here. So I'm take this, I'm gonna get rid of the people here and I'm gonna try a little cart thing and see how that's gonna work. It's gonna make everything a lot taller. And I'm just gonna scale this whole thing down. Like so, of course I didn't have my scale the line weight down and that went ahead and tipped the line with the same on my stroke. So now I've got to go in and I have to edit that separately so that I've got that. Okay. So a family of three group that. That could be fun too. A little bit busier but don't know if that's gonna work but what the heck we tried it anyway. 'Kay family of four we can do the four carts. I don't know if it's gonna work. I kind of like this a little bit better but I do like the cart thing too. So maybe that becomes part of my money thing. So let's try it. So I tell my students all the time, they're like "what do you think of this? "What do you think of that?" It's like I don't know. You haven't done it yet. Well do you think it's a great idea? It's like try it. You tell me it's a great idea. You'll know if it's good or not. Yeah but I just don't know where to start. You start by doing it. So I'm gonna go in and grab the person out of the cart because I think we're gonna use that for the tippy cart. I'm gonna drag my little dollar sign over here because maybe this could be above the cart. Ooh. I like, I'm starting to get an idea here folks. This will be the first last and only idea. Take my eye dropper tool, grab the fill for my dollar sign right there, and now I've got my little dollar sign and this could be my cost of groceries kind of as a header or something that I'm gonna use for my info graphic here and kind of want to figure out how I'm gonna show the difference in prices here 'cause we want to explain it out here. But I also want to know 'cause it's like five, six, seven, $900 for this and I want to show the difference in price as you go for a family of three, four, five, and six. So yeah it's kind of cliche to just double, triple, quadruple the dollar signs here to show more of it. I'd like to show something as the family grows to do that and there's a lot of different ways, I just don't know how we're gonna do that. I mean we could do little ribbons, stair step ribbons we could do concentric circles. We can do lines, all other stuff. I'm not quite sure but at least we went ahead and we started to figure this out. And now we're starting to get a little tasty nugget morsel of goodness and I think with this I'm gonna go through here and I'm gonna make this five right here so I can get all this information in and five is gonna be $789.13. $789.13 89, right there. Okay. That can be kerned out just a slight bit. Oh no, it just needs to be made a little bit bigger. And then of course my family of six not in the correct order, that's gonna be in the grocery bill of what? $959.86. Okay. All right, that takes up a lot of space. Option left arrow will go ahead and kern that stuff in a bit for me. And I may have to reduce that down as well because it takes up a lot of space. Well it's starting to look pretty good but a really great info graphic to go ahead and call that stuff out and then we've got that, we've got the type we've got the visual representation but I would really like to show the difference between the prices of three, four, five, and six. So we could do that by using bars and show the different levels and just put the number of family members in here. So again enough to talking about it, let's try it. Okay. So I want to I'm just gonna draw a vertical bar here. And how big of a bar should I draw for $511? Remember when I said folks I'm gonna go and I'm gonna say, "okay how tall is this bar going to be?" So I'm gonna say 511 millimeters. Oh, that's huge. Not a problem. So I'm gonna say one inch or say half an inch and 511 millimeters. Each millimeter is gonna be a dollar. So there's that one, really tall bar. Don't care. I'm gonna draw my next tall bar because I'm gonna click here and this is gonna be 639 millimeters. And the next one is gonna be 789 millimeters. You'll see what I'm doing very quickly. And then the last one's going be 959 millimeters. And then take everything, line it all to their bottoms right there. Boom. And now I have my distribution of size. Okay. So there's the difference in the size between money spent. The reality of it is is that all the rest of this stuff doesn't matter. So I'm just going take all of these and I just compress them all together like so because they're all going to be equally distributed. Right? So now if I wanted to do some type of chart guess what I've got? I've got the perfect representation of height or distance for a family of three, four, five, and six based on the difference between this whatever this value is then I've got all of these. And that's how I go ahead and do my scientific mapping. Yes it's that difficult. Okay? No calculation because if you were gonna take these numbers this would be the ratio. No they don't need to be that tall. You know I could do them so they're nice little stubby ones. It's just I want to show the difference in between here and what may be fun with this is to actually take these and rotate these around like this. And this is like super, super boring to do a chart like this, on this. So we've got to have some fun with how this stuff is actually going to work. So what kind of fun thing can we do like on a shopping cart or something that can be fun that's going to be able to represent this data with the differences between the money? Yeah, the money's here and this is the difference when you have a family of three, four, five, and six. But clearly there's gotta be something that's gonna be fun shopping cart wise or shopping wise that you can put in here that says, "hey this is really awesome fun." I like the flat two dimensional style here so I kind of want to keep this as a two dimensional style. It would be great to go ahead and do dimensions coming off here at an angle and then doing kind of like a ribbon here. I just don't know if that's gonna be the most interesting way to do something. So there we have it. We could also do a scatter graph with the size of circles you know concentric circles as well. But I'm a save that for the butter right there. And because it's actual dollar amounts here I don't want to use a pie chart because that's gonna be like dollars completely spent here. So we're gonna put some thought into that to figure out what we're gonna do to represent something when we're comparing multiple items here. Shopping bags are okay but I don't wanna stack shopping bags on top of each other. I want to do something much more iconic but something a lot more cool to show. So think about that folks. While we are at lunch because you're gonna give us input and I'm gonna build it. But right now I think we're starting to get a lot of good information. I don't even have an outline for it yet but I certainly have got the kind of storylines and the characters starting to come together. I just don't know what the book is gonna look like.

Class Description


  • Create basic shapes and icons

  • Add dimensions, textures, and effects to your infographic design

  • Build a grid structure and design within the grid

  • Design a pie chart


You see them everywhere—magazines and newspapers, websites and blogs, social media platforms and TV news shows. Infographics have become one of the most popular data visualization tools used to explain complex information and make a point. But while infographics might appear simple and straightforward at first glance, creating a truly effective and beautiful infographic takes thoughtfulness and skill.

Adobe Certified Expert and Instructor Jason Hoppe will show you how to make an infographic using Adobe® Illustrator®, the industry standard design tool for creating powerful, compelling and beautiful infographics that stand out from the crowd.

This class will help you:

  • Organize and explain complex data sets with infographics.

  • Use color to express the tone and ideas behind your graphic.

  • Explore typography and use it to advance your concept.

  • Tie all of your elements together in a unified, beautiful infographic.

In this intensive course, you’ll learn to use Adobe Illustrator like a pro—no graphic design skills required. Whether you're a designer or non-designer, you’ll learn to create icons using basic shapes, fills, strokes, and textures; learn how to choose easy-to-read fonts and typefaces that make a statement and tie ideas together, and build a wireframe for your layout and transform it into a finished infographic. By the end, you’ll know everything there is to know about using Adobe Illustrator to create infographics that engage viewers, share information, and tell stories.


  • People at all levels (designers and non-designers) who want to get specific, intensive instruction in building infographics with Adobe Illustrator.

  • Those who know the basics of Adobe Illustrator, but not well enough to design a professional-looking infographic.

  • People who don’t know how to access and use all of the helpful tools and effects in Adobe Illustrator that can take their graphics to the next level.


Adobe Illustrator CC 2014

Class Materials

Free Bonus Materials

Jason Hoppe - AI Infographics Course Outline.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



I'm not even through the second day yet and I'm thrilled with this class! Only thing, I wish he would go slower BUT then again, if he did, we wouldn't get SO MUCH information. I'm glad I purchased the class so I can go back and replay to my heart's content. Even though this class is based on creating infographics, the wealth of information is perfect for any project using Illustrator. I do wish he would have shown how to work with corners (for example) for those of us who do not have CC (I'm in CS6) so we could learn the "hard way without widgets" and the easier way with widgets. Jason is very funny and I love his direct approach to getting the job done while knocking a clients socks off. I look forward to many more classes taught by Jason.

a Creativelive Student

Another amazing class from a man with a seemingly unbelievably clear mind. So great at conveying the concepts of the program so that you can effectively learn actual methods but also walk away with enough information on the way the software is organized so that figuring out a solution to a design challenge, on your own, is light years easier and faster. i am thrilled with the broader grasp of the possibilities i learned. i could go on and on. It is absolutely a class worth taking whatever your level of expertise.


Loved the class, learnt so much from Jason even if he talks a little fast sometimes he is still very funny and makes it look so easy, would love to buy his indesign class too love watching him, excellent teacher.