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Infographic Elements from Scratch in Illustrator

Lesson 21 of 25

Combine Multiple Elements into One Graphic

Jason Hoppe

Infographic Elements from Scratch in Illustrator

Jason Hoppe

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Lesson Info

21. Combine Multiple Elements into One Graphic


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Introduction Duration:06:47
2 Basic Shapes Overview Duration:05:55
3 Start Creating Basic Shapes Duration:13:36
4 Edit Basic Shapes Duration:07:58
5 How to Use Corner Widgets Duration:16:39
6 Get Creative with Shapes Duration:15:32
7 Add Lines to Shapes Duration:05:57
8 Shapes with Offset Path Duration:06:38
9 Create Custom Lines Duration:06:01
10 Add Curves Into Shapes Duration:21:49
11 Curvature Tool Duration:08:35
12 Width Shape Tool Duration:14:25
13 How to Create a Dotted Line Duration:06:00
14 How to Segment a Circle Duration:05:50
17 How to Create a Slip Shadow Duration:08:50
18 Tips & Tricks for Chart Tools Duration:12:34
19 Combine Shapes Together Duration:19:27
20 Create Perspective in Shapes Duration:11:34
23 Create Implied Shading Duration:17:02
24 How to Make Graphics 3D Duration:16:29
25 Q & A Duration:05:02

Lesson Info

Combine Multiple Elements into One Graphic

The literal translation of things, and how when we use icons for infographics that we're not going in and we're not actually creating the exact thing and copying it, were creating a graphic translation of it. So we have something that's going to look like it, but it's not going to be that particular object. So we wanna have certain attributes of it, but we're not going, we're not gonna do a search and then say, okay here it is and I'm gonna try to render it exactly like it is. We're trying to make this into an icon, a representational, but universal looking icon. So with that, I have to make one little change here. So with a light bulb, of course, you know we have the little spiral threads on the light bulb, and after I did this I thought, you know, what would really look good is we need to actually just go in and we need to make those horizontal because while we actually have threads on the light bulb, making it actually like it is was just a little too literal. So then we had the dis...

cussion of, oh let's make a bathtub with bubbles coming out of it, and I thought perfect, how do you do a bathtub with bubbles coming out of it? Of course, the first word that comes to mind, easy, and we're gonna make it easy. So I'm gonna draw my bathtub, starting with a rectangle, and I'm going to move my corners over, and of course a bathtub has a little bit more of an angle at the back than it does at a front. So there's my angle at the back, and I'm gonna put a nice little rim on top, which is going to be a line, and that line is going to get a nice, hefty stroke on it, and we're gonna hot dog the ends. And there's my nice little edge of the bathtub right there. I'm gonna wanna merge these two together, but because I have a line and I have a shape here, and I use my shape tools, nothing's gonna happen, it's just gonna give me that, so I need to take my line, and I need to go into the object menu and expand that line so this is a shape and that is a shape like that. Gonna merge these together so they become one shape. Somebody's like, oh you have to have claw feet, and it's like well, this is an icon, so I don't wanna have actual claw feet, so I thought circles, but then it's gonna look like a bathtub on wheels. And it's like, that's not what I want, so what do you do to show little feet? Well, a really easy way to show little feet here is to go in, and I'm just gonna use a square, and I'm gonna get rid of two of the edges and flip it, so I actually have an angle, and I can go, and of course I wanna hot dog those as well. So I can do little feet like that if I want to, and just put one one way, and then take the other one and flip the other one the other way, like so. There it is. That could be little feet on the bathtub, and I could have those touching as well, if I want feet. It looks kind of puny, so I need to bump up the stroke weight on that so it looks a little bit better. So that's one way to do feet on the bathtub if you want to. I could also take these and rotate them at a 45 degree angle and do something like that. Anyway, you can do that. But, what really needs to be cool is we needs to have bubbles coming out of this bathtub. And so I'm gonna create some bubbles, going in and drawing a circle here, and filling these bubbles, but what I'm gonna do here is I'm gonna do a little bit of fun, I'm gonna copy these bubbles, and what I do is I normally go in and I normally do like full size, half size, 3/4 size, so that I get, it seems random, but it's actually going to be fairly well controlled. And using my grid structure works very well. But I wanna do somethin' cool here, where I'm going to have this little bubble coming halfway out of the bathtub. And you've seen this, where the bubble's complete, but where it goes in the bathtub, it's knocked out. This is why I joined the rim of the bathtub with the bathtub, so the whole bathtub's the same shape, and then using my hotdog pathfinder mode, that gives me that cool little split bubble there, so that when we look at that, you can actually look and see the bubbles are coming out of the bathtub. Of course grab that little one in there, and if I wanted to knock that out, I could hot dog that, so it makes it look like the bubbles are coming out of the bathtub. Um-hmm, I think so. You wanna fill the whole thing with water? Sure, why not! Select the bathtub, object, path, offset to path, make it smaller, and I can go in and reduce the size of that bathtub right there. There's my shape, and it looks kind of funny. I'm gonna fill it with blue so we can see that, and I'm gonna take that shape right off here, and I'm going to cut off all the pieces that I don't want. Putting a box over the front, oops, I have to ungroup this first, and then minus front. There's my water, put it back in. There's my water right there, in my bathtub with a nice amount of space all around. I think that needs to be a lighter blue. And in my saturation, de-saturate that. There it is, little bit of water, little bit of bathtub, little bit of bubbles. Um-hmm, could be done. I'm not big in the feet, sorry. Feet aren't quite right, but you know what? You can solve that problem when you get the file. What I wanna show you now is I wanna show you some more cool things, but we're gonna go in and we're going to get into some total crazy fun, as if we haven't been having total crazy fun, we're now gonna have some. Okay, I need to create a sun that goes with my clouds. So of course, we start off with a sun, we get a big circle, fill it with yellow, because of course all suns are yellow. Well we only have one really, it's yellow. Now I wanna create rays of the sun coming around here. So I'm gonna create a ray of the sun, make that a stroke, and I'm gonna hot dog the ends of that as well, and I'm gonna make that yellow, or orange, or whatever it may be, and just for fun, I'm actually gonna go and I'm going to use my width shape tool, and I'm gonna kinda widen that, and I'm gonna create this big radial sun. I need to take and I need to rotate these around the sun. Well it's pretty easy to go and copy this, duplicate it, and then of course, rotate this 90 degrees, and then put that there, and then count the number of dots away for him, and that's fine, but what happens if I need it like at 17 degrees, 22 degrees, it's like oh no, that doesn't work. Well, this is how we do it folks, what I wanna do is I wanna take my ray of sun, or petals on a flower, or spokes on a bike, and I wanna create an entire series going all the way around my sun. So I'm gonna select the object that I would like to duplicate, and I'm gonna go to my rotate tool. When I choose anything with the rotate tool, you can see that the center of rotation is always directly in the middle of my object. Well that doesn't do me any good, because if I do anything with this, I'm just gonna rotate the ray of sun around itself. Woohoo, look at that, it's not what I wanna do. What I wanna do is I wanna rotate the ray of sun around the center of my sun right here, which'll be very useful, but in order to do this, I need to call up the rotate dialogue box. So two things are gonna happen here, I've selected the ray of sun, and I need to put that point of rotation in the middle of the sun here, so that all my rays rotate around the middle. But when I put my point of rotation there, I'm also gonna need to call up my dialogue box that allows me to put in the angle of rotation, and allows me to copy this. So selected my ray of sun, selected my rotate tool, I'm gonna put my cursor where I want to rotate around in the middle of the sun, I'm gonna hold down my option key, and you'll see I get that little dot, dot, dot, because that implies that we have options. So option + click, it has now gone in, and it's located the rotation point, at the center where I clicked, and option opened up my dialogue box. I'm gonna click on the preview button here. Now, you have to do math here. I know, I know, it's painful, but I would like to go and I would like to create rays around my sun. So I'm not just gonna go in and say 17 degrees and see how that looks, I wanna know how many rays of sun I'd like. If I would like 20 little rays of sun, I will need to take 360, divide it by 20, which leave me with 18 degrees. Don't go in and do like 15 degrees, or 17 degrees, or 21 degrees, because then you're gonna have equal spacing all the way until you get back to the very beginning, and then it's not gonna be equal. So always choose a number that's gonna divide equally into 360. So do I want 24 rays of sun, or 30, or whatever. If I want 30 rays of sun, I'm going to have whatever that divides into. I don't know, seven? So what I'm gonna do is I want 10 rays. So I'm gonna say 36 degrees, 'cause 36 times 10, 360. Instead of clicking OK here, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna click copy, and I would like to repeat this. So Command + D, Command + D, Command + D, Command D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D, D. There's my sun. Wow, that's awesome. Now of course, I can group the whole thing together, select everything and group it if I want, and then I could scale it too if I wanted to, and I could put that behind my clouds, or put the clouds in front of it as well. Can change that whole thing to orange if I want, like so, great, there's my sun. Very easily done. If I want to create a flower, really easy thing to do as well, I could take that exact same concept, I could create a petal by taking my two shapes, two circles, selecting both of those, giving me the overlap, creating a petal of anything that I would like. And maybe I want a petal that looks like that, but I wanna do a split petal that has one color on one side, I'm going to split that petal down the middle, make sure I snap my grid to this, so I've got my grid, actually I don't like that. I didn't do a perfect job. There we go. Now I'm gonna get, I didn't do my circle correctly, so I got an offset leaf. Here I am talking about using the pathfinder, and there we go, now I've got my leaf. Perfect leaf, I'm gonna put a divider down the middle. Select both my line. Divide those up. Make this slightly darker. Group those together. There's my leaf. Now I wanna put it around a flower. So I'm gonna take this, I don't have to have a circle in the middle of this to do, I could put my leaf right here, and I could take my rotate tool and I just decide that I wanna rotate it around that point right there. I don't have to have circle in the middle. I could if I wanted to, in this case, not going to. So I'm gonna hold down my option key, and I'm gonna option + click to define where I want that to be. And I want a lot of petals, so I'm gonna do it 18 degrees, which is going to give me 20 petals, and I'm gonna click copy. And I'm gonna do that, and it's gonna allow me to copy that all the way around. I know, looks like a great necklace too, doesn't it? Mmm-hmm. I know. Great way to do it using that particular duplicate method and the rotate. The key to this is, whenever you go into the rotate dialogue box, you wanna click copy so that you can get a copy of it, and then command + D is gonna duplicate whatever you've last done. And in this case, instead of just moving it, it's actually going and it's rotating it and copying it as you go. So, really cool thing to be able to do, have that. That kind of looks like a cool necklace. Or a flower of some sort. You could actually go in, and copy all of this, and then reduce this down inside in size if you wanted to, place that in there too. I know, change all the colors, whatever it may be. Pretty amazing. Um-hmm. Yup, so that's one of the things you can do with a rotate tool. Now doing a gear, while it's really easy to do that with a star, you could do the same thing here by using a circle, and then you could do teeth on the gear by just going in and drawing a square and placing that square on the edge of the circle, so it overlaps. And if you wanna do a different type of gear, I could then use my rotate tool, I could go to the center here, and I could copy that, and then do command + D and that gives me all of my teeth as well. So a different way. Then I could take all those shapes, and merge it into one if I wanted to do it that way. Clearly that takes a little bit more work, but anything that I want to create a radial version of, I can, can be a lot of fun. Um-hmm. We got a question. I do have a question from Michael ATL, and it was back to the last object before the wheel that you were working on. And the question was, how can you send one side of the last petal behind the first petal? And so I knew somebody was gonna ask that, because as I went on and I thought, okay we could get into, so you notice that we went in here, and we had this coming all the way around here, and we get right back to this object, and if you paid really close attention, which I love, because somebody out there is payin' attention. There's always somebody paying attention. How do you work with this? 'Cause if you send this one to the back, then you've got this one in the front, and you're constantly fighting going and doing this. Well, it's interesting, because if this was in front like this, because I have a split leaf here, there's a reason why I used a split leaf. I could go in and I could ungroup this, and then I could send just this part to the back. (laughs) Yeah, can you tell I've done this before? Exactly. And there's a reason why when you overlap, this is one of the reasons why I use that kind of split concept, 'cause when you get to the very front, it's like okay, how do you put that to the back? Now if we had a single leaf here, there's no way that I could do that with a single leaf, I would have to go in, well you wouldn't see it really, unless I had a gradient. Then you'd have to have them overlap, chop out that piece, remove that piece, and so on in order to do that. But, so if you wanna do it that way, yeah, that's pretty cool. And you can see here on the middle right there, that would happen. If I had a single color leaf, I'd have to ungroup this one, I'd have to ungroup this one, and then I would have to use my divide function on both of these, and divide that into separate shapes, and then ungroup them, and then I could go and get rid of that little piece, or I could then color that little piece that color in order to do that. So, yeah, tricky isn't it? Yeah, so word of advice, don't overlap when you're rotating. But when you do, always do a split so you can go in and just take that one object and split it. So, great question, that's why we love people from the chat room, because they don't miss a beat. Absolutely. So that's one of my other favorite methods is going in and using the rotate tool to create any sort of thing here. We have our little flower if we want to, we have our sun, we've got our gear. Really easy to rotate anything around any object, whatsoever. But this rotate only works around the center of something. So somebody's like, well how do I go in and actually put this object so it actually goes around an actual shape? So what happens if I would have like a square or something, and I wanted to go ahead and put an object around a square? Well, if I wanted to go in and I wanted to do something like this, where I wanted to put like a ray of sun around the square that matches, the rotate tool doesn't work, because it's just gonna take it and it's gonna rotate it around a center point. If I wanna put something around an actual shape here, there's no real method in Illustrator to just say, hey, take that object and put it around a shape like this. If I wanted to go ahead and create, you know, a square gear, doesn't make any sense, but if I wanted to like put little rays of sun around here, I would have to pretty much do that manually. There's no super easy way to go ahead and do that. But a kind of obscure trick is, say I wanted to create a ray of sun, and a ray of sun looks really like an, as I call it, a bang, an apostrophe right here, so I've got this apostrophe, and here's my little apostrophe right here, and I wanna use this as a ray of sun. It could work, it's kinda cool, and I wanted to put this all around here. One of the things I could do is, because this is type, I could actually take my shape, and I could use my type, and I could actually put type on a path. So while I can't go in and actually create an object and put it on there, I could create a path, or a shape, and use my type on a path, and touch that there, and I could actually go in and use type as an object, and I could control the size and the spacing of it as well. And with that I could go and put it around a shape, like so. It's like, what happens if I wanted squares? Well, that's what fonts are great for, because we have all of these fonts in here, that not necessarily display letters, but we could use something like Zapf Dingbats or something here, where I could do scissors, or I could do any other font here, like squares. But how do I actually know which keystroke gives me that particular font? Well, under the type menu, I can call up my glyphs panel, and I can have that font selected, and I can say oh, actually, I want like little triangles. And so I can put triangles all along here, I could just copy and paste all the way along, but I'm just using font and using that method to go around the whole thing. Or I could go in and I could use hearts, or little lines, or apostrophes, or boxes that I could then copy and paste. Paste, oops, oops, get back here, take my type tool, copy and then paste, paste, paste, paste, paste, paste, paste, paste, paste, to make it look like I'm doing a square gear around there. This is tricky because I now have to adjust each and every letter, number, character, symbol ever so slightly in order for this to all fit correctly around the box here. If I make them smaller or larger, you can clearly see, and if I reduce the kerning in between, kind of mess with it as well. Overall, it looks like I have a shape that does this, with these objects here, and I could very easily create a gear by creating a circle, using my type on a path tool, and then using the Zapf Dingbat square to go, but I'd have to make sure I properly space it. So if I wanted triangles too, I could do that, or snowflakes, sure, that's doable. So if you have an odd shape, and you'd like to do something like this, this is one way that you can create an odd shape. I use fonts, and then I hunt down inside that font to find some kind of character that's going to be what I'm looking for, and then I can actually put it around that shape. Very different approach to getting it done, and it's something I've certainly done before. Yup, and that's the way you can actually use a path that's not gonna be a circle to go through and do that. So, can be kind of fun. Absolutely. But, fonts can be awesome. There's so many great fonts out there. They also make icon fonts. So you know, if you're trying to look for an icon and you're trying to create something, sometimes it's just a whole lot easier to go in and hunt down a font that has all those icons already in it. Webdings is one of 'em, no they're not great icons, but there's fonts out there that actually have icons in them, and you can go into the glyphs panel and you can hunt down all of the fonts that have icons in them, in this case, this is Webdings, and I can go through, and I can do Wingdings1, two, or three, and see Zapf Dingbats as well, Wingdings2, and it's like oh, there's some things in here, it's really quite interesting. Like a cassette tape, and it's like, you're ever lookin' for a cassette tape? Well there's an icon of a cassette tape right there, kinda actually looks like kind of a slightly tweaked out robot. This is a font, and I can turn this into a shape, just by taking the typeface that I have here, type, create outlines, and now it is editable shapes. There's companies out there that are actually making fonts now that have just hundreds of icons, they're all professionally done icons as a typeface. You can scale them, but type, add any color, and then at any point, just break them apart, convert them into outlines, and now you have totally editable shapes. So if you look at that, turn this into preview here, You can see that it's just nothing but shapes. Right there. So that could be one way of doing it. These are not great, but there's some typefaces in here that may have some really cool, looks, feels, qualities, things, icons in there. Oh my gosh, there is some cool stuff in here. What is that? Wow, okay. There it is. So take a look, have fun with your fonts right there, Avenir have anything? Nah, but I know Apple font has like every single font ever put in an Apple computer in there. That's transferred. Anyway, so, check out your fonts, 'cause you can have icons in there too. Arrows, things like that, basic things. Not that we ever use a cassette tape anymore, but nonetheless, now we have a cassette tape that I didn't even have to create.

Class Description

Infographics are an effective way to provide a visual representation of information. In this beginner-friendly class, Jason Hoppe will take you through image-making techniques in Illustrator to use when building Infographics.  

You'll learn about:
  • Common icons used in infographics and how to create them 
  • Creating patterns and effects 
  • Using the shape builder tool 
You’ll then use the elements you created in a simple info graphic that is flexible enough to use in multiple ways. This class comes with an Illustrator file containing all the graphics created in the class. A great bonus that you can customize and use in your projects, in addition to what you create on your own. Get started today!

Software Used: Adobe Illustrator CC 2015


Patricia Green

This class is so much fun! I gobbled it up because I enjoyed every minute. It begins my journey into infographics, something I intend to put in my portfolio. Jason Hoppe is a great instructor who really knows his stuff. If you want to have fun with Illustrator, this is the class for you!


I bought the first version of the course of Infographics and I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn how to use Illustrator. Exactly as he explains in the video, this is not a course just to learn how to make graphics. At the end of the course you will be able to develop just about anything in Illustrator. Really! All the knowledge I have today of this tool, started from this course of Infographics to which he refers. Not only the content is comprehensive, but Jason is a great teacher, explaining everything very, very simply. I'm looking forward to watching this update.


Jason, you ROCK! I learned a lot of things during this class. Thank you for being such a great teacher and taking time to share your knowledge. Will continue to purchase your classes. Sandra