Infographic Elements from Scratch in Illustrator


Lesson Info

Create with Reflect & Shear Tool

So that's one way, using the rotate tool, to go ahead and create things. Another thing is using your reflect tool. So, you may go in and you may be working with something and you have a little bit more complex shape and you'd like to go ahead and create a complex shape. So, say I'm creating a t-shirt and so I just want a basic t-shirt, so I'm gonna grab my rectangle and I'm gonna create my t-shirt body right here, and it needs some arms and kinda roundy, so there's gonna be the arms of my t-shirt. I'm gonna rotate this and make sure it goes in a 45 degree angle. And what I'm gonna do here is I'm actually gonna create half a t-shirt. Now a lot of times people go under the pen tool, and they try to draw half of it and then try to mimic the same shape on the other side. Don't do it, folks, okay? In this case, half way is good enough. That's all you need is half way. So what I'm gonna do here is I'm actually going to create a totally half-baked t-shirt which is going to just give me this. ...

So there's my half a t-shirt. I put it all together, that's great. All I need, I'm done, finished. And people are like, well, no I need the other side. And I'm like, listen, you know, if you want the other side, it's gonna be twice as much. So here's how you go. You create something that's gonna be symmetrical. I'm gonna build half of it, because in some cases it's easier if you're doing with a pen tool and you're doing something freeform, to just draw half of it. Then, you can copy this or you can go in and you transform and I wanna reflect this. And I want a reflection of this, so when I go under, I right click and I choose transform and reflect, I'm gonna copy this vertically, but I'm gonna choose copy instead. So, now this gives me the two shapes, right there. And I can could then take those two shapes and I can merge those together, and then with that, it looks a little wide, I do that. And I can also taper this, as well, a little bit there. And move those out a little bit and get a t-shirt. So sometimes it takes a little bit of time to go and do this. One of these things is, somebody says, oh, you know, how do you do a Christmas tree? Well, if you wanna draw it manually, you could go in with the pen tool, which I'm not allowed to use, 'cause I told myself I wasn't going to. But if you did do that, you technically would go and do something like this, where you'd go and you'd create this shape, if you're, I'm using the pencil tool, by the way, not the pen tool. And if I did something like this, I could right click, transform, and reflect, and I could copy this and with the shapes right here, let me just put a stroke on them, so I could see them. And I could take these shapes, I could put them together like this, and then I could, if they all snap right where they should, I could then go in and I could join these together, kind of creating my shape. And that's one way of doing it, too. So you just do half of it and then draw the other half as well, and it's not a problem with that at all. In fact, a lot of things, we're gonna go in and do icons like that, and that's exactly how I do them, 'cause it makes it that much easier to be able to work with them. So the reflect tool is great. You can also go into and use the reflect tool over here, nested in with the object, but if we have and you want to work on something, you can always right click and call up any of these transform tools to rotate which we just used, reflect which we used to go ahead and copy that as well. Those are all available either right clicking on your object here or going in and actually physically grabbing your items right there. Now, one of the things we talked about earlier is just creating a really cool drop shadow with going in and using the distort function. Doing this, but I wanna create a drop shadow of this one, too. I'm gonna do this a little bit easier. And we also did the rain, which is a little bit tricky, using the free transform tool. We're gonna do that easier, too, with these tools. So I'm gonna create a drop shadow of this. I'm gonna create a darker color of this, go into my brightness here, reduce that overall, and the tool that I'm gonna use is gonna be my shear tool. My shear tool works kinda like my free transform tool, but it's a little bit different. And how this shear tool works is, if I have a rectangle here and I use my shear tool, this allows me to go in and basically create a parallelogram of sorts. That's exactly what I'm gonna do here with my t-shirt here as my shadow. But when click on my object and I use my shear tool, the anchor point is in the middle, and I don't want it to shear from the middle. I want it to shear from the edge right here, so I'm gonna just click and I'm gonna put my anchor point there. Then I'm gonna take my shear tool and I'm basically gonna move it, but if I don't know what I'm doing, it just goes all over the place, and it's like, you know, I call it "the get it off me syndrome," like when you walk into a very big spider web, you're like, get it off me, get it off me! Well, that's what the shear tool does. So when you click with the shear tool, and what I think of is, I think of it as, as going in and anchoring that section. If you hold down your shift key and you pull left or right, it's gonna keep it on the horizontal plane, and then you can let go and then you can hold and then you can use your shift key to go up or down here, or right or left to do that. So that you can actually get or locate an anchor point for it and then you can shear it off one way or another. And so I could then put my anchor point in the middle, and I could use that, and I can shear that off into the distance if I wanna do some type of laying down of the object here. Or I could take that and then I could just flatten that out if I wanted to, put that behind here, and I get just a really simplistic drop shadow. Yeah. So with the rain that I had done, if I used something like this, and I have my rain drops right there, of course, I must hot dog the end, 'cause that's mandatory with rain. Rain has to have hot dog ends, and I duplicate this, and I would like to shear all of this, I can select everything, I'm gonna group it just so I know it acts as a group here. I'm gonna jump over to my shear tool, it shears from the middle, I'm gonna anchor the bottom point here, and then if I hold down my shift key, you can see that I can very nicely shear that all off. If I wanna anchor it from the top, I can click on the top and then, of course, hold down my shift key here, and I can drag the bottom here, as well. Do something like that. Pretty cool. So that allows me to go in and also do that rather than using the free transform tool. A little bit tricky trying to do that, because what happens if you don't hold down the shift key, it just goes all bonkers and people are just like, what just happened? Well, if you hold down your shift key, that's gonna constrain it to the x axis, or if you do something like this and do that, that's gonna restrain it to the y axis there. But, just start pulling off without the shift key held down, and you're just in for all kinds of crazy. Um-hm? Which is great, but not in this case.

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 2015.2



  • 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