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Designing an Infographic with Nigel French


This intermediate level, project based course at lynda.com entitled Designing an Infographic is taught by Nigel French and teaches how to create an inforgraphic image that contains several design elements. You will not only learn what type of design elements to use in an infographic but also how to create them in AdobeR PhotoshopR, InDesignR and IllustratorR. French also discusses his workflow and how he uses the Adobe cross-software link feature to link multiple master documents, one for each design element, to the infographic document.

French begins by discussing the individual layers in the final project document that contain the design elements that make up the infographic image. These design elements include a silhouette background image, map, timeline, several charts, title, bullet list and texture layer. He also shows how to use other layers, such as a grid, wireframe and masking layer, to help with the physical sizing and positioning of the design elements.

Beginning with the document setup, French shows how to create the grid layer using the Split to Grid feature and the custom mask layer to hide the pasteboard contents. Next, he adds the labeled wireframe layer to indicate the placement of the design elements. Finally, he creates a custom color swatches file to be used across the Adobe applications, insuring consistency.

Moving on to the first design element, French shows how to create the silhouetted background layer. He begins by using Image Trace to convert a raster image to vectors and adjust the threshold and path settings. Next, he creates a textured graphic in Photoshop and moves this graphic onto a new layer in the Illustrator document. In the last step in this section, French creates the title and discusses how to make custom adjustments for text style, kerning and tracking.

In the next section, French creates the master document for the fourth design element, which is a map. He begins by demonstrating how to set up the master document to fit within its designated spot in the infographic wireframe layer. Next, he shows how to vectorize the map, assign custom colors to areas of the map and create the color key for the map. French also shows how to create the two circular masked insets which overlay the map.

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Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this article. This course was free from lynda.comR as part of their Like to Learn feature. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

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Content copyright © 2014 by Diane Cipollo. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Diane Cipollo. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Diane Cipollo for details.

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