Use the power of Illustrator to create cool 3D infographics

Translate abstract data into a 3D, easy-to-understand illustration in this great Illustrator tutorial by Wendy Ding.

artwork_flickrmap1

Infographics, such as the one above, are great visual tools for communicating large amounts of data. Breaking down large amounts of abstract data, they place the information in context and transform it into tangible and useful knowledge.

With a bit of personality and fun, an infographic can become a distinctive and charming way for the viewer to learn and access data. The most important aspect is the underlying message — the primary information that is being illustrated.

All other elements should complement and reinforce the primary meaning to the viewer. For this tutorial, we’re going to be working with data I’ve compiled on images I found on Flickr.com. I chose skirt lengths and their wearers’ locations as my topic and looked through 29 photos. Before I began sketching, I visualized how to best display the overall design and legends.

To contain my findings and various geographical locations, I opted for a clean chunk of land with a beach and underground train – a normal bar graph wouldn’t have been visually dynamic enough to display such a range of information.

step1

01. The best way to begin is to create a sketch using pen and paper. For this diagram, I sketched an isometric chunk of land with edges for the beach and an underground train for further depth. Taking into consideration that some information will need further explaining, I illustrated it in two ‘callouts’ (exploded details). Remember to leave some space for the title and legend — as my sketch is largely horizontal, I left some room at the top and sides.

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Wendy Ding

Digital Arts Magazine
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