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Creating graph designs

From: Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics

Video: Creating graph designs

When it comes to representing data within a graph, we know that Illustrator creates these rectangles that are used for columns. In fact that's the case right here in this particular graph. But I may want to use something else to identify those particular data ranges. For example, since we are dealing with apples and oranges right here, why can't I actually images of apples and oranges to display the amount of values in each of these particular data series? Well, in reality you can. Illustrator has a feature called Graph Designs. A Graph Design is simply a way that you can represent data using a piece of art that you specify instead of a regular plain rectangle.

Creating graph designs

When it comes to representing data within a graph, we know that Illustrator creates these rectangles that are used for columns. In fact that's the case right here in this particular graph. But I may want to use something else to identify those particular data ranges. For example, since we are dealing with apples and oranges right here, why can't I actually images of apples and oranges to display the amount of values in each of these particular data series? Well, in reality you can. Illustrator has a feature called Graph Designs. A Graph Design is simply a way that you can represent data using a piece of art that you specify instead of a regular plain rectangle.

Now, in reality you could start off with this graph on your own and then simply delete these rectangles and replace with them art as you specify it. But let's see how we could actually use this feature inside of Illustrator called Graph Design. It's actually a two-step process. You first need to define what's called the Graph Design and then after that you can then apply it directly to your graph. So, in this file here, I have actually created a chart and it has two pieces of artwork that appear down here at the bottom. So, I'll start off by working with the apples. I'm actually going to click and drag to select the apple. I'll go over the Object menu, I'll choose Graph and then I'll choose this setting here called Design. Now this dialog box comes up, the Graph Design dialog box and because I already have my artwork selected, I could simply click on the New Design button. Illustrator has sense that I already have artwork selected, it gives me a preview of it and it automatically calls it New Design. I'm going to click on the Rename button here. I'm going to call it apple. Click OK and now I'll click OK to exit this.

Now because I'm working here with the graph that has two sets of data, I also want to use oranges to display those values. So, I'll select the orange here and once again go to Object, go to Graph, choose Design and I'll create a New Design. Again because I have the orange selected, it automatically shows up over here as a preview, I'll rename it to orange, click OK and I'll click OK once again to exit the Graph Design dialog box. So, now what I have done is I have defined my graph design. Now that I have done I could start to apply it to the graph in this particular case here, the one dealing with the apples and the oranges.

Now, because I have two sets of values here, I can't select the entire graph because if I do so, I'll only be able to assign one design to this entire graph. Now, I don't want all of these to be apples or all of them to be oranges. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to select just the data series that I want to work with. So, to do that I'm going to use my Group Selection tool and I'm going to click once and then again just the oranges here. Let's deal with the oranges first. So, now because of the way that Illustrator creates these nested groups inside of the overall graph, with two clicks of the Group Selection tool, I have now selected just this one data series.

So, now I'm going to go to the Object menu, I'm going to choose Graph and now I'm going to choose Column. So, because these are columns right here, I want to actually change that columns to be represented by a graphic instead of just a regular box. I'm going to choose the Column option. Now, we have already defined two designs both an apple and an orange here, but we are dealing with the oranges first, so I'm going to go ahead and select the orange. I see a preview of it here and I have the ability to choose a Column Type. By default it's set to Vertically Scaled. But that means that if I take a look over here at these bars, it's going to stretch the orange to basically, you start at the bottom and then up here, finish at the end. It's going to have one really tall long stretch at orange, which doesn't really bode very well for the design that I have in mind.

So you will see that there are other Column types as well. There is Uniformly Scaled, which basically would just enlarge it. Basically we'll have a really big orange for the larger bars and small oranges for the smaller bars. But that won't work for me in this case either. I want to use something called the Repeating Option. This is simply going to take my orange right now and just based on the values that I have there, stack oranges on top of each other. So, I'll choose that option and over here where it says Rotate Legend Design, so right over this is the legend, this is the area where the orange is going to appear and depending on the kind of design that you have created, you may want to actually rotate that particular artwork in that particular legend.

But in this case we don't want it. We want the orange to stand up right here. So, we won't actually rotate the legend design. Now we get to choose the value for each of these design elements. So, if we think about it right now, our values go from 0 million here all the way up to 50 million. So, if I were to choose for example, each design represents one unit, in the case here where this particular first element actually represents 18 million, I'm going to see 18 oranges stacked on top of each other, which would be really small. So, I want to use a much larger one and in this case here maybe I want to make really big oranges and I want to have a nice bright impact. So I'll specify that each orange represents 10 units. Now, what happens when I have fraction because for example, if I have one orange here that takes up 10 million, because this is 18, what happens to the orange on top? I can either choose to scale it, which means it will squash the orange here which I don't want to do in this case. So, I'm going to choose the option here called Chop Design.

That's something which is going to chop off the top of the orange, so you don't see the full height of the orange there. So, now that I have specified my options, I'm going to click OK and we can see now that the chart represents the oranges not with rectangles, but with the actual oranges that I have designed. Let's do the same here for the apples. I'm going to use my Group Selection tool, I'll click once and then again on the legend right here, so now I shave an entire data series selected. I'll go to the Object menu, I'll choose Graph and then I'll choose Column. Let's highlight the apple. We'll choose the Repeating option. We do not want to rotate the legend. I'll specify that each apple represents 10 units and for fractions I'll specify that we chop the design.

I will click OK and now I have applied a graph design overall to my entire graph. Instead of working with dull rectangles I have now been able to include a new design element into my graph and again the beauty of this is that I haven't really ungrouped my graph at all. So, if I need to change the data, I could simply go ahead and use my Regular Selection tool to select the entire graph, go to the Object menu choose Graph and then choose Data and be able to modify the data of that graph and have that update automatically. In closing, it's important to remember two things. First of all, remember that your overall goal when you are working these particular infographics is to be able to transmit some of kind of information. So, try not to get carried away by creating these really, really cool designs that get in the way of conveying that information.

Secondly, remember that Graph feature inside of Illustrator is pretty old. So, some of the newer features can't be used in order to define a graphic design. For example, you can't turn live effects or symbols into a design, to be able to use in a graph. In those cases you will need to expand that graphic before you actually define it as a graph design.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics
Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics

137 video lessons · 29314 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
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  1. 2m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 41s
    2. Using the exercise files
      23s
  2. 33m 20s
    1. Introducing Live Paint
      38s
    2. Drawing in Illustrator
      4m 21s
    3. Creating a Live Paint group
      2m 54s
    4. Using the Live Paint Bucket tool
      3m 17s
    5. Using Live Paint with open paths
      2m 29s
    6. Detecting gaps in Live Paint groups
      4m 17s
    7. Adding paths to a Live Paint group
      3m 41s
    8. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      5m 44s
    9. Releasing and expanding Live Paint groups
      2m 55s
    10. Understanding how Live Paint groups work
      3m 4s
  3. 49m 36s
    1. Introducing the trace options
      39s
    2. Setting expectations: Live Trace
      2m 26s
    3. Using the Live Trace feature
      1m 51s
    4. Understanding how Live Trace works
      5m 41s
    5. Making raster-based adjustments
      5m 52s
    6. Tracing with fills, strokes, or both
      2m 55s
    7. Making vector-based adjustments
      6m 12s
    8. Adjusting colors in Live Trace
      4m 39s
    9. Using Photoshop with Live Trace
      5m 22s
    10. Releasing and expanding Live Trace artwork
      2m 58s
    11. Saving and exporting Live Trace presets
      2m 36s
    12. Tracing in Batch mode with Adobe Bridge
      1m 35s
    13. Turning an image into mosaic tiles
      2m 28s
    14. Tracing an image manually
      4m 22s
  4. 1h 24m
    1. Introducing 3D
      33s
    2. Setting expectations: 3D in Illustrator
      2m 53s
    3. How fills and strokes affect 3D artwork
      4m 43s
    4. Applying the 3D Extrude & Bevel effect
      6m 25s
    5. Applying a bevel
      5m 40s
    6. Showing the hidden faces of a 3D object
      4m 49s
    7. Applying the 3D Revolve effect
      5m 22s
    8. Visualizing the revolve axis
      3m 5s
    9. Applying the 3D Rotate effect
      1m 35s
    10. Adjusting surface settings
      9m 33s
    11. Understanding the importance of 3D and groups
      3m 24s
    12. Preparing art for mapping
      10m 19s
    13. Mapping artwork to a 3D surface
      14m 21s
    14. Hiding geometry with 3D artwork mapping
      4m 0s
    15. Extending the use of 3D in Illustrator
      8m 7s
  5. 44m 37s
    1. Introducing transformations and effects
      32s
    2. Using the Transform panel
      12m 37s
    3. Repeating transformations
      5m 23s
    4. Using the Transform Each function
      3m 48s
    5. Using the Convert to Shape effects
      5m 49s
    6. Using the Distort & Transform effects
      5m 12s
    7. Using the Path effects
      6m 58s
    8. Using the Pathfinder effects
      4m 18s
  6. 28m 23s
    1. Introducing graphic styles
      33s
    2. Applying graphic styles
      10m 8s
    3. Defining graphic styles
      8m 46s
    4. Previewing graphic styles
      2m 10s
    5. Modifying graphic styles
      3m 30s
    6. Understanding graphic styles for text
      3m 16s
  7. 22m 49s
    1. Introducing advanced masking techniques
      32s
    2. Understanding clipping masks
      7m 15s
    3. Using layer clipping masks
      6m 30s
    4. Creating opacity masks
      8m 32s
  8. 1h 6m
    1. Introducing color
      40s
    2. Considering three types of color swatches
      7m 7s
    3. Managing color groups
      2m 58s
    4. Understanding the HSB color wheel
      3m 57s
    5. Understanding color harmonies
      2m 57s
    6. Using the color guide
      3m 54s
    7. Limiting the color guide
      3m 17s
    8. Modifying color with the Recolor Artwork feature
      6m 25s
    9. Using the Edit tab to adjust color
      5m 44s
    10. Using the Assign tab to replace colors
      8m 37s
    11. Making global color adjustments
      2m 17s
    12. Using Recolor options
      7m 3s
    13. Converting artwork to grayscale
      3m 23s
    14. Simulating artwork on different devices
      3m 18s
    15. Accessing Kuler directly from Illustrator
      2m 7s
    16. Ensuring high contrast for color-blind people
      2m 42s
  9. 53m 19s
    1. Introducing transparency
      40s
    2. Understanding transparency flattening
      2m 31s
    3. Exercising the two rules of transparency flattening
      10m 53s
    4. Understanding complex regions in transparency flattening
      4m 50s
    5. Exploring the transparency flattener settings
      8m 37s
    6. Using transparency flattening and object stacking order
      6m 39s
    7. Using the Flattener Preview panel
      6m 31s
    8. Creating and sharing Transparency Flattener presets
      2m 25s
    9. Working within an EPS workflow
      5m 3s
    10. Understanding the Illustrator and InDesign workflow
      5m 10s
  10. 50m 1s
    1. Introducing prepress and output
      23s
    2. Understanding resolutions
      8m 27s
    3. Discovering RGB and CMYK "gotchas"
      5m 42s
    4. Using Overprints and Overprint Preview
      7m 43s
    5. Understanding "book color" and proofing spot colors
      8m 1s
    6. Collecting vital information with Document Info
      2m 28s
    7. Previewing color separations onscreen
      1m 12s
    8. Making 3D artwork look good
      2m 16s
    9. Seeing white lines and knowing what to do about them
      2m 41s
    10. Creating "bulletproof" press-ready PDF files
      3m 45s
    11. Protecting content with secure PDFs
      2m 48s
    12. Using PDF presets
      2m 47s
    13. Moving forward: The Adobe PDF Print Engine
      1m 48s
  11. 35m 43s
    1. Introducing distortions
      27s
    2. Using the Warp effect
      4m 20s
    3. The Warp effect vs. envelope distortion
      3m 48s
    4. Applying the Make with Warp envelope distortion
      2m 45s
    5. Applying the Make with Mesh envelope distortion
      2m 41s
    6. Applying the Make with Top Object envelope distortion
      3m 45s
    7. Editing envelopes
      5m 0s
    8. Adjusting envelope settings
      4m 2s
    9. Releasing and expanding envelope distortions
      1m 44s
    10. Applying envelope distortions to text
      1m 27s
    11. Using the liquify distortion tools
      3m 5s
    12. Customizing the liquify tools
      2m 39s
  12. 28m 56s
    1. Introducing blends
      32s
    2. Blending two objects
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting blend options
      5m 47s
    4. Blending three or more objects
      2m 9s
    5. Blending anchor points
      5m 36s
    6. Replacing the spine of a blend
      4m 32s
    7. Reversing the direction of a blend
      2m 15s
    8. Releasing and expanding a blend
      1m 47s
  13. 46m 54s
    1. Introducing charts and graphs
      35s
    2. Setting expectations: Graphs in Illustrator
      3m 19s
    3. Creating a chart
      8m 2s
    4. Importing data
      3m 34s
    5. Formatting data
      5m 1s
    6. Customizing a chart
      10m 21s
    7. Combining chart types
      2m 40s
    8. Creating graph designs
      6m 0s
    9. Styling and updating graphs
      5m 33s
    10. Ungrouping graphs
      1m 49s
  14. 26m 36s
    1. Introducing Gradient Mesh
      23s
    2. Understanding the Gradient Mesh feature
      9m 34s
    3. Using Gradient Mesh to add contoured shading
      6m 14s
    4. Using Gradient Mesh to create photorealistic effects
      10m 25s
  15. 8m 18s
    1. Introducing flare effects
      25s
    2. Drawing a lens flare
      3m 28s
    3. Modifying a lens flare
      1m 27s
    4. Using a mask with lens flares
      2m 58s
  16. 29s
    1. Goodbye
      29s

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