One way to enhance graphs for more visual appeal and/or increased ease of interpretation is to make changes to the grid. In this video, Amy Balliett explains how to access and modify a graph's grid in Adobe Illustrator.
- [Instructor] We recently built this bar chart together and while it looks okay, one extremely simple way to improve the design is to make subtle changes to the grid. Whenever you produce a graph in Adobe Illustrator, you'll see tick marks on the x and y axis. As you ungroup objects in your data visualization, keep the tick marks on each axis grouped together. Now select one group of tick marks, click, and drag until the lines grow to the size you want, like so.
When you're doing this, it's important not to hold down the shift key. For instance, as I do that you'll see the lines start to scale proportionately and leave the page. So that's why you don't want to hold down the shift key. I'm going to let go and let everything bounce back into place. And I'm going to continue to build my grid. Once you've turned your tick marks into a grid, you can add further visual appeal by stylizing the lines.
Maybe for instance, you simply want to lower the stroke size. I selected all the lines. And now I'm just going to change the stroke size to .5. This adds a little bit of depth because it allows the bars to pop out more. But I want to add even more depth. So I'm going to make these lines dashed. By clicking on the stroke option, I can check the dashed line option. Now these are pretty big dashes and honestly, a little glaring.
So I'm going to select them again and I'm going to make the dashes more subtle by changing 12 point to two point. That's much cleaner, but I still feel like the grid is a little too intense. So I'm going to select everything again and change the color to a light gray. Now that looks much better and much cleaner. You might also choose not to use the grid at all, but honestly, adding one further helps the viewer reach conclusions faster.
In addition, by stylizing the grid, you add simple but clean style to your overall design which will keep your audience engaged as well.
To succeed in design and marketing today, one must know how to interpret and properly visualize data. This course, developed and led by Killer Infographics CEO, Amy Balliett, walks you through the ins and outs of creating accurate and compelling data visualizations. Amy focuses on best practices, not tools, although she does provide an overview of Illustrator graphing features. Using these tips, you'll learn how to stand out from the crowd and create charts and graphs that combine precision with visual appeal.
- What charts and graphs work best for different types of data
- Putting data into visual and textual context to ensure it is accurate
- Visualizing data that doesn't lend itself to imagery
- Adding visual appeal without sacrificing accuracy
- Using the Adobe Illustrator graphing tools
- Avoiding common data viz mistakes