Creating data visualization graphics has always fascinated me so I wanted to figure out how it was done. And I did! So here is how I made my data-vis connector graphic in Illustrator. Looks complicated but it was less complicated than I thought.
Start with setting up a grid structure to snap the points of the the lines to. Under Illustrator Preferences choose Guides & Grid.
Set the Gridline to be 10 pt, 10 mm or 10 px. The set the subdivision to be 10. This will give you a point to snap to at every 10 intervals and grid lines at every 1 unit intervals.
Turn the Grid on under the View menu>Show Grid. Then turn on the Snap to Grid under the same menu.
Using the grid structure, set connector points for starting the connector lines. I used every 30 units for spacing.
Duplicate the points every 30 units. Then use COMMAND + D to duplicate several more points.
Duplicate the dots to the lower section of the chart. Keep them inline with the upper dots. Select all the dots and lock them. Object> Lock> Selection.
Using the dot as reference, draw a connector line 10 units below the dot (snapped to the grid) then connect it to the lower dot, 10 units above the dot.
Use the pen tool to draw the line from connector to connector.
Copy the line, then choose Edit>Paste in Front. Use the Selection Tool to transform the copied line to meet the next connector.
Repeat this process to match the points on the grid lining up with the lower point.
Change the line colors as you add connector groups.
Using curved line will be easier to follow instead of straight lines.
Use contrasting colors to differentiate between the connector lines.
To change the width of the connector lines, use the Width Shape Tool to widen the ends of the line.
Widen the lines to meet the ends or to cover more area. Final data visualization graphic with days and dates in place.
To create a more easy to follow chart, set the wider lines to 50% opacity.
Creating a box in Illustrator can be a bit daunting. Thinking and creating in 3D can bend your mind a bit. Here is a simple, easy-to-understand way of creating a 3D box – complete with folding flaps in any form you can imagine. Here goes!
Create a rectangle or square. Add a fill and stroke.
Use the Direct Selection Tool to select one side of the shape.
Use the Down Arrow to move the side of the box and shift it down to create a parallelogram. Create a duplicate of the shape.
Select the duplicate shape and RIGHT+CLICK on it, then choose Transform>Reflect. Reflect the shape vertically to create a mirror image of it.
With the duplicate shape selected, you can pull the shape to any angle or length.
Bring the two shapes together so they meet exactly at the edges. This leaves an odd tanget at the corners where the stroke edges overlap.
To solve this overlap issue, opent the Stroke Panel and do either: Select a rounded corner on the stroke outline OR set the stroke alignment to Inside.
Either of those options will solve the overlap issue.
Duplicate the right side of the box, choose Object> Arrange> Send To Back. Align the back panel to the edges.
Repeat the duplicate steps with the front panel and move it to the back side, then send that shape to the back.
To create flaps, duplicate the side panel, move it up to meet the edge of the side.
Use the Direct Selection Tool to move just the top edge of the flap outward.
Repeat the duplcate panel process around each side of the box.
The flaps can be set in any direction to make it appear partailly open or wide open.
Set the interior color of the flaps to be lighter to make it appear like the light is reflecting off them.
Flaps can be wide open.
Or close all the flaps to make it look unopened.
To create labels on the box, duplicate the sides of the box, hold SHIFT and scale the duplicate panels, then add a different fill/stroke to the shape and this create a perfect label on the panels.
Creating a Pie Chart can be super easy. And I mean SUPER EASY. In just a few easy steps you can create a pie chart with any percentages and make it perfect, each and every time. And discover Illustrators hidden calculator!
I have drawn a circle and have a few values I want to make a pie chart from. This works with as many values as you want!
One the right side of the cirle is a small circle handle. When you click and drag it will make the circle into a pie shape. The tool hint comes up and shows information but this is not super useful since we have percentages and it shows measurements in degrees.
To make this easy, open up the Transform Panel from the Window Menu. Here you can put in your percentages.
This requires math. Illustrator has a built in calculator!! Take the percentange and multiply it by 3.6. This will give your the degrees of the pie you need.
Select the circle, put you values in the Transform Panel Pie Chart Start Angle. This field IS THE CALCULATOR. Notice that I input 35 * 3.6, then hit return and the calculation is done!
Yes, it is that easy! My pie chart now shows 35%. But now I want the missing piece as well, this only shows me part of the pie.
Duplicate the circle and click on the Invert pie chart button. This gives you the opposite piece of the pie.
Put the pieces together and you have your pie chart.
Another nice trick is to add a heavy stroke to the pie in one of the colors, this helps to show the values better. I used Museo Slab as the font.