In this tutorial, we will be creating a simple comparison chart with embellished graphics to develop a higher level of understanding. The goal of this diagram is to deliver information quickly and in a way that is readily understood. For this comparison, we will present two pieces of data side by side. The viewer can take away from the comparison that one thing is larger than another thing and that the comparison may have something to do with water and/or rain. It is up to you as the presenter or editorial designer to fill in the missing pieces.
1. Make a new 1920 pt x 1080 pt document.
2. Before we make the chart, we’ll gather up the assets that will be used in the chart. Download the water droplet here and the man with the umbrella here. (it’s best to download these through Chrome or Firefox, Safari doesn’t seem to like Illustrator files)
3. In Illustrator, go to the FILE menu > OPEN and select the water droplet.ai file. Select it with the Black Arrow and go to the EDIT menu > COPY, go into your New Document from Step 1 and go the EDIT menu > PASTE.
4. Go to the VIEW menu > SHOW GRID and then the VIEW menu > SNAP TO GRID
5. Zoom into the Water Droplet and then recolor it by selecting it and changing the fill color to #2c69a8 in the color picker panel.
6. Move the Water Droplet to the upper right-hand corner of a large grid square.
7. Double click the Black Arrow in the Toolbar and change the Horizontal to 18pt and the Vertical to 18pt, click COPY.
8. With the copy selected double click the Black Arrow and change the horizontal to 0 and the vertical to -36pt, click COPY.
9. Select the Rectangle Tool and click on the screen in the upper right corner of the large grid square, change the dimensions to Horizontal 36pts and Vertical 36pts, click OK.
10. Change the fill and stroke color of the square to None and then go to the OBJECT menu > ARRANGE > SEND TO BACK.
11. Select all 4 objects (the 3 water drops and the invisible square) with the Black Arrow and drag them to the Swatches Panel, this will be the texture for the comparison chart.
12. Go to the VIEW menu > HIDE GRID and then VIEW menu > uncheck SNAP TO GRID
13. Click on the Column Graph Tool from the Toolbar and draw a large square on the Artboard.
14. In the Data Window type in 4000 under the first column and 1000 for the 2nd, click the checkmark to update the chart.
15. With the chart selected, go to the OBJECT menu > UNGROUP, this will separate the chart from the data – for our purposes this is OK as the data is fixed, if you are using data that may change over time, you will want to maintain the connection between the data and the chart.
16. Select the two columns and change the fill to your raindrop swatch and change the stroke to none.
17. Go to the FILE menu > OPEN And select Man With Umbrell.ai file. Select it with the Black Arrow and go to the EDIT menu > COPY, go into your New Document from Step 1 and go the EDIT menu > PASTE.
18. With Man With Umbrella icon selected double click the Scale Tool on the Toolbar and change the scale to a uniform 50%. Click OK
19. With the icon still selected, recolor it by selecting it and changing the fill color to #1b4168 in the color picker panel.
20. Draw a rectangle the width of the icon from the bottom of the umbrella to the bottom of the icon’s legs. Change the fill color to White and send it to the back (OBJECT menu > ARRANGE > SEND TO BACK)
21. Select both objects and go to the OBJECT menu > GROUP. Move the grouped objects to the center bottom of one of the columns.
22. Drag a copy of the group to the other column by selecting it with the Black Arrow and holding down the ALT/OPT key.
23. Select the bottom line of the Chart with the Black Arrow and in the Stroke Panel change the weight to 4pts and the go to the OBJECT menu > ARRANGE > BRING TO FRONT, with the White Arrow, delete the vertical tick mark at the left and right hand side of the line.
24. Select the numbers on the Vertical Axis and go to the OBJECT menu > UNGROUP. Deselect by clicking on a blank area of the screen and then select the vertical line and the tick marks, hit the delete key on your keyboard.
25. Select the type, change the size to 21 pts and the tracking to 100.
26. With the White Arrow select one of the numbers on the left and go to the EDIT menu > COPY, then EDIT menu > PASTE. Change the text to AVERAGE INCHES OF RAIN and place it below the Chart.
27. With the Type tool, make a text box and type 2018, change the size to 42 pts, with 100 for the Tracking.
28. ALT/OPT drag a copy of the text frame to the right and change the text to 2020.