About this Course
4.6
486 ratings
148 reviews
In this project-centered course*, you will create a content-rich infographic on a topic of your choice using Adobe Illustrator (which you can download for a free, 30-day trial). You might choose to create a visual representation of data from the world of sports, entertainment, politics, or science, to explain a business trend or environmental issue, or even to present a theme or development from your personal life. Your finished infographic will engage your target audience and convey information clearly through effective use of design elements such as typography, color, and structure. Whether you’re a graphic designer, a writer or the intern in the department, you’ll learn: • what an infographic is and what makes a good one • how to work within your limits • how to work with a team (if you have one) • why infographics are effective • techniques for spotting data in stories • six valuable steps for planning an effective infographic • how to use and make some of the building blocks of infographics: maps, charts and flow charts • ways data can be visualized to clarify it and give it meaning • how to effectively design a good infographic by effectively using elements like type, color and an underlying grid structure • some free or cheap, online tools for making various kinds of infographics As you work on your project, you’ll learn more about why infographics are effective, what makes a good infographic, and how to plan and design an infographic for maximum impact. You’ll explore various approaches to data visualization, and you’ll practice creating visualizations like maps, charts, flow charts, and simple drawings in your free version of Adobe Illustrator. Please note that if you are new to learning graphics software, making these graphics could take much longer than estimated as you learn and grow. What you’ll need to get started: This project-based course is aimed at anyone interested in understanding, designing, and using infographics - from students and hobbyists to professional graphic designers. We’ll use Adobe Illustrator for some components of the project. If you don’t have access to the full version of Illustrator,you can download a free version at www.Adobe.com/Illustrator. If the free 30-day trial runs out, you can "purchase" it for a month for about $20. *About Project-Centered Courses: Project centered courses are designed specifically to help you complete a personally meaningful real-world project, with your instructor and a community of like-minded learners providing guidance and suggestions along the way. By actively applying new concepts as you learn, you’ll master the course content more efficiently; you’ll also get a head start on using the skills you gain to make positive changes in your life and career. When you complete the course, you’ll have a finished project that you’ll be proud to use and share. When you enroll in certain courses, you’ll be asked to pay a small fee to share your work with others for peer review....
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Clock

Approx. 16 hours to complete

Suggested: 6 hours of study, 8 hours of project work...
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English...

Skills you will gain

InfographicsIllustrationCommunication DesignGraphic Design
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Clock

Approx. 16 hours to complete

Suggested: 6 hours of study, 8 hours of project work...
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English...

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
Clock
5 hours to complete

Plan and layout an infographic

This week is broken into two key themes: things that you need to know about infographics and this week's two peer-reviewed assignments: 1) plan an infographic and 2) sketch a layout of your infographic....
Reading
16 videos (Total 58 min), 1 reading, 2 quizzes
Video16 videos
What You'll Learnm
What is an Infographic?2m
Why are infographics useful?4m
Types of Infographics2m
What are some things you can do to visualize data6m
What Makes an Infographic good?4m
How to work alone or with a team8m
Planning STEP 1: What's Your Goal?1m
Planning STEP 2: Who is your Audience?1m
Planning STEP 3: What is your Story?2m
Planning STEP 4: What is your Message?1m
Planning STEP 5: How to Find Stories in Data?4m
Planning STEP 6: What is your supporting content/data?2m
Video: The importance of sketching3m
Video: START TO FINISH: How I make an infographic8m
Reading1 reading
GREAT sites for making infographics online (with reviews & tutorials)10m
Week
2
Clock
3 hours to complete

Make a chart

This week we're going to focus on three popular kinds of charts: bar, line and pie and you'll learn what kind of data each one is used for as well as some things you shouldn't do with them. The assignment this week is to make a chart using Adobe Illustrator. If learning graphic software is new to you, this could take you much more time than you think. In the fourth and final module of this project you will be creating an infographic that will contain at least one chart in it, so this might be a good point for you to think about what topic you would like to make your infographic about and then plot your chart here using data that you can apply to your infographic. You can download a 30-day trial version of the Adobe Illustrator by going to www.Adobe.com/Illustrator, or, if you prefer not to use Illustrator, you could try Inkscape (https://inkscape.org/en/), which is free. It won't plot charts, but I've heard that people plot charts in another program, such as Excel, and then carefully trace them in Inkscape so that they can style them up to their needs. Here are some good Youtube tutorials: https://youtu.be/zUIOEXssTSE. Technically, charts are called graphs, but I’m not a purist. I call them charts and I have for 30 years. You may call them whatever you like. ☺ Why Illustrator? It’s the industry standard for creating maps, charts and other graphic images. My Adobe Illustrator tutorial this week shows you how to make a pie chart, and the same styling and editing techniques will apply to the other chart types. If you prefer, here is a link to my tutorial for “How to Make a Bar Chart in Adobe Illustrator,” though. It’s not Illustrator CC, but you won’t be able to tell the difference and it’s a little more comprehensive than my pie chart tutorial....
Reading
4 videos (Total 23 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video4 videos
A few chart dos and don'ts5m
Six ways to visualize the same data in a chart2m
How to make a PIE chart in Adobe Illustrator9m
Reading2 readings
Print out: What kind of data goes on bar, pie and line charts?10m
Video: How to make a BAR chart in Adobe Illustrator10m
Week
3
Clock
3 hours to complete

Make a map

...
Reading
6 videos (Total 48 min), 3 readings, 1 quiz
Video6 videos
Types of maps3m
Type on maps6m
Drawing roads and info pointer boxes on maps that aren't awful5m
How to make a map in Adobe Illustrator (Oregon)24m
How to use and how NOT to use the pen tool2m
Reading3 readings
Example images of good roads for maps drawn in Illustrator10m
Examples of pointer (info) boxes for maps drawn in Illustrator10m
Link to more detailed video tutorial: How to make a map in Adobe Illustrator (Michigan)10m
Week
4
Clock
3 hours to complete

Make an infographic

You've learned some things about content, layout, design, color and making maps and charts and now it's time to pull them all together into an infographic. It will help if you review my video from module one where I make an infographic (the one on melanoma) from start to finish. I have a tutorial here that will show you how to draw an illustration in Illustrator, in case your infographic calls for one. I hope you try it! ...
Reading
3 videos (Total 29 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video3 videos
Don't hurt your image with bad, sloppy work4m
How to draw a simple illustration in Adobe Illustrator20m
Reading1 reading
Video: How working with type in Adobe Illustrator10m

Instructor

Karl Gude

Graphics Editor in Residence
School of Journalism

About Michigan State University

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 150 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.