Add depth to charts

Infographics needn't be boring, so why not try taking them to another level by importing a mundane Illustrator chart into and making it inspiring. Mark Mayers is on hand to explain how it's done.

Data visualization can be a far from thrilling subject matter. However, when the marketing department or your latest client hands you a load of data to revamp, stifle your yawns, because it is now possible to present thoroughly uninspiring numerical information in new and exciting ways. You've got the brains and the software: as a designer it's your duty to utilise them.

In today's fast-paced world, people want to be presented with information that can be assimilated quickly. Whether it's a graph for an annual report, sales figures for a brochure, newspaper articles or as an educational aid, infographics are the perfect medium for illustrating key information, and designers are often relied upon to use graphics in a creative manner, thus turning a jumble of numbers into a compelling graphic. A well-designed infographic should be visually stimulating, yet quickly convey a message that's easy to digest.

Illustrator's default graph styles aren't exactly inspiring, but one popular way to create a sense of depth is to use Illustrator's Extrude and Bevel functions. In this tutorial you'll take this 3D concept a stage further by importing Illustrator paths into Cinema 4D as splines and extruding them. Finally you'll add some realistic textures to construct a distinctive infographic that really stands out from the crowd - visual stimulation without the yawn factor! As we hope to show you, by using infographics in a creative way you can turn a jumble of numbers into a visual treat.

Click here to download the support files (1.8MB)

Click here to download the tutorial for free