Both of my daughters are excited about the upcoming school year (high school and junior high). They are busy school shopping, selecting classes, and attending athletic two-a-days. Meanwhile, their teachers are busy winding down their much-earned summer of relaxation and are writing curriculum, creating lesson plans, and planning “cool” projects. Yep, it’s that time of the year – back to school time!
This year, why not consider incorporating infographic design into your curriculum? Infographics provide an interesting way to visualize information, knowledge and data. Infographic design is also a great way for students to learn Adobe Illustrator while solving problems in a creative way.
I recommend starting with a topic that interest the students – themselves! For example, why not have the students create an infographic outlining what they did over the summer?
This is a great beginning-of-the-year project, as it allows the students to share about their summer while learning Adobe Illustrator. Because infographics typically consist of a combination of graphs, charts, data, and simple graphics, the instructor can kick-start the course by teaching basic Illustrator skills such as:
- Combining shapes using the Shape Builder Tool
- Pattern Building (Background)
- Building Simple Shapes (rectangle, rounded rectangle, star, ellipse, etc.)
- Strokes and Lines
- Color Selection
For example, the following infographic visually represents my “summer in review”. I selected 4 summer-time events that I wanted to display in a simple, yet effective manner.
The Illustrator tools/skills I incorporated are:
- Shape Builder Tool – The people icons and the sunscreen bottle
- Shape Tool – The sun was made from an ellipse and a star (obviously there are many examples of rectangles)
- Strokes and Lines – I used the Spiral tool for the surfing wave and the line tool to create the vertical divider as well as the swimming pool water.
- Pattern Panel – I created a horizontal striped pattern and applied it to the background.
- Alignment Panel – for aligning the text
- Kuler – to find my color palette
As you can see, these are very basic skills and a great way to introduce your new digital graphics students, communications students, and career and tech students to Adobe Illustrator. Not to mention, it will also get them thinking about how to communicate ideas in a creative way.
Infographic Resources –
Have a great and creative 2013-2014 school year!
Solutions Consultant, Adobe Inc.
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