Designing for infographics/data/statistics etc

Hey everyone,

So I’ve been tasked in class to research data/statistics/demographics of a certain subject, and once that’s done, create a “target market research graphic” for prospective clients. This is in addition to the other design responsibilities for the assignment.

Now, I’m trying to craft a rough draft of this thing in Illustrator, a program I barely know how to use.

I have all these disparate studies, data numbers, etc, from different sources that I’m trying to translate into one cohesive infographic.
One problem I have is trying to sort the information.
One study is simple, that it cites men and women users at 55% and 45%. Makes sense.
But another study is saying that the highest amount of users are under 24 at 1%, whereas the second highest amount is between 25-30 at 0.8%.
Huh? If it’s at 1% wouldn’t that be the lowest?
That’s an example of what’s confusing me with trying to understand and synthesize this data. I feel like that alone is it’s own assignment.

As far as the design aspect goes, I don’t know where to begin.
I don’t have any experience with creating data charts. I’ve seen pie charts, bar graphs and line charts before but usually in magazines or on a website, and they are usually just to reference 1 or 2 statistics at most.

Oh well, it’s gotta get done.
Right now, I’m trying to make a this infographic by age, education, gender, location, income, etc etc in time for the deadline.
But I’m frozen.
I’ve given up on trying to do something creative with design, and just want to make understandable, functioning charts to convey the information I do understand.
Bar graphs for example.
So I’m in Illustrator drawing out rectangles, guessing how high the bar should go.
Then I think, isn’t this supposed to be accurate?
If I was using a pie chart for example, I couldn’t just eyeball the the percentages, because it’s likely it would be off.

I found out that I could input numbers into Excel to create a pie chart, but that itself took some time, and even then, I can’t just copy and paste the pie chart into Illustrator. I’ve been screenshot-ing it, then opening it in Photoshop, then trying to redraw it in Illustrator again…
it seems like it’s taking forever.

So my question is this:
Is there starter course, or lessons that you can take in order to understand this stuff and create it?
I don’t even know how to create grids, let alone how to create statistical information.
Did anyone have classes where they went over this more in design school?
I just feel like I’m in over my head.

What format is the end result supposed to end up as? Pdf?

Maybe yes, start with Excel, because it can do bar charts, etc. Then you could screen shot them into Illustrator and trace over them?

I believe that Powerpoint can do them too.

0.8% is smaller than 1 percent. I don’t think it’s plausible, however, than the largest age groups only constitute 1.8 percent of the total. That doesn’t make sense unless there are several hundred different age groups.

Check out the stock sites, like iStock or Shutterstock. I’m not suggesting buying infographic pieces there (although you could) as much as I’m suggesting just looking at them. There are vector infographics packages there and some of them are pretty good. You might get some ideas.

Illustrator has a chart-building tool that, in many ways, is similar to Excel’s. The main difference being that they’re editable in Illustrator.

Maybe you can use your county library membership to access Lynda.com videos.

Yes, it’s a PDF.
I was trying to do that initially, but I found it incredibly time consuming, and it turns out I don’t need to be as accurate as I once thought, which I’ll get into…

Yeah, the way it’s written, and the way their chart is made, it makes it hard to understand.
I’m thinking that of those under 24 years of age, 1% of them use this this method, whereas only .8% of the 25-30 crowd use this, and and so on.
I was trying to do the math on my own, to add the #s of those who DID use the method, and then do some more math to figure out what the percentages would end up being. The math still didn’t look right so I took a break, and apparently for good reason…

Thanks. I’m looking into that right now.

What!? That’s awesome. I have to check that out.

Thank you. I’m going to try that either with my library membership or my university account.

What I’ve found out about the assignment:
Okay, so I printed out previous classes Target Market Graphic pages to deconstruct them, and get more comfortable with infographics and the assignment at hand.

What I’ve noticed is that the info is extremely reduced and simplified at times.
For example, there’s 4 markets that compare Male/Female users, but there’s no numbers or lines to elaborate on the bar graphs used.
Just some rectangles that are slightly shorter or longer than each other.
For me, as a client, it would be hard for me tell just how much they differ since there’s no numbers or lines to directly or easily compare them.
But this is an example of one of the better ones, so maybe that’s the point, to make it very spartan.

I’ve also noticed that several of the statistics used for the other examples have the wrong numbers that don’t correlate correctly to the stacked bar charts. They all say 20% when clearly they’re of varying sizes, and it doesn’t add up to 100%

Our professor had us do a lot of research on the project, because it’s expected of you when working for certain clients or employers. You have to be able to interpret that information into easily understood graphics.
But we’ve also been told that, for this assignment our statistics don’t have to be exact or even accurate if we can’t find the right info in time.

So…I’ve come to the conclusion that the priority of this assignment is see how well you can use elements such as hierarchy to convey the information well, and what kind of creative ways you can do to convey information.
I got bogged down in trying to make everything accurate, going nuts trying to read through these scholarly articles, figure out these complex charts. The reason I wanted to get it right, is because what if I get a job after this class, and my employer NEEDS it to be accurate? I want to be able to crunch numbers in order to convey the information correctly.

But somethings got to give.
I’ll have to guestimate a lot of this data, and just focus on making it organized, easy to read, and creative.
Thanks for the help, and hopefully I can add what I’ve learned to this thread later.

Design school is sometimes like that. Quite often the professors don’t quite understand how the real world works. I’m not necessarily saying that’s the case with yours, but from personal experience, design professors are often more professional teacher than they are professional designer.

In the real world, accuracy is important. There aren’t many clients or employers who, in a situation like yours, would value creativity and aesthetics over accuracy and clarity.

My professor actually has a lot of impressive professional design experience, working for big companies and doing high powered work. I think I misunderstood her earlier, because she once again stressed to me that you can’t fudge the #s. However…she told me, you’re never going to have all the information you need, and you’re never going to have 100% market insight.
I think I was getting bogged down in trying to get be completely knowledgable about this market, when I’m only supposed to get as much insight as I can, within the time given. From then on, spend the rest of the time communicating the info graphically.

I finally completed the infographic too.
It’s not very good, but it’s at least decently organized compared to what I had before.
There’s sooooo many creative ways to communicate stats, #s, data, and I think once I explore them, get my feet wet, I’ll be more comfortable.

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