Principles of Design

As you continue to work on your infographic, make sure it follows the principles of design.


Image Credit: Paper Leaf





Here are some progress screen shots of students who are effectively using these principles.

me severed head

Giacomo, Grade 12


Clifton, Grade 12

Starting to add text? Make sure you follow my guidelines on typography and visual hierarchy.

Drawing your infographic by hand with plans to alter it in Photoshop? All the necessary tutorials can be found here.

The last day for the project will be Friday, December 4 (BD) and Monday, December 7 (AC).

Today we will:

  • continue working on our infographic projects
  • create a new blog post with our progress

Typography & Visual Hierarchy

Many of us are ready to add text to our infographics. When trying to make your text look interesting, don’t use too many different “fun” fonts or your project will look like a hot mess:


As a general rule, you should use two different typefaces to keep things interesting yet unified. These typefaces should be fairly different to show contrast, and you should use the more decorative one for headings. NEVER set body text in a decorative typeface – it will make it illegible and look unprofessional. The image below explains why:


Find the above examples entertaining? There’s an entire blog post, titled, “Does your choice of font signify you as a terrifying beast?”

Here is an example of how to correctly juxtapose basic and decorative typefaces. Notice how the heading is in a decorative typeface, the subheadings are in a simpler, but easier to read typeface, and there is enough contrast between the type color and the background to keep things legible:


Bayleigh, Grade 11

The next example contains a gorgeous color scheme, but the text is hard to read for two reasons. First, there is not enough contrast between the color of the text and the color of the background. Second, all of the text is written in a decorative typeface.

The Weeknd

Angela, Grade 12

In the example below, I have lightened the color of the text, and changed the body text to a simpler typeface (Helvetica):

The Weeknd

Here are side-by-side comparisons of the typography before and after changes. Why is the “after” easier to read?

The Weeknd

The Weeknd

Today we will:

  • continue working on our infographic projects, making sure any typography we add is legible and displays a clear visual hierarchy
  • post a PDF of our progress to our blogs

Continuing our Infographics

Today we will continue working on our infographic projects.

Need help? This link will guide you through setting up your infographic in Illustrator. This link will show you some ways to alter a hand-drawn image in Photoshop.


Remember to post evidence of today’s work to your blog. No blog post = 0 for the day.

Today we will:

  • continue working on our infographic projects
  • create a new blog post with today’s progress

Infographic Progress

We are about halfway through our infographic project. I have graded the progress checkpoints as follows:

  • No progress posted to blog. (We have spent 5 classes on this project. There is no excuse for this.) – 0
  • Project concept posted to blog, but no evidence of other progress – 50
  • Sufficient progress posted to blog – 100.

The progress checkpoint will comprise 20% of your total project grade.

Examples of A+ Student Infographic Progress

Hand Drawn Imagery that will be Altered in Photoshop
Sean's Infographic Progress

Sean’s Infographic Progress

Vector Imagery Created in Illustrator
Zion's Infographic Progress

Zion’s Infographic Progress

Zavion's Infographic Progress

Zavion’s Infographic Progress

Deandrey's Infogrphic Progress

Deandrey’s Infogrphic Progress

Need help? This link will guide you through setting up your infographic in Illustrator. This link will show you some ways to alter a hand-drawn image in Photoshop.

Today we will:

  • Continue working on our infographic (or senior opt out) projects
  • Post our progress to our blogs. (If your project is not digital, you must photograph your progress at the end of today’s class and post the photo to your blog.) Remember, your daily blog posts are worth 40% of your grade in this class. These are free points!

Continuing our Infographics

coffee_shopToday we will continue working on our infographics. If your design includes images with negative space, like the example on the left, click here for a tutorial on how to create a compound path in Illustrator. This tutorial also shows how to add a colored background in Illustrator.

Here is the link to last class’s blog post if you would like to review how to set up your file in Illustrator or Photoshop.

Seniors – Want Photos Printed for the Senior Show?

If you would like to put photos you have taken in the senior show, please create a new blog post with anything you would like me to print. Please post them to your blog by Tuesday, November 24th. (The last day of classes before Thanksgiving break and the day before Ms. Lawson’s birthday.)

Today we will:

  • continue working on our infographics
  • save a PDF of our progress and post it to our blog

Setting Up our Actual Infographic Projects

Today we will begin creating our infographics.

If you are using Photoshop

  • You will create a black and white drawing of your infographic and go over the design with Sharpie. Everything must be solid black and white, and you should make sure you close all shapes and lines like the example below:
  • You will then take a high-quality photo of your drawing and post it to your blog.
  • You will complete the tutorials on how to manipulate hand drawn lettering in Photoshop. You will post your completed tutorial to your blog. (This means that if you work quickly, you will create two blog posts today.)

If you are using Illustrator

  • You will follow the steps below to begin creating your infographic in Illustrator.
  • If your design requires a colored background, or you have any objects with holes in them, read the post about compound paths and backgrounds.

Steps to creating the actual infographic file in Illustrator

  1. Open Adobe Illustrator
  2. Create a new file. File -> New.
    Set the dimensions as follows (flip the height and the width if you want a landscape orientation):
  3. Place the image of your layout sketch. File -> Place. It may not fit the dimensions of the paper exactly.
    That is ok. You can scale and distort it to fit by dragging the top, bottom, and sides of the layout sketch image.
  4. In the layers palette, double-click to rename Layer 1.
    Then press the new layer button new_layer to make a new layer, and name it “images to vectorize.”
    You may also want to create a new layer for each image you plan to vectorize.
  5. Place any reference images you plan to vectorize. File -> Place.
    Hold down on the shift key and scale from the corner until each image is the correct size.
  6. Use the rectangle tool rectangle_tool to create boxes.
  7. Use the text tool text_tool to add text.
  8. Use the pen tool pen_tool to trace create vector illustrations.
  9. At the end of class, save your file as a PDF (File -> Save as -> PDF) and upload the PDF to your blog.
    Also, create a new folder with your project PDF file and any images you are using, and back it up to your Google Drive or USB drive.

Today we will:

  • create a new 11×17 or 17×11 file in Adobe Illustrator
  • place our layout sketch in this file
  • begin vectorizing our layout sketch
  • save our file as a PDF and upload the PDF of our progress to our blog