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Design Your First Visualization in Adobe Illustrator in Under 30 Minutes

It seems like some data visualization designers can communicate more easily and freely than others. How are they doing this?

One thing that really surprised me about interviewing data visualization professionals on my podcast was how many of them use Adobe Illustrator. I thought it was only used by graphic designers and illustrators...

But I kept hearing from award-winning freelancers and top media data teams that they used Adobe Illustrator in their data viz workflow. It allowed them to tweak charts from other applications, and add elements like annotations to get the visualization ready for prime-time!

So, naturally I didn't want to be left out, so I downloaded it so I could fully customize by data viz too!

And, wow, it's really powerful...So powerful that I couldn't figure out how to use it.

I resigned myself to using other tool's mediocre annotations and inflexible design.

But every now and then I'd watch an Illustrator tutorial on YouTube. And slowly, over the course of a year, my knowledge increased, and I found myself able to navigate a little easier...

I began creating custom visualizations like this Kantar Information Is Beautiful Awards Longlist visualization in Illustrator:

The Women of Data Viz by Alli Torban






And improving my Tableau charts into beautiful visualizations like this:

District Rain in Perspective by Alli Torban












I want to help you get oriented in Illustrator so you can create visualizations exactly how you want. You're going to want to add Adobe Illustrator to your tool box because you're going to love the impactful visualizations you'll be able to create with it.

This course is your shortcut from frustrated to productive.

In this course, I'll show you how to

  • Navigate around Adobe Illustrator from a data viz perspective
  • Add and align text/images
  • Create and style shapes/lines
  • Design a chart directly in Adobe Illustrator
  • Import and edit a PDF or SVG graph
  • Export your work!


We'll use the NYC Open Data on the health of Manhattan trees to design a page that looks like it's straight out of a magazine - text, images, and custom charts with annotations!









Each of the six lessons have a ~5 minute video tutorial. You'll be up and running in under 30 minutes. You can follow this link to download Adobe Illustrator and start a free 7-day trial (no credit card required). Sample of what each lesson looks like:

Join me in this course! You can watch the videos at your own pace and leave me questions and comments any time!


"This course is a terrific resource for someone just starting out like me. You packed a lot into each video segment, giving students an amazing amount of content with each new section." - Lisa C.


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Your Instructor


Alli Torban
Alli Torban

Hi Fellow Data Vizzer! My mission is to help you be a more effective analyst, journalist or artist by giving you the tools you need to create meaningful data visualizations.


My background is in Mathematics & Geospatial Intelligence, and I'm currently a Data Visualization Designer at the American Enterprise Institute. I also bring data viz inspiration and actionable tips to thousands of people around the world through my podcast Data Viz Today!


I've led software training for all skill levels - from my grandmother to top Pentagon officials. I've also been hired by top companies like Mapbox to create video tutorials for their users because of my ability to break down tasks in a way that anyone can understand. I started these courses because I want to help you learn new things and achieve your data viz goals.


I hope they're useful to you, and I'd love to hear from you - contact me any time!


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Frequently Asked Questions


Who is this course for?
This is for anyone interested in learning how to use Adobe Illustrator to make and edit data visualizations. Whether you want to begin to design layouts for print or you just need the flexibility of adding annotations to charts from other tools, this course is for you! Consider this a gentle introductory class. :)
When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I'm not satisfied?
Of course I want you to be 100% happy with what you learn in the course. Contact me within 15 days of enrolling in the course, and I'll issue you a full refund.

It's been a long road teaching myself how to use Adobe Illustrator, and I still have a lot to learn. But I want to provide this shortcut so you can use the power of Illustrator to make your chart exactly how you want it. Don't waste any more of your time trying to make square tools fit into a round hole. I know first-hand that it's a little intimidating and confusing at first. Let me help you get oriented and off to the races in under 30 minutes. There are so many possibilities for amazing data visualization when you learn how to use Adobe Illustrator. Join me for this course and let's get vizzing! :)

*Note: This course is not affiliated with Adobe Illustrator.

Get started now!