Algonquin College Graphic Design Program Computer Graphics Course Curriculum Algonquin College Graphic Design Program Computer Graphics Course Curriculum

Graph Layout

Apps Used: Adobe Illustrator Adobe InDesign

Boring graphs can really put the kibosh on a great design. As a designer, one of the most difficult and rewarding jobs is to transform boring data into exciting, engaging visuals. The challenge is to present so many numbers in a compelling way.

This is a summative assignment

It evaluates your mastery of the skills in this instructional unit. This assignment contributes to your final grade in the course. You will earn a letter grade.

Your Grading System

Video Tutorials


Your Assignment

Info Porn — Take Delight In Numbers.

Choose a topic of interest. It could be baseball, motocycles, Barbie Dolls … it’s on you. Find some numbers related to it.

You’re going to buil a page layout in InDesign which contains these elements:

To make sense of your graph, you’ll give me an explainer. Put your information in context, graphically. Your graph needs to be delivered in the form of a cohesive, unified page design — a letter-sized page. Create this layout in InDesign.

These are student examples:

These are examples of graph layouts created by past students.

Production Details

Build Your Graph

Build your graph in Illustrator. As you build it, keep versions of the artwork in a single file so you can revert to a previous version, if needed. Name your Illustrator file:

When you place your graph in InDesign, you should place a native Illustrator (.ai) document.

It's important that the graph you place in InDesign is fully outlined. Before you place your graph, make sure you duplicate your document. Ungroup your graph. Click OK. Also, select this duplicate graph, then expand it using Object > Expand.... Click OK.

Save your a duplicate of the Illustrator document as:

This is the one you’re going to import into InDesign.

Once the outlined graph is placed on the page in InDesign, you can do the rest of the layout there. Avoid placing a whole Illustrator layout in InDesign. Only import the outlined graph.

Make sure to only use Adobe Fonts in your project. Keep track of font usage under Type > Find Fonts…. The only fonts in the list should be the ones you’re using in your design.

Supplemental Links

What you'll submit:


This is what you're going to submit:

graph submission folder structure
If the explanations below seem complicated, just look at this photo.


You're going to create your layout in InDesign. Once you're done, package the InDesign document. Start by making sure that your InDesign file is named:


Create a folder named:


Package your InDesign document into this folder. Add the Illustrator file with the live graph to the folder also. Double-check that your folder looks like the one above.

Zip-compress the folder, then submit.