Visualizing economic impact of global warming – Part II: Adobe Illustrator

In part II we will do some adjusting to R’s plotted chart. I always recommend sketching and creating multiple concept versions, so you have a sense of what direction you’d like to go in. Even then, changes happen as you go. The final version in D3 looks slightly different than my version below anyhow. But it’s always good to have a sketch or concept version nearby – otherwise you will just be messing about indefinitely.

Here’s my Illustrator adjusted chart:

And here is another one that I made of just the European countries.



The process

Let’s go over the process of changing R’s exported PDF in Illustrator. Illustrator automatically opens PDF files by drag and dropping your file in the Illustrator workscreen. I don’t like the big gap between countries and the visual elements, so I moved these closer together and spaced them out evenly.


The dashed vertical lines look okay but I replaced them with horizontal lines because it feels like the distance between the country names and the start of the positive values have too much space between them. By adding the horizontal lines it’s easier to connect the country names to their respective values. I chose a soft grey because I don’t want it to stand out too much. It shouldn’t draw attention away from the data (the countries and their values).

I also added a darker line on the zero value to further enhance the distinction between positive and negative values.

Lastly I added the title and subtitle. I also removed the text on the vertical axis as this is not needed. The title is a thick serif font while the text is a smoothed grey serif font.