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How to Create a Space Travel Infographic in Adobe InDesign

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This post is part of a series called Science Week.
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What You'll Be Creating

It’s Science Week here at Envato Tuts+, and this fun infographic is a great way to celebrate! With a focus on the future of space travel, you’ll be able to show off your knowledge of SpaceX and Virgin Galactic to your friends. 

If you’ve used Adobe InDesign before but are new to putting together infographic layouts, this tutorial is a great introduction to combining type and graphics in a visually interesting way.

Short on time? You can find easy-to-edit infographic templates on GraphicRiver and Envato Elements.

Let’s get started!

What You’ll Need to Create Your Infographic

You’ll need access to both Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator, and to download the following images and fonts from Envato Elements:

1. How to Create a Web Document in InDesign

Step 1

Open InDesign and go to File > New > Document. 

With the intent set to Web, set the Width of the page to 435 px and Height to 1300 px. This is a good size for sharing on sites like Pinterest. 

Set the Margins to 36 px, and click Create

new documentnew documentnew document

Step 2

Expand the Layers panel (Window > Layers), and double-click on Layer 1, renaming it Background

Create four more new layers—Arrows, Rocket, Icons and finally, Type

Then lock all the layers except Background

type layertype layertype layer

2. How to Create a Celestial Backdrop 

Step 1

Use the Rectangle Frame Tool (F) to create an image frame across the whole page. 

File > Place, navigate to the Space Backgrounds folder and choose the ‘07.jpg’ image. Click Open and allow it to fill up the whole frame. 

placed imageplaced imageplaced image

Step 2

Switch to the Rectangle Tool (M) and drag across the top of the page to create a rough square shape. 

From the Swatches panel (Window > Color > Swatches), set the Fill to [Black].

black shapeblack shapeblack shape

With the shape selected, go to Object > Effects > Gradient Feather. Set the Type to Linear and allow the gradient to extend from darker at the top to transparent towards the bottom of the shape. Click OK

gradient feathergradient feathergradient feather

Step 3

Select the shape and Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste it. Then, on the copy, Right-Click > Transform > Flip Vertical. 

flip verticalflip verticalflip vertical

Move to the bottom of the page, and extend the height of the shape upwards to about halfway up the page. 

background layerbackground layerbackground layer

Step 4

Open the space shuttle illustration in Illustrator

Select only the rocket shape, plus one of the transparent layers of smoke along the bottom of the image, pictured below. Then Copy these.

rocket graphicrocket graphicrocket graphic

Create a new Illustrator document, and Paste these elements onto the page, before going to File > Save As and saving this as an Illustrator EPS file. 

rocket graphicrocket graphicrocket graphic

Step 5

Return to your InDesign document and lock the Background layer. Unlock the Rocket layer.

Create an image frame using the Rectangle Frame Tool (F) at the bottom of the page and File > Place, choosing the edited rocket EPS image. Open, and make sure the rocket image is centered on the page. 

rocket imagerocket imagerocket image

3. How to Create a Starry Header for Your Infographic

Step 1

Lock the Rocket layer and unlock the top layer, Type.

Zoom in on the top of the page, take the Type Tool (T), and create a text frame across the top-center of the page. 

Type in ‘SPACE’, and from either the top Controls panel or the Character and Paragraph panels (Window > Type & Tables > Character/Paragraph), set the Font to BW Modelica Black, Size 100 pt, Tracking 100, and Align Center. 

From the Swatches panel, set the Font Color to [Paper].

character panelcharacter panelcharacter panel

Step 2

Add two text frames above and below ‘SPACE’, set in BW Modelica ExtraBold, Size 30 pt, Tracking 230, and Align Center.

The first should read ‘THE FUTURE OF’ and the bottom simply ‘TRAVEL’.

text frametext frametext frame

Step 3

Select the ‘SPACE’ text frame and head up to Type > Create Outlines, to vectorize the text. 

create outlinescreate outlinescreate outlines

Set the Color Fill of the outlined text to [None]. 

outlined textoutlined textoutlined text

Then File > Place, choose one of the images from the Space Backgrounds folder (I’ve opted for ‘04.jpg’ for contrast), and Open, allowing it to fill up the whole word.

space imagespace imagespace image

4. How to Build Up Graphics on Your Layout

Step 1

Lock the Type layer and unlock the Arrows layer. 

Use the Line Tool (\) to create a vertical line running from the top of the rocket to about a quarter of the way down the page. 

Set the Stroke Color to [Paper]. From the Stroke panel (Window > Stroke), set the Weight of the line to 20 pt, and add a Triangle shape to the End of the line. 

arrow strokearrow strokearrow stroke

Step 2

With the line selected, go to Object > Effects > Gradient Feather. 

Add a Linear gradient at a 90 Degree Angle, allowing the arrow to be more transparent towards the base. 

gradient feathergradient feathergradient feather

Step 3

Copy and Paste the arrow, moving it over to the right side of the page, and shortening it so that it hits about halfway up the page.

pasted arrowpasted arrowpasted arrow

Paste more arrows across the page, in the formation shown below, shortening them as needed. 

arrows pastedarrows pastedarrows pasted

Step 4

Open up the space icon set in Illustrator.

Right-Click > Ungroup the image, so you can select icons individually. 

ungroup iconsungroup iconsungroup icons

Select the ‘Mars’ icon on the fourth row down, and Edit > Copy it. 

mars iconmars iconmars icon

Step 5

Back in your InDesign document, lock the Arrows layer and unlock the Icons layer. 

Edit > Paste the icon onto the page, and move it so that it sits at the top of the central arrow. 

pasted iconpasted iconpasted icon

From the Swatches panel, choose New Color Swatch from the panel’s main menu. Create a new RGB swatch, R=41 G=156 B=186. Click Add and Done

new rgb swatchnew rgb swatchnew rgb swatch

Apply this swatch to the Fill of the circle sitting behind the planet. 

blue fillblue fillblue fill

Step 6

Head back to the Illustrator icons, and select the ‘Rocket’ icon. Copy it. 

rocket iconrocket iconrocket icon

Paste this directly onto your InDesign document, and position it at the top of the arrow on the far-right side of the page. 

Create a new RGB swatch, R=239 G=79 B=77, and apply this to the circle. Right-Click > Transform > Rotate the rocket to a 45 degree angle. 

rocket iconrocket iconrocket icon

Step 7

Continue to copy and paste more icons, ‘Astronaut’, ‘Orbit’, and ‘Earth’, onto the infographic, placing these in the positions shown below. 

Create new RGB swatches of your own choosing and apply these to each of the background circles.

earth iconearth iconearth icon

Step 8

Isolate the figure of the ‘Alien’ on the icons image, and copy and paste this onto the infographic too. 

alien iconalien iconalien icon

Position it on the bottom-right of the layout. 

alien graphicalien graphicalien graphic

Step 9

Lock the Icons layer and unlock the Type layer. 

With your icons in place, you can now start to build up text on your infographic, to match each icon. 

Select the Type Tool (T) and create a text frame to the right of the ‘Mars’ icon at the top. Type in a subtitle, and set the Font to BW Modelica ExtraBold, Size 30 pt, Tracking 90, and Align Right. Set the Font Color to [Paper].


Step 10

Create a second text frame below this, typing in your chosen fact, and setting the Font to BW Modelica Bold, Size 12 pt, Tracking 60, and Align Right.

body textbody textbody text

Step 11

Now you can select both the heading and body text frames and Copy and Paste these, to populate your infographic with more text. 

text alignmenttext alignmenttext alignment

Adjust the text alignment as you go to suit their position on the page. 

text framestext framestext frames

Step 12

If you have any areas of the infographic where the text is difficult to read because of the background, you can create circles in [Black] using the Ellipse Tool (L).

ellipse toolellipse toolellipse tool

Go to Object > Effects > Gradient Feather to apply a Radial gradient to these shapes.


Then make sure to Right-Click > Arrange > Send to Back to push them behind the text. 

send to backsend to backsend to back

Step 13 

If you want to make a feature of certain statistics, you can set numbers in large size BW Modelica. 

large typelarge typelarge type

Then go to Type > Create Outlines. 

outlined textoutlined textoutlined text

File > Place, choosing one of the space background images, and Open. This will really make the figure pop on the page. 

space imagespace imagespace image

Conclusion: Your Finished Infographic

Your infographic is finished—awesome work!

final infographicfinal infographicfinal infographic

It’s really simple to share your infographic online. Simply go to File > Export and choose either PNG or JPEG from the Format options available. 

Then you can upload your image to Pinterest or another social media site. 

You can download a full-size version of the infographic above here.

You can find more infographic templates and icons to use on your designs over on GraphicRiver and Envato Elements.

Discover more infographic tutorials right here:

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