Basic graphic design question, creating an online survey
February 19, 2015 8:55 AM   Subscribe

I need to learn how to make data pretty. I have been tasked with two projects. The first is to create an online survey using checkbox.com. First, I apologize if these questions are very basic. I need a bootcamp in health communications, so if you have any tips or resources, please share.

My first question is in the regards to the survey addresses matching colors. So, I have a graphic that I would like to use as a header, and I would like to match the colors in the graphic with my text. When I view the color options I can select from for the text, they are labeled with numbers. Therefore, it would be simple enough if I can identify what the color numbers are in my graphic. How can I do this? It seems like you should be able to.

Also, I would like to make visually attractive flyers and newsletters, is there any free service that is available that can make beautiful flyers with little effort, i.e can I make it look professional and sleek while not be a graphic designer?
Also, I am trying to make a report pop. I would like to incorporate infographics in the report. How do you create infographics?
Is there a free online training on this? Basically, I would like to create a high quality attractive report. Here are some examples of what I like. But basically, something from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Lastly, are there any online free classes on design/health communication? So making brochures, webpages, reports, flyers/newsletters? In addition to excel as well?
http://policylab.chop.edu/sites/default/files/pdf/publications/POLICYLAB_ETOA_HOME_VISITING_EVALUATION_FALL_2013_REPRINT.pdf
http://policylab.chop.edu/sites/default/files/pdf/publications/PolicyLab_Report_Supporting_Students_Involved_with_Child_Welfare_June_2014.pdf
http://gcinfantmortality.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/IMTF-2014-Final-Report-v10.pdf

http://dynamicsights.com/dhs/ioc/files/1330_SC%20IOC%20Philly%20Chronicle_sm.pdf

http://www.commissiononhealth.org/PDF/888f4a18-eb90-45be-a2f8-159e84a55a4c/Issue%20Brief%203%20Sept%2008%20-%20Neighborhoods%20and%20Health.pdf

http://www.kirwaninstitute.osu.edu/reports/2012/05_2012_PugetSoundOppMapping.pdf
posted by sistertips to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
So, I have a graphic that I would like to use as a header, and I would like to match the colors in the graphic with my text. When I view the color options I can select from for the text, they are labeled with numbers. Therefore, it would be simple enough if I can identify what the color numbers are in my graphic. How can I do this? It seems like you should be able to.

What software are you currently using?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:00 AM on February 19, 2015


sorry, the survey is checkbox.com, does that help?
posted by sistertips at 9:03 AM on February 19, 2015


Sure, what other software do you have, if any? Is it possible for you to get other software installed on your computer?

I do this stuff all the time and just take a screenshot and then take that into Photoshop where i use the eyedropper tool to "sample" the color to the information. You probably don't have these tools, so you could say what tools you do have, i.e. what browser you're using, whether you have Word, etc?

Paint. net might have a tool that allows you to do this, plus it's free!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:13 AM on February 19, 2015


Also, I would like to make visually attractive flyers and newsletters, is there any free service that is available that can make beautiful flyers with little effort, i.e can I make it look professional and sleek while not be a graphic designer?

That's like saying you'd like to build beautiful houses using a free service and with little effort, while not being a house builder. You're gonna have to put in some work here, possibly cost too.

Basically, you need a boot camp in graphic design, in order to understand how to organize information in a useful and attractive way. So try Googling for "graphic design 101" or "publication design basics". You could do something similar for infographics, search for basic tutorials to teach yourself with. Check with your local community college about classes too!

You'll need page layout software to do reports. Most of the stuff you linked to uses Adobe Indesign which is top notch program, but it's expensive and requires a learning curve. There are free alternatives, Microsoft Publisher and Scribus, but those do require some learning and understanding of page layout.

Be aware that Publisher is hated by print vendors because it tends to make their life difficult. So if your final reports need to be printed by outside source, talk to that source about what sort of files they need. But I think Publisher also has templates, which might help you.

As to infographics, there are top quality (re: expensive) programs that allow you create them from scratch, but they all require a learning curve. Google "how to make ingraphics" that might help you find some cheaper alternatives.

Good luck!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:25 AM on February 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hi, I have word and am using Chrome. Thnx so much!
posted by sistertips at 10:13 AM on February 19, 2015


Oh, I also found out that I have Publisher 2010. Thnx!
posted by sistertips at 10:16 AM on February 19, 2015


Also, I would like to make visually attractive flyers and newsletters, is there any free service that is available that can make beautiful flyers with little effort, i.e can I make it look professional and sleek while not be a graphic designer?

Any free service for graphic design that will make beautiful designs? No. Unless you happen to know a graphic design student who's trying to build their portfolio, or can get a design professor to take on your project and assign it to a class, your chances are slim. You can find templates that you can modify, but the trifecta of beautiful/free/self-making does not exist. Remember the service triangle — good/fast/cheap: pick two.

Can you make it look professional and sleek while not being a graphic designer yourself? Sure: hire one.

Also, I am trying to make a report pop. I would like to incorporate infographics in the report. How do you create infographics?

Infographic generator.

Is there a free online training on this?

See if your local library or community college has a Lynda.com subscription; they have graphic design tutorials.

Have you told whoever gave you these tasks that you don't actually happen to have any design skills?
posted by culfinglin at 1:27 PM on February 19, 2015


Well, I am a student, and I have seen other students create great flyers with little effort, ie they are not artistic or graphic artists. I was hoping Hivemind might have great tips. Thanks though :)
posted by cheetahchick at 8:55 PM on February 19, 2015


The Chrome extension ColorZilla is great as an eyedropper tool.

For flyers and infographics, you could try Piktochart (which is actually the first result for culfinglin's Google search). It's loaded with a ton of readymade graphics and illustrations, so it's like having access to a (nice) clipart gallery. It's free to start, but you'll need a paid subscription for advanced export/upload options.
posted by dire at 9:31 AM on February 20, 2015


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