Let’s start the first of our seven-part series on making charts with type—with a closer look at FF Chartwell’s Vertical Bars. Bar charts are best for comparing a few data points along a single axis. In today’s examples we explore the heights of tall things and the depths of profound things.
After coming up with a list of values, just do a little long division to get the numbers you need. Here I divide the height of the items by the height of the tallest item. Translate those percentages to integers between 0 and 100 and put plus signs in between, then choose Set 1 from the OpenType Stylistic Sets menu.
Setting the colors can be slightly tricky. One InDesign tip Jens Kutílek shares in his how-to video is to set the colors in the Story editor. This saves you from all the back and forth of enabling and disabling stylistics sets. Because FF Chartwell is type, you can simply track your vertical bars tighter or looser. I’ve left them at their default tracking values here. And it’s that simple to create great looking bar charts.
Look for another edition of our FF Chartwell series here next Monday.