Infographic Poster – The Design (Part Two)

SAM_1215Once I was happy with the general design for the title, I started to think about how I could represent more of the symbols that I had drawn earlier. Having already attempted to make the mountain, I went back to improve it with my new design strategy of using gradients, as well as having a shot at making the sun.

UntitledAfter applying gradients to the mountain, it looks more like a complete design rather than a flat triangle. The addition of darker tones also helps make it more obvious that it is a mountain (though I understand that it could still be mistaken for something else). The sun was fun to make; I layered different shapes on top of each other until I resembles the shape I had sketched in my book. The gradients helped to blur the different shapes together.

Untitled-2Next came the three states of water scale that I sketched at the top of the page. I figured that if I am going to be showing how water is cycled throughout the states without the use of words then I would need some form of scale to represent these changes in a simplistic way. After showing the symbols to my friends, one of them remarked how the ‘gas’ symbol wasn’t obvious at first and that I should change it to look more like a cloud of water vapour or smoke.

UntitltdyjedI was quick to change the gas symbol, as well as adding in the arrows to represent the changes between hot and cold.

Infographic Poster – The Design

I now feel ready to start developing my design ideas for the poster. It seemed only logical to start with my ideas for the ‘title’ part of the poster, as this would be the only section that included text. I wasn’t able to acuratly portray my design idea in my sketchbook, though the rough layout is there.


For the ‘Water’ part of the title, I want to try and incorporate a tap into the ‘t’ so that a drop of water can be falling out of it. I also want to attach arrows to the ‘Cycle’ part of the title so that both key words follow a pictorial theme and blend in with the rest of the poster.

Untitled (2)After playing around in Illustrator, I decided to add a rain-cloud to either side of the title, as well as some sun rays behind the text to bring the colours together. After showing my designs to a few of my friends, they told me that the word ‘Water’ looked strange because there was too much of a gap in-between the ‘t’ and the ‘e’, as well as saying that the ‘t’ didn’t look like a tap until I pointed it out to them. I want my poster to be as clear as possible, which means the title, being the first thing that my audience will see, has to be clear.

idea one

My first solution was to try moving the letters closer together and have the water drop overlap the ‘e’ instead of falling into empty space. This didn’t work for two reasons: the first was that the drip blended in to the ‘e’, as the colours were too similar in hue, and the second was that this didn’t solve the issue of the ‘t’ not looking enough like a tap.

titleMy next solution to this was to change the letter that was meant to be the tap. The ‘r’ was a much better letter choice, plus that also meant that there would be no awkward spacing in-between letters. This removed the center alignment of the title from the page, though that was a small price to pay for making the title much clearer. I also removed the question from the title, leaving it as just “The Water Cycle”, as I received feedback from one of my seminar leaders that the question made the poster feel far too literal.

Infographic Poster – The Style (Part Two)


After experimenting with the flat design style I realised that it became slightly harder to see everything clearly without the objects merging. To work around this, I thought it would make sense to do some research into existing designs that use flat design and how they are able to bypass the issue. I decided to use a set of printed postcards that I bought at Comiccon last year which represent different locations from the video game Ocarina of Time which is part of the Legend of Zelda series. These prints came in a collection of ten, though I picked the three that I thought made the best use of flat design.


After analysing the three prints I came to the conclusion that using gradients will help me resolve my issue of everything blending into the page. The gradients will create a sense of depth to the illustrations that will help them contrast from one another on the page. I’m not sure whether to use textures, as I do intend to keep my design as simple as possible. I feel that textures would over complicate the design.

Infographic Poster – The Ideas

After producing a mindmap of the main terminology used to describe the water cycle, I thought it would be a good idea to start sketching some illustrations that could represent each stage of the cycle. Whilst sketching, I tried to think of ideas that could be represented in flat design (or similar) so I aimed to keep the designs relatively simple. This actually proved challenging with certain keywords, as I found it difficult to think of one, simple image that could sum the whole process up in flat colour.

Although at this point I had only drawn a small amount, I was curious to see how I might produce these ideas in vector form. Working with vector software is something I am fairly new to, so I thought it would be a good idea to start playing around in Illustrator. Having missed the Illustrator workshop due to being ill, I am experimenting with the software to see what I can and cannot do before looking into tutorials.

Untitled-1 As a test, I decided to try and create the mountain sketch that I produced to represent ‘snow melt’ on the water cycle. As you can see, the outcome looks quite a bit different to the sketch, as it is less symmetrical and the shading is at a different angle than originally planned. I realised that this was because of how I manipulated the anchor points of the snow, which caused it to spike off in random directions rather than a clean cut across the top of the mountain. However, I have to say that I actually prefer this, as it looks more like a mountain rather than a rounded triangle with a white tip. I wanted to keep the design as simple as possible, though I am aware that the mountain could be mistaken for something else. My class mate remarked on how it reminded them of a dorito, so I will need to refine the design idea before using it in my actual poster.

As for using Illustrator, it is apparent that I need to experiment a lot more with the software before I will be able to start producing my ideas in a decent quality. In the meantime I plan to do some more research into design styles that might make flat design look a bit more engaging.