Infographic Poster – The Poster

Untitled3Untitled34

As stated previously, the first change to be made was the colour of the mountains. I agreed with the feedback I received saying that the greens blended in to the poster and didn’t stand out for themselves from the water. This is also why I decided to add a strip of brown at the bottom of the hill to represent more clearly the flow of ground water, as it proved difficult to see the strip of water whilst it overlaid the green of the grass. It also looked too similar to the river flowing in the same direction, so I wanted to clear up any confusion.

The most major change that I made to the poster was my attempt to make the piece come together as a whole rather than feeling segregated. By having the key (which represents the change in water states) beneath the title, the poster felt split into three different sections which had a negative impact on the composition as a whole poster. To remedy this, I decided to move the key to the bottom so that it was not splitting the title and cycle apart. The poster, however, still felt split between the title and cycle image, so I decided to move the sun up into the top right corner and have a group of sun rays extending over the whole poster. I feel that this brought the poster together as one image rather than three separate sections and that it looked a lot more professional.

The final change that I made to the final design was on the actual cycle itself. There were various snippets of feedback from my class mates and friends about things I could include/take out that would make the cycle more obvious. The first of these was the most obvious; I was told I should include actual rain and water vapour connecting to the clouds to show the cycle in action. This was a simple task. The next was that the arrow leading to the tree confused the cycle slightly, as plant uptake of water I not part of the major water cycle (one of my friends said that if I’m representing plants on there then why aren’t there humans or animals drinking water as well?). It made sense to remove the arrow in order to keep the focus on the primary water cycle. The last major change was trying to make the ‘snow melt’ on the mountain more obvious. I did this by adding streams of water falling from the drooping chunky of snow into the mountain pool.

After finishing all of these changes, I believe that my poster is at a professional standard of work. I am pleased with the end result and look forward to hearing what my seminar group think in our class critique. Of course, there is always room for improvement, and I am sure that I would be able to make my poster much better if I had a longer time to work on it. However, I am satisfied with the end result and think that it has improved greatly after all of the feedback I have received.

Advertisements

Infographic Poster – The Design (Part Three)

The next stage was to create the actual main body of the poster. My initial idea was to break each part of the cycle up into individual sections like one of the infographics I looked at before, though I soon realised that would make it seem too literal and would remove the poster element from the design. So instead, I decided to create a basic scene that contained the primary part of the water cycle (that being evaporation, condensation, rain, river flow into the sea and repeat).

UntisdfghjktledThe initial scene without any prompts for a cycle turned out quite nicely. When receiving feedback from my peers, however, I realised that the green hues of the grass and mountains didn’t work particularly well with the blues of the water and sky, as they experienced the same problem as I had earlier (blending of colours). I had originally changed the mountains to green so that the didn’t look out of place with the grass, though I plan to change them back to a browner hue so that they compliment the blues of the colour scheme. (This change will be shown in the next post, however, as I had actually made more progress on the poster before changing quite a few details as a result of feedback).

Untitled3This is how the poster looked after every part had been pieced together. At this point, I was happy to have a complete poster, though the feedback I received from several people on how to improve it was very useful. My next post will contain a side by side comparison of the before and after as well as a commentary on what has changed and why.

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.

SAM_1214

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.
SCAN0056

 

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.
SAM_1203

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 Lynda.com 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.

Infographic Poster – The Style

Today we were introduced to the idea of ‘flat design’ in our PAL session. Flat design is a very basic style of illustration that looks professional for things such as web design and posters. Logos in particular are making a move towards flat design, such as the symbols for apps on android and apple.

With a limited range of shapes and colours, the above image is still very easy to decipher. You can clearly interpret what everything is meant to be, as everything is front facing regardless of its actual position in reality.

Create a Long Shadow in Flat Design With Adobe Illustrator

I particularly like the drop shadow on these symbols. It creates a theoretical third dimension to the designs even though they are completely flat. The symbols are also slightly offset from white in order to soften the boundaries between them and the coloured backgrounds.

As I am going for an ‘easy to understand’ approach with the water cycle, I think that flat design would look appropriate for my infographic poster. Most flat designs are created as vectors in software such as Adobe Illustrator or free to use software like Inkscape. As we are required to produce our poster in vector format, I know that flat design will be a good place to start.

We have 24/7 access to the Mac suites on campus so I intend to do some experimentation with this style of design to get the hang of using it for my final piece.

Infographic Poster – The Pallet

As I mentioned previously, an integral part of my poster design is going to be based around a good colour pallet. The water cycle immediately makes me think of colder colours such as blue and brown, so I plan to create a pallet that will work harmoniously in my poster. A great website for colour palettes is http://www.colourlovers.com/, so I decided to look through the pallets here for inspiration. After searching for a range of colours that I thought would suit the theme of ‘water cycle’, I found three palettes that I really liked and thought would work well with the potential designs I had in mind.

colours

I particularly liked the soft, pastel-like hues of these pallets. However, as these palettes were created by other artists, I will not use them for my actual piece, though I may use them to help me come up with my own colour scheme in the designing process.


 

After looking through further colour palettes on Colour Lovers, I decided to create my own scheme to play around with. I did this using a website called Paletton, which is a free colour scheme generator. The website allows you to pick from a range of setting in order to generate your custom pallet. I decided to go for a ‘four colours’ pallet in order to create a pallet with many colours to chose from.

blog

The result of my pallet making was interesting. I tried to pick colours that would suit the theme of the water cycle, so I went for natural hues that weren’t too saturated. I do not intend to use every hue on my pallet, though this gives me a nice variety to play around with whilst creating my designs. I will experiment with some of these colours whilst in the designing process.

Bibliography:

The palette on the left is called “Life Cycle” and was composed by Colour Lovers user amaranthys.
The palette in the centre is called “Good Friends” and was composed by Colour Lovers user Yasmino.
The palette on the right is called “Cycle” and was composed by Colour Lovers user Magg.
http://paletton.com/