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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.
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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.

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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.

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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/

Infographic Poster – The Topic

After taking a look at the different topics, I decided to go with “How does the hydrologic cycle (also called the water cycle) work?”. I thought that this would be the most challenging out of the list due to the fact that there is no data to base my poster upon. For this topic I have to explain how water is cycled on the earth and the factors that affect it without the use of text. To set the project in motion, I decided to create a mind map on the hydrologic cycle and how it works.

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As there are quite a few factors to the water cycle, I plan to create my poster in a way that everyone will be able to understand it. As I plan to make my poster easy to follow (but not to a point where it is childish) I have decided that my target audience will be secondary school students. As of yet, I have a vague idea of what my poster might look like, though I intend to play around in Illustrator to see if my ideas are plausible. It can be difficult to replicate an idea in vector-based software, so my main challenge will be learning how to use the software to create my poster.

 

Infographic Poster – The Brief

Having finished our first unit (Concept and Ideation) we have moved onto a new unit called Development and Realisation. This unit is based around designing and producing an A2 infographic poster based on a certain topic of our choice from a list. We are also required to document our research in our sketchbooks and on our blogs. We will be expected to give a verbal presentation of our piece as part of a class critique, in which we must explain what we think went well and what could be improved on.

To begin my research, I decided to visit a page filled with award-winning infographic posters called http://www.informationisbeautifulawards.com/showcase for some inspiration. I have never had much  At this point, I wasn’t sure which topic to pick from the list, as I have never really produced an infographic before and wouldn’t be sure where to start. It only seemed right that I took a look through the award-winning pieces on this site to get an idea of where to start.

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I really liked the layout of this poster, as it flows naturally from top to bottom and draws your eyes through the information in an orderly manner. I also think that it uses a pleasant colour palette, which seems to be vital in an infographic. The illustrations are very basic and flat, though with the use of slight textures they stand out from the page and prove to be very successful focal points. Although the topic of this infographic is not similar to any on our brief, I particularly like the journey style of the design where there is a physical path that leads you through the information.

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The three dimensional style of this one looked minimalistic, yet very pleasing to the eye. Isometric designs seem to work well in vector-based pieces of work. I really like the way that the information is spliced out from the main cubes in the middle. However, this pieces uses a lot of text, which is something we have to avoid doing in our poster. It is going to be challenging to think of a way to represent data that includes very little text.

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The simplistic style of this poster, accompanied by a refreshing colour palette make it seem professional and official. The divides in the poster make it look as if each section is it’s own infographic, which is something that I think works quite well. I definitely would like to try and imitate this style with my poster.

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This one also follows an effectively simplistic theme. I love the fact that the vaccination needle is composed entirely of dots which represent bacteria. The contrast of bright text and images on a dark background is very easy on the eye, so I might try to make mine follow suite.

By this point I was starting to get the idea that a strong set of colours working together in harmony would be a vital part of producing a professional looking poster. All of these award-winning infographics have effective yet simple colour pallets, so one of my first tasks will be to pick a pallet that suites my chosen topic (once I pick it).

Bibliography:

http://www.informationisbeautifulawards.com/showcase

All images link to the page on which they are displayed. All posters belong to their respective artists.