Infographic Poster – The Poster

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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.

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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 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.