Timeline of the universe

URL – http://balladora.blogspot.se/

Once again using the trend of displaying information using a circle. Circles are commonly used for information that has the measurement of time because it is continuous. It often breaks the circles into different segments and different contours.

However with this piece I find it very confusing to extract information because there are so many lines and circles. I think the designer added so many circles and lines to embellish the piece and make it look impressive which can make it look more like a piece of visual art.

4. Feedback (info & design): Rob & Gill

Review of feedback: I wasn’t sure about the lines (colour, line stroke) but I’m glad Rob and Gill gave me feedback on that aspect so that I can act on it.

Gill explained to me that gridding is important and even with things that you look at and don’t notice, there’s just something about it that makes you think that it looks comfortable. I used to always just centrally align things all the time but now I will be more aware how to grid objects on a page.

3. Feedback (info & design): Rob Hillier

Review of feedback: Personally I wanted to keep the other fish as printed so that people could see the contrast of how much we depend on the three main fishes (tuna, salmon and cod) but to a certain extent by having the other fish as lasered would make it consistent.

I agree that the bottom text looks scatty because I was trying to fill space so I will realign them to neaten the poster.

Lecture: Infographics – Darren Leader

  • BBC Newsnight – Infographics
  • Stephanie Posavec
  • Trends in politicians and news media use them
  • Neville Brody vs David McCandless
  • “Most popular infographics”:

  • Presenting facts at a glance
  • How do we create effective infographics?
  • – tell a story
  • – start with one dominant visual
  • – highlight salient stats
  • – don’t be overwhelmed by your data
  • – display proportion and scale
  • – waitingforsuperman.com > American Vimeo video


Response to lecture: I like the different examples that Darren showed us, in particular the infograph about infograph trends which I found entertaining/ funny because it highlights trending/ mainstream styles and it slightly mocks infographs that some are unoriginal. The waitingforsuperman video was particularly good because it links one info visual to another using shape transitions and I will need to consider this when creating my animated infograph which I am creating ontop of my A2 piece and booklet.

Book: Data flow 2

Klanten, R. (2010) Data flow 2 : visualising information in graphic design. Berlin: Gestalten.

Review of book: This is the second book of the dataflow series, it features the same layout where the infographics are categorised. There were the same categories and in addition to these:

Dataprocess: Represent workflows, shed light on complex processes, demonstrate functions, depict sequences.

Datacurves: The overall economic climate, the downward -pointing curve has become an almost iconic symbol.

Dataesthetic: Primarily goal of these visualisation is not to inform, where data is a means to express personal feelings and to create works that reach out to our senses and emotions.

“Jason Freeny – Micro schematic, Anatomie gummi bar, Pneumatic anatomica

Jason Freeny’s anatomical sketches strips the virtual flesh of tasty snacks, childhood friends and kiddies cuties for an in-depth look at the leisure industry.”

This infographic was under the dataprocess category, the infographic has a comedic value because it shows the anatomy of a legoman, gummy bear and a balloon dog. It’s in the style of a human body diagram and has a clear layout with a lot of empty space.

“Nadeem Haidary – In-formed

What’s on your plate? A starter dish for Africa, a full meal for Europe: in caloric consumption, the representated date – calories per capita around the world – is visualised by the length of each prong and the size of each plate.”

I like how a two dimensiona representation has turned into a three dimensional model in a fork. I think this would be an obvious idea if I had the topic of consumption, though it’s nicely done with the clean sans serif font making the fork look dynamic and simple.

2. Feedback (info & design) Rob Hillier & Gill

Review of feedback: I really like the idea of using the laser cutter to cut silhoutte of the fishes but dissapointed that I’ll lose the graphic of the fishes (because I thought they were graphically strong and so did Rob, plus I spent ages creating them), I think I’ll create two version, one with graphics and the other laser cut.

Yeah the idea of a school of fish is strong as it was mentioned by Simon, Rob and Gill so I will definately take this forward. I like the idea of the laser cutter because it represents the fish being consumed too and that it is now gone (relating to overfishing as well).

Also by having a school of fish, it’s a different representation of the classic pie chart, instead of a circle representing 100%,  I’m going to have 100 fish.

Book: Data flow

Klanten, R. (2008) Data flow: visualising information in graphic design. Berlin: Gestalten Verlag.

“Datasphere: The circle is the first, perfect shape. The equistant arranged of the outer points from the centre, defining and ideal, are impossible to acheive by human hand. The space speaks of potential – the tension between what is achieved and what could be achieved. From the circle, we derive ideals and focus, both the halo of saints and the cross- haired targets in gun sights.

Datanets: When individual data points develop tension and connection with each other, the resulting structure becomes an entitiy in its own right – the network. It draws life essentially from connnection and connectedness, and it is these qualities that are directed explicitly by the designer to show cause, context, or collaboration.

Datascape: The origins of the word ‘landscape’ are ambiguous. Its roots derive either from a combination of ‘land’ and the Dutch word for ‘ship’ or the German verb ‘schaffen’ – to create. In datascapes, both meanings suggest the potency and responsibility of the designer in guiding the viewer through a complex sea of meaning. Elevating the reader from ‘Flatland” – the reduced, lessened experience of reality that results from subjecting real experience to two dimensional expression – they create a journey of context and interaction. Perspective is blended with graphic frameworks to bring depth and meaning to the expression of data.

Datanoid: Retailers find that by placing mirrors in the window, passers – by slow down and take more time to look at the merchandise. As social animals, we are fascinated by our own reflections. We seek the bonds of unity and distinction in the images of other, as learning is driven primarily by emotional relevance.

Datalogy: Designers can access the entire bandwidth of human perception by investigating data with weight, space, and texture. In doing so, they provide sensual experiences of communication, delicously revealing the richness of complex datasets, so full of meaning and potential interpretations. This is the physical interface of analogy, well suited to continuous and graduated sensations we derive from our immediate environment.

Datablock: The implied certainty and substand of rectangular destiny make bar charts and tables a staple of business presentations. The defined borders, clear order, and straight forward comparability of data arranged as blocks complement the power structures implied by using Microsoft Powerpoint. Those running the seminar are assured that the conversation will proceed within clear constraints. No wonder people refer to a socially inept person as a square”

Review of book: This book categorised the different types of infographs and defined them. I noticed there was the category of the use of circles from looking through many examples in magazines, on the internet and in books but didn’t know there were were other categories and that there were particular terms for them. The contents of the book was visually appealing with big clear pictures of infographic examples, there was a double page spread that divided and introduced a new chapter – the title on the left page and a small introduction on the right page. After the chapter intro, there was a page of information about the type of infographic.

My interpretation/ simplified summary of the categories are as following: datasphere features circles, datanets features lines that link to different points making a relation, datascape focuses on positioning and laying things out for a meaning (where distance is a meaning), datanoid plays with the reader’s emotion, datalogy is a sensual experience (physical interpretation), datablocks where things are in units/ blocks.

I like that their contents page is an infographic too in that the pages are stems of the circle which makes them related and symbolise they are part of a whole represented by the circle.  Also an interesting idea in making the brochure as a three dimensional infographic where it can be interacted and viewed on a large scale.

Florence Nightingale’s Rose diagram

This is the diagram that Florence Nightingale (the nurse during the war) created to show the fatalities in hospitals to the Government. She wanted a visual representation because this would have the most impact.

This is effective because it shows the sheer amount of fatalities due to infections with the use of area and colour. The circle is divided from the centre into 12 segments with different radiuses to represent different amounts of causes of death.

It shows that even in the old periods that people used circles which are trending today in the design industry. In addition is relates the use of time with circles. A circle is a good shape to represent the year because each month has similar amount of days therefore the segment point is the same but the radius is not the same because it is a variable factor.

DVD: Beauty of diagrams

Beauty of diagrams, BBC4 (broadcasted 18/11/2010 – 23/12/2010)

Sautoy, M.d. and Waterhouse, M. (2010) The beauty of diagrams [DVD]. BBC; Tern.

Leonardo Da Vinci

  • Leonardo Da Vinci “man is the model of the world”
  • For a building to be perfect, it must have perfect symmetry and geommetry
  • Leonardo – painting is like a carving
  • 6 palms make a cubit distance from hand to elbow
  • Elbow to armpit is an eighth of a man’s height
  • Bottom of chin to nose is a third of face
  • Ratio come from Petrouvious
  • Did the man fit the shape first of shape fit the man?
  • Diagram of height = arm span
  • Cubit = 1 arm to tip of the finger
  • Judas Last Supper, he watched people to find the right face
  • Da Vinci liked people watching
  • London Belgrave Square, man scultpure of his male drawing
  • The Times newspaper have comical version of his male drawing e.g. obese women

Polish priest and astronomer Niclaus Copernicus – sun centred universe

Florence Nightingale

  • Rose diagram > red represent wounded, black from other e.g. frost bite, blue from infections
  • Higher number from infections
  • William Playfair – early charts/ graphs mostly line graphs
  • “Important to convey visual”
  • Tangent graphic, Afghanistan take on the Rose diagram
  • Ellie Harrison: infographic designer “suceeded words had failed”

Trying a more minimalistic style for my infographic

After gathering research of looking at existing infographics, I found that the most successful infographics are the simple styled ones as seen:

I found that information can be tiring to read, but with this piece, it makes it look aesthetically clean by having minimalistic items. It isn’t cluttered with good use of negative space between the information/ text making it look more free (less dense) and more appealing to read.

I will try to stick to a small palette of colour and keep the layout simple. There are only 6 colours used in this diagram, three vibrant colours to highlight key information, and three hues of grey for less important information. But there is a strong dark grey to establish hierachy in the titles.

I think will need to feature images of fish to establish what the infographic about because as learnt from this particular infographic, I wouldn’t immediately know what it is about as the image of the ear isn’t really prominent:

I am going to have my infographics as a newspaper size because I wanted to create a three dimensional outcome in addition to the two dimensional outcome of a poster. The three dimensional posters will be folded to a chip bag shape to contain the chip bar chart.

(URL – http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/02/11/award-winning-newspaper-designs/)

I found that newspaper layouts has the features of a:

– bold sans serif title/ headline, – a thin horizontal line at the top of the page, – thin horizontal lines used as dividers to breakup information, text in columns

Result I want to achieve: I think I want to retain some of the key features of the newspaper in my infographic but I think I’d want to make it appear more interesting instead of columned data and it can be used/ appear like a poster as well.

Occupy nation infographic

Even though I like the radial lines as they are different, I do find them quite distractiving and that on the left, there are too many radial lines in that I don’t know which lines belong to which. I like the black border which clearly defines the segments.  I don’t like the colour palette used being red, pink, dark green, yellow and blue – I don’t think the colours go well to be honest. I don’t think the box around the timeline text boxes are needed.

Colours affect purchases infographics

I always thought that the use of colours is important from personal preference to the intent of purpose. I find it interesting how colours can respond to different emotions and moods stemming from the perceptions we have when we were younger and now colour are often used as stereotypes.

The main colour used in this infograph is blue which is unusual because it is a colour and a colour that would be predicted to be used is grey as it is neutral. Other colours used are yellow, black and white, the layout is that it is read vertically down with a white rope line acting as a visual cue to guide us through the infographic (almost has the same action as an arrow but subtle as it is part of the background). Text is broken down into chunks for the user to read easier.

Father’s music infographic

This flowchart has accompanied illustrations for the text. The images are relatively simple an features the main recognisable features e.g. the dreadlocks on the Bob Marley figure. I will do this to my fish drawings in my infographic so then the images won’t reduce the attention of the text (being the information). Also I am trying to make my work in a simplistic style because I find that my style of work is too busy and cluttered.

Geek vs nerd infographic

Strong use of a consisten colour scheme and the two colours: blue and red connote to the two different elements: geek and nerd. The key system is in the title where the word geek is in blue and the word nerd is in red. It is a vertical layout where people can read the information like a list. Plus I find that vertical layout breaks information down where it can be read in selectable chunks so that they can keep the reader’s interest.

Use of boxes and circles to group certain information together and there is a simple fill of colours with subtle star patterns or stripe patterns.

What’s in your trash infographic

The thing I like about this piece is that is puts the information into context where there is a giant image of a bin and showing the different bits of rubbish that make the trash. This gives a visual representation to the audience so that can understand it more clearly and that is builds a visual item.

I like the use of the pie chart (in the chart section) and the segment is positioned as it would be in a whole chart, simple use of vector shapes makes the piece simplistic to understand.

Hearing loss infographic

URL – http://dailyinfographic.com/hearing-loss-infographic-2/hearing-loss-infographic-3

Personally I don’t think the background grid is needed in this infographic and that I find that it doesn’t relate to the content. I really like the use of size in the graphic, in that the size relates to the data, where the quieter noises (data about hearing) are smaller and the circles are bigger with louder noises. I don’t think the graphic of the ear s really prominent so i wouldn’t really know what the data is about without the headline title. Once again, small colour palette to make it simple and a key of hierachy.

McDonald’s infographic

URL – http://dailyinfographic.com/crazy-mcdonalds-items-infographic/mcdonalds-2

The graphics of the piece looks like a paper collage which makes it interesting because the world of design is now cluttered with simple vector graphics. However, I dislike the type (appears to be Arial) and I think there isn’t enough space between the text which puts me off from reading the data. The colours I think are too bright and brash in that when looking at it, it appears very busy/ noisy especially when there is so much text and graphics.

I like putting the data into a graphic context in that the contents of the burger is stacked into a huge burger which McDonalds is famous for.

1. Feedback (info & design): Simon Locksley

Review of feedback: I think that Simon is right in that I should show the fish as a giant swarm together to effectively show the decrease in numbers. I could maybe shape the graph using lots of the different fishes with each line being a different layer of fish. However it would be difficult when the lines overlap each other – I could play with the opacity of the fishes to show that the figures are the same.

I’m not sure/ don’t agree with having a textures wave fill as a background image because I think that would be very distracting and that the two styles would not go together: being flat 2D fill shapes against a photography background.


URL – http://www.fishfight.net/ – Sat 10 March

• Half of all fish caught in the north sea are thrown back overboard dead

• Others are prime cod, haddock, plaice and other popular food species that are “over-quota”. The quota system is intended to protect fish stocks by setting limits on how many fish of a certain species should be caught. Fishermen are not allowed to land any over-quota fish; if they accidentally catch them – which they can’t help but do – there is no choice but to throw them overboard before they reach the docks.

• By 2014 all UK tuna suppliers will have changed their fishing methods to protect sharks and turtles.

URL – http://www.un.org/events/tenstories/06/story.asp?storyID=800 – Sat 10 March

• Central to the livelihood and food security of 200 million people, especially in the developing world, while one of five people on this planet depends on fish as the primary source of protein.

• The rapid growth in demand for fish and fish products is leading to fish prices increasing faster than prices of meat. As a result, fisheries investments have become more attractive to both entrepreneurs and governments, much to the detriment of small-scale fishing and fishing communities all over the world.

• In the last decade, in the north Atlantic region, commercial fish populations of cod, hake, haddock and flounder have fallen by as much as 95%, prompting calls for urgent measures.

• According to a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimate, over 70% of the world’s fish species are either fully exploited or depleted.

• The dramatic increase of destructive fishing techniques worldwide destroys marine mammals and entire ecosystems.

URL – http://www.marinemanagement.org.uk/fisheries/statistics/documents/ukseafish/2010/final.pdf

Page 21:

Page 23:

Page 26:

Page 104:

Page 105:

Page 111:

Depleting cod:

North sea cod, Irish sea cod, West of Scotland cod, Celtic Sea cod, North Sea Plaice, Irish Sea Place, North Sea Sole, Irish Sea Sole

URL – http://marinebio.org/species.asp?id=238http://marinebio.org/species.asp?id=238

URL – http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/news/britains-unadventurous-fish-eaters-told-to-take-the-plunge-and-try-gurnard-2178073.html

1. Tuna (72m tonnes)

Of total fish consumption: 19.2 per cent. Value: £337m

Problems: Yellow-fin, bigeye and bluefin are overfished and dolphins and turtles caught in nets

2. Salmon (47m tonnes)

Of total fish consumption: 12.4 per cent. Value: £632m

Small wild fish such as anchovies fatten farmed salmon. Three kilos produce one kilo of farmed salmon

3. Cod (42m tonnes)

Of total fish consumption: 11.1 per cent. Value: £318m

Problems: Although recovering, North Sea stocks are less than 5 per cent of historic levels. Most of our cod now comes from the Barents Sea and Iceland

4. Prawns (33m tonnes)

Of total fish consumption: 8.9 per cent. Value: £365m

… and what we should eat


A wedge-like fish with a bulbous head, the gurnard wins no beauty contests but is probably the tastiest under-exploited fish in the sea. Fry with mushrooms and thyme


Tiny, cheap fish, best barbecued and served with a mustard dip


Rope-grown mussels are highly sustainable and delicious when cooked in white wine and garlic

Mackerel, sardines and pollock

Currently the sixth, seventh and eighth most popular fish by volume in the UK, they are relatively plentiful and, in the case of mackerel and sardine, rich in fish oils.

Monocle Spain

Strong use of vector shapes which makes it fresh and visually appealing. It has a look like it is cartoon characters and the colour palettte is fitting with all the colours coming together well and that no colours realy stand out making the infographic balanced visually.

Why “infographic thinking” is the future, not A fad

Francesco Franchi: On visual storytelling and new languages in journalism

“You have to be informative but also entertain the reader”

“”Infographic thinking” doesn’t let designers to interpret a narrative visually; it lets them invite the viewer [to] join in the process of interpretation, too”

“One side we have art and on the other we have information, it’s important to stay in the middle of the spectrum”

Information design

We’ve been set a new brief and I have been looking at some existing information graphics. I first came across these three years ago in The Indepedent and The Guardian which they are mainly used but I found that the popularity have spread across the internet and videos. They are iconic in The Indepedent and The Guardian newspapers.

Here are some internet ones:

URL – http://wlt.typography.netdna-cdn.com/data/images/2012/02/medical-benefits-of-being-a-coffee-addict-2-900.jpg

This makes the use of typography and with the use of different fonts, it has set a hierachy system. Personally I find the piece quite busy as in there is too much text and it is too cluttered leaving minimal negative space.

URL – http://www.septemberindustry.co.uk/manual-creative-san-francisco/

This features the use of lines which are commonly used in information/ data graphics especially to show numerical data. They have incorporated the lines in the typography of the letters.

Noma Bar

URL – http://www.walltowatch.com/view/445

I really adore this Noma Bar’s work, it works with negative space and it is like an optical illusion where one part of the image is another art seen in a different way. They use complimentary images to build a story/ to show something. I love the simplicity and most of their work just consist of red, white and black, The three colours compliment each other very well.

URL – http://designspiration.net/image/104875/

I noticed that most information and data representations involves lines that flow into another to represent the numerical data. I found this through a blog and this has given me inspiration that I could make my piece related to information/ data about the body.

URL – designspiration.net/image/104871/

Some of the data are represented in circles with lines extruding outwards, this shape has given me slight inspiration in that it looks like a rose with the different petal layers and that data could be represented this way.

URL – http://designspiration.net/image/104860/

I’m finding a lot of patterns that involves tesselation to be interesting because each cell can represent a percentile. This is a shape that has been tesselated and I could relate this to the fish industry, especially due to the recent issues involved with fishing. I could apply foiling finish to highlight interesting facts/ inportant information.

Book: The information design handbook

Visocky O’Grady, J. (2008) The information design handbook. UK: Rotovision.

Innovation: cave paintings and petroglyphs – P28

  • Cave paintings and Petroglyphs images were used as a means of communication 80,000 years before early writing first appeared in Mesopotamia (circa 3000 BCE)
  • Prehistoric markings can be found in the forms of cave paintings, cliff drawings and petroglyph represent the first known attempt at visual representation of informaiton
  • Lescaux and Chauvet (both caves) in France, world’s oldest cave paintings believed to be over 30,000 years old
  • Empirist theory: motivated by a need to record important events
  • Trance theory: shamans in effort to contact spirits, control lives of animals, change weather and heal the sick (more about David Lewis William’s trance theory, read – The mind in the cave: consciousness and origins of art (Thames & Hudson, 2004))


Innovation: pictographic writing – P29

  • Sumerian pictographic writing systems was imprinted on clay tokens used for commerce
  • Later clay tablets were used to keep records of agricultural and trade goods


Innovation: early cartography – P30

  • Cartography – the art and scenece of creating maps
  • One of the earliest cartographic documents is inscribed into clay in Sumer circa 1300 BCE, is the Town Plan of Nippur:
  • Maps became more complexm in 150 CE Ptolemy wrote the Geographia, a document that contained detailed accounts of the world’s geography in the second century
  • Romans created accurate maps of newly conqurerd lands to manage the construction of roads
  • Renaissance cartographers created highly detailed charts depicting coastlines, ports and geographic hazards and wing direction
  • In modern day we use satellite imagery which is available to any internet use


Innovation: charts and graphs – P31

  • William Playfair was a Scottish engineer and political economist who believed that the visualisation of data was, in some cases easer to understand than the written wor.
  • Playfair wrote to books, The Commerical and Political Atlas in 1786 and The Statistical Breviary in 1801
  • Playfair wanted his audience to be able to visualise the connections between economical factors
  • The father of almost all modern charts and graphs – he bridged significant knowlege gaps and specialised skills were no longer needed to interpret complex data


Innovation: ISOTYPE – P34

  • ISOTYPE was created by Austrian sociologist and political economist Otto Neurath in 1940, with the help of German artist Gerd Arntz
  • Goal was to educate a broad audience by presenting complex data via easily understood symbols
  • “Words make division, pictures make connections”
  • Developed a set of rules to ensure ISOTYPE’s consistent application – governed the use of colour, orientation, the addition of text and more


Innovation: Guides for structuring information – P38

  • Czech modernist Ladislav Sutnar is considered to be one of the great pioneers of information design
  • Sutnar’s work was dominated by strict, functional typogrphic grids, sans serif typefaces, white spaces and whimsical uses of colour and form
  • Would design in spreads rather than single pages (the dominant format of the period)
  • Use of parentheses, brackets, small images and icons to reinforce hierachical structures of content, these visual indexes allowed for rapid scanning of the page and enabled the reader to find information quickly

Innovation: The interactive exhibit – P40

  • Charles and Ray Earnes (most remembered for their contribution to furniture design and film) were well ahead of their time in many creative efforts including information and exhibition design
  • Central to their theme was the notion that math could be fun


Innovation: The pioneer plaque – P44

  • Launched on March 2, 1972 by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States, Pioneer 10 ws the first man- made artifact to travel beyond the boundaries of our solar system and into interstellar space
  • The last contact with Pioneer 10 was made in January 2003 where the craft was 10 billion miles away from Earth
  • Attached to the exterior of the spacecraft is a 6 x 9 inch (15 x 23cm) gold annodised aluminium plate
  • Designed by Frank Drake and Carl Sagan (artwork by Linda Salzman Sagan)

Innovation: The visual language workshop – P46

  • Muriel Cooper (acclaimed as one of the most influential designers of the 20th century) with her work with the Visible Language Worksop
  • at MIT (Massachusetts Institure of Technology) have helped frame our contemporary digital experience
  • Designers, programmers, and computer scientists would come together in a spirit of exploration and experimentation
  • In 1978 became one of the founding members of its Media Lab

Innovation: The first website – P50

  • The internet as we know it today was developed in 1989 by Tim Berners- Lee, a physsicist working at CERN
  • The first address on the web was http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html, a page explaining the technology behind the web, how to build a website and how to undertake an effective search