Typography Research

Typography can be defines as the art behind text, encompassing both the way language is written and formed as well as how it appeals to the eye. When making an infographic, the typography used is important as the text is used to enhance the images produced. The typography needs to balance well with the images, but also draw its own personality through the style of the text used in order too enhance the overall inforgpahic.

There are four basic text classifications.

  • Sans Serif – is built from simple lines, and used often for flat designs.
  • Serif – is built from Sans Serif, and has extensions from the simple lines, almost as finishing each letter. It is thought that Serif is slightly “fancier” with a bold quality and is often used in printing.
  • Decorative – decorative fonts are a novelty, used to set a mood, often used form branding or packaging – things that need to stand out.
  • Script – Script is like handwriting, an elegant font with a soft, classical feel. This style of font is often used in classical works and advertisements.

It is discussed that contrast can be created by combining similar typefaces and applying different font styles such as bold, weight, italics, uppercase and lowercase. The similarities within the typefaces will tie the fonts together, regardless of the applied font style. As well as this, the use of contrast with the font styles can be more visually appealing. However, the use of the same typeface can be useful for classifying areas of the infographic (use for headings, subheadings etc.).

It is also discussed that typeface can be creatively applied based on content. For example, enlarging or using a strong Serif font for words such as strong and bold, but then a more elegant Sans Serif font for attractive images. The image below shows how the use of typeface can carry its own personality, enhancing the image.

typography-typefaces-by-content

Researching typography has helped me to gain a better understanding of typeface and now I will be able to apply my knowledge when creating my infographic, especially when pairing fonts for differentiation of areas.


http://piktochart.com/typography-things-you-need-to-know-to-pair-fonts-well/

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Typography Research

Colour Research

While looking into ideas of colour schemes for my infographic and what would be appropriate to use, I stumbled across this really helpful article.

The biggest tip they give is not to use too many colours! This can make the readers eye too confused and ultimately make your work not look cohesive. They explain to stick to two main colours – a clear and a bold, and then using complementary colours – possibly different shades of the two main colours chosen. There is also emphasis on not being afraid to use negative or white space!

Another good tip given is to let the content decide! By this they mean that based on the objects within your inforgraphic, the use of colours can become more meaningful, making the information easier to consume. In my instance, due to being about composting and recycling I am thinking of using different shades of greens and browns. While these may seem like boring colours, I feel that they will tie together all my information nicely.

I managed to find a colour scheme generator which after selecting your one main colour, automatically generates lots of different combinations. I ran through a couple of these to get my ideas flowing and here are a couple that I found useful.

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While I like these first two, I think the colours may be too neutral and do not tie in with  my idea.

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This third one however, ties my ideas together wonderfully! If I can match these colours in illustrator I will have a good starting place to get my ideas flowing!


http://piktochart.com/pick-great-color-schemes-your-infographics/

Colour Research

Week 3 – Moving forward

After consulting Justin this week, I have been able to chose my final concept. I have chosen the vertical design with data on one side and the “How to” aspect on the other. This was decided due to giving equal visual importance to both parts of information.

I have managed to collect relevant data to include in my inforgrpahic. For example – as a country NZ wastes $751 million a year through food wastage, that is the equivalent to $458 per household and $155 per person! In 2008 it was discovered that 44.3% of landfill was organic waste – including kitchen waste and green-waste which could have all been composted. 39% of Aucklanders claim to compost their garden waste and 31% compost their food waste!

Deciding on this idea has lead me to consider different aspects of my infographic such as colour, typography and semiotics. For colour I would like to use greens and browns, seemingly ‘organic’ colours which will tie in with my idea of recycling food waste. As for typography, I will need to think into this a little more and look into some fonts so I have a wider idea of what there is!

For now, I need to get creating!

Week 3 – Moving forward

Composition Research

Looking into the composition of an infographic it is clear that balance is key.

The two parts of the infographic – data or information and the graphic design – should strike a balance which engages the reader. An interesting article that I have read in researching this, explains that data research is heavily important when building the foundation of your infographic and then the graphics can be built around that. It states that while the graphics may grab the attention of the viewer, the content needs to be understandable and interesting in order to gain credibility and keep the attention of the viewer. Presenting the main points in a clear and concise way is essential.

Not only is the balance of content essential, but visual balance is important as well. This is the equal distribution of visual weight, and occurs around the vertical axis of the subject. It is explained through the article that our eyes require the weight to be distributed evenly in order to appeal to our brains. When the weight is not even, or not balance via the vertical axis the effect can cause feelings of discomfort in the viewer. This can be seen through symmetrical, even placement of weight, or asymmetrical, via uneven placement of space and shape however an overall balance can be “felt.”

It is also noted through a further article, that balance can be achieved through the offset of elements. For example, the image below seems balanced due to the offset of the illustration on the left and the typography on the right. The way they have been placed together creates an overall balance. graphic-principles_balance


http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/how-write-great-content-your-infographics

http://nwrain.net/~tersiisky/design/balance.html

http://www.nhsdesigns.com/graphic/principles/balance.php

Composition Research

Week 2 – Building on Ideas and Concept Designs

This week I have been trying to collect data in order to start creating concept designs for my infographic.

I have found SO much information about recycling, waste and how to recycle (which changes in every area you are in) that I began to think my idea may be too broad.

That lead me to try and narrow down my idea. Looking at the different types of waste in landfill, plastic and food waste are the two biggest categories in New Zealand. Of these two, I have decided to look into food waste as I feel that recycling food waste can be both confusing and overlooked in today’s society.

So… my new idea will be something along the lines of “How does food recycling work”.

I intend to include some astounding statistics of food waste in New Zealand, as well how to actually recycle food waste – possibly looking into a composting system or worm farm etc.

Here are my initial concepts which all use two layer designs to break up the statistics and “How to” section.

11253870_931379943559508_821547580_nMy first deign uses a vertical layout where the top supplies the statistics of how much food wastage is produced in NZ, while the bottom is a representation of a compost bin. Inside the layers of the compost bin include what foods you can compost and what you cannot, as well as the benefits of composting.

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I have also played with the layout of this same concept, trying to balance it within the page and seeing if where the information is placed gives it more importance.

While I feel that the most important piece of information should be on top, having the statistics first gives the idea of recycling food waste more relevance.

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My second design is very similar to my first, however it is a horizontal layout. The left-hand side shows the statistics and the right the breakdown of what can and cannot be composted etc. I do like this layout as I feel it gives equal importance to both pieces of information.

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My third layout is again similar, however instead of including components of what you can and cannot compost, it includes the actual system of burring, turning and steaming your compost until it can be used within your garden. I feel this is more of a “How to” aspect, however it may be hard to show visually.

This week I intend to finalise my concept design and begin creating it, so any feedback would be helpful!

Week 2 – Building on Ideas and Concept Designs

Creating an Infographic

In researching what makes an effective infographic I have been able to narrow down what I think are the most important elements to remember.

Firstly, an infographic must contain focused data. Facts show that we retain approximately 80% of what we visually interpret, however only 20% of what we read. Therefore it is important when creating an infographic that the data is both relevant and correct.

As well as this, design is important as elements such as colour scheme and layout must be cohesive in order to tie the inforgraphic together. The use of colour is discussed in depth with regard to infographics. One source explained choosing a colour palate made up of three colours can be easy on the eyes, and allow the reader’s eyes to flow down the page. It is also suggested that the lightest of these colours should be the background colour and the other two should break up the layout into sections.

Something important to remember is that infographic’s are about “show, don’t tell.” The use of typography is allowed, however the infogrpahic should not rely on this. The inclusion of images to portray ideas and data is essential, linking back to the concept that we remember 80% of what we can interpret visually. The data visualisations must also be appropriate to the theme, conveying the message at a glance.

These are all elements I must keep in mind when designing my infographic.


http://www.easel.ly/blog/top-tips-from-experts-on-what-makes-a-great-infographic/

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2011/10/14/the-dos-and-donts-of-infographic-design/

Creating an Infographic

Week 1 – Grasping an Idea

This week we were introduced to the second assignment for Visual Communication – creating an infographic.

Since reading the brief I have had many ideas wizzing around my head. I need an idea which I will be able to visually portray a “How does it work” element and one with enough content and data available to produce an interesting infographic.

I have had ideas concerning coffee, health food and healthy eating, travel and saving water. However I think my final topic decision has landed on “How does the recycling system work” as well as including statistics of the waste produced in New Zealand.

I decided on this idea as recycling and sustainability is something I am both passionate about and my house hold participates in. But this being said, it can often be done wrong and can be confusing as to what can and cannot be recycled.

As well as this, in having a quick look I can find many statistics from New Zealand sources about the amount of waste we produce and recycling procedures etc.

I also feel like this will be able to be visualised easily, using easily identifiable images of plastic bottles, rubbish bins etc. in order to display my ideas.

For now, I need to begin gathering data I will be able to use and consider a layout for my infographic.

Week 1 – Grasping an Idea