Postcard 3 required the most research on my part. I love infographics and the work of Jack Hagley in particular, but I hadn’t really given them much thought beyond enjoying them in the context of everyday life.
I had several reasons for wanting to try and produce an infographic
- I felt that it could reflect the ordered, logical, data driven elements of my personality
- It was a form of graphic I’d never designed before so I thought it would be challenging
- I wanted to tell a story which was composed of several defined elements chronologically over a period of my life. The theme of the third postcard was wider cultural Influences or interests and I wanted to show all the things that had influenced my creativity and led me to decide to undertake a degree in Graphic Design.
I started by carrying out some general research about infographics and made some notes on the following:
Different styles of infographic:
piktochart.com had a very useful article entitled ‘8 Types of Infographics: Which is Right for You’ which I found really useful. It includes the following flowchart which helps when thinking about the different styles of infographic
The characteristics of a successful infographic
A successful infographic contains data that is relevant and reputable. It has a clear design often using simple graphics and a limited colour palate. The graphics should tell a story and use minimal text. A well constructed infographic can also help illicit an emotional response to rational data.
Types of infographics and what defines an image as an infographic.
An infographic is defined as a visual representation of information or data. The main aims of an infographic are to simplify complex concepts, organise similarities and differences visually, show trends, display data in an accessible way, focus data points to make them visible and extractable and impart information effectively and creatively.
Examples of fonts used for infographics and suggestions for font pairings.
Examples of some fonts used in infographics include: Revelation Infographic Font, Reckoner, Jolly Icons Infographic Font, Nexa and Benton Sans Book
As a result of my research I concluded that a timeline infographic was the best for my card. The timeline layout portrays the complexity of history in a simple format and helps with the understanding of chronological order. I sat down and brainstormed all the information that I wanted to include in my design and drew some initial sketches of possible layouts.
I then began constructing my timeline in Illustrator. I learned several new skills and developed my ability to manipulate shapes and align text boxes with shapes. I scanned in images and used photographs that were associated with each year on my timeline. After a couple of hours I had produced the following.
This was the only postcard where having got to the end I wasn’t happy with the finished product. I went back to look at some of the examples I had liked in my research to see if I could identify any possible reasons why. I was particularly bothered by the empty space on either side of the timeline and wasn’t happy with how the shapes and the colours were working together.
I tussled with myself about whether or not to submit it or try and improve it. I was already behind schedule and I am not used to not being able to continue working on something until I am happy with it. Challenging my perfectionism is definitely something I need to work on and my time management is important if I am going to be able to study successfully and stress-free. In the end I decided to be strict with myself and give it two more hours maximum to make some changes. I made a quick sketch of a new possible layout and got going.
I think the changes I made really helped with the balance of the card and by moving my dateline to the edge rather than the middle of the card I solved some of the spacing issues. I was helped by the fact that by this point I had completed one of my other postcards and so was able to incorporate the colours and style that had worked well already. I wanted all three of my postcards to be linked as a series.