Development & Realisation: Planning and First Drafts

After deciding that I definitely wanted to carry on with the idea of ‘Where I have been and when’. My initial thoughts were to do a map of the world and have either footprints walking to the various destinations or to have simple flight paths from each one. I googled some images to try and give me some inspiration. Here is what I found to help me decide what will look most effective.


I wanted to pin point each destination I had been too so that audiences would be able to immediately understand what the poster was explaining – just from the visuals. This lead me to the idea of the google maps pin points or even regular pins to give the illusion of a pin board which they use in crime investigations. I tested out some tracing of some in illustrator and these were my results which I am please with.

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Following this weeks seminar, I realised that I had to be creative and imaginative in the way I represented time and space. I had ideas about possibly increasing the size of the pin as I became older but then thought that maybe audiences wouldn’t grasp this idea without an explanation.

I then moved on to thinking about a key or a timeline which clearly represented the time I visited the various destinations. In our lecture this week we were shown how time can be represented and one method was similar to ‘The Bayeux Tapestry’ which managed to show time through pictorial forms – stage by stage. This made me think more deeply into how I could show time increasing through pictures or icons.


Another, more obvious, method of presenting time to an audience is via a timeline. These are commonly used in data visualisations and I thought I could incorporate this with some images to make it more aesthetically pleasing. I began to sketch out some of my ideas including the timeline idea.



I was pleased with these sketches as it allowed me to start to visualise what my final poster will end up looking like. The timeline includes pin points similar to those that Google use and inside them contains the flag of that particular country. The timeline then has these pin points above the year which I visited that country.

In order to see how easy it was to create these flag pin point on illustrator was, I experimented with a few shapes and decide that the most visually pleasing design was the bubble-like shape. The circle was effective but it didn’t act as a pin point so audience may have been confused as to exactly what year or what part of the country I visited. Below are the two outcomes:

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Development & Realisation: Research Into Possible Subjects

I wanted to choose my subject as soon as possible so I could start planning and researching into my poster.  I narrowed it down to three and produced this mind map which outlines my main, initial ideas I had for them. Along with my ideas, I also wanted to see how easy the data was to find and whether it could be easily communicated, visually.


The above image is the life expectancy (from birth) in the EU countries and as you can see, the data given doesn’t vary that much. This would mean that the poster wouldn’t display much variety in the data it would be communicating. I then thought that maybe I could use a different regions countries life expectancies which might vary a bit more. I decided to have a look at Asia’s life expectancies.

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This was the opposite of Europe’s and the majority of the countries were at the lower end of the scale. After discovering that there wouldn’t be a major difference in each countries I decided that maybe another subject would provide a most vast set of data for me to visually communicate.

I moved onto researching into obesity rates in the EU and other regions to see whether I get a wider range of data sets.

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Here I found the top 5 European countries which suffer from obesity. Again, for men it ranged between 66.6 to 74 and for women, 52.7 to 60.9. This didn’t show a wide range which is what I was hoping to represent.

Lastly, I move onto my last idea of Where I have been and when, which I brainstormed. In hindsight this is the one I wanted to do because all the data is assessable and easy to find – due to the fact that it’s my past. I can use my memory, social media location services in order to track where I have been and when I visited these places. For example, the app Timehop notifies you what you did exactly a year ago by what you posted on twitter/facebook/instagram. Apps like this filter through your social profile and can dig up specific posts which you identify it to.

As I was more or less certain on this subject I decided that I need to create a list of the places I have visited and then work around them in order to represent them in a visually appealing way which audiences can identify with ease.


Development & Realisation: Initial Ideas and Research

Below are the initial first ideas I have thought of revolving the three subjects I am interested in. I aim to adapt and develop these first ideas but at the moment they seem like good starting points in order to continue researching and designing my poster.


I also decided to look at some existing info-graphics, we were shown some in our lectures and I wanted to explore deeper into the world of these graphics. There are thousands that exist and they vary from very simplistic designs all the way to complex, detailed ones. I looked into both ends of the spectrum in order to be certain in what I wanted to create.

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This one is the most straight-forward, simple design I found. I particularly enjoyed this one due to the fact that you can clearly visualise what is happening as all the information is displayed in a clear, structured manner. The page being split up allows the eyes to focus on each individual section instead of being overwhelmed by the whole poster. Also, by having different parts of the poster different sizes prioritises certain information. As the posters aim is to visually communicate with the audience, the images and statistics seem to be the most prominent on the page so that you don’t need to read the text in order to understand what is happening.

research 3

This poster to the right is one the more complicated designs as at first glance, it’s near impossible to know what the information is trying to show. The size of the text makes it difficult to instantly read what is happening so the only way of understanding it is to study the poster and look very closely with full concentration. I don’t want my poster to be as complicated as this as the brief clearly states that the audience should be able to see whats going on by just looking – this has certified that I want to keep mine simple, with the use of complimentary colours to make it attractive and aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

research 2

The above has a mixture of both a good use of colours and not too much text. The graphics used are Flat Icons and are very appealing to look at. The simplistic design urges you to look and find out whats happening in the poster, and this can be done with ease. I hope to create a poster with similar effects – easy to understand and with appealing looks.


Development & Realisation: Introduction

We have been given our brief for the development and realisation unit of our course. The assignment is split into two separate tasks. The first assignment is to produce various blog posts which display material which assisted me with the understanding of the design and the different planning and research methods I followed. These posts should follow up to the final A2 poster and represent a journey of development from initial ideas to the final product.

Planning and research are key in any design as it enables you to explore every element of your idea and gather feedback and look on the project with different perspectives.

The second assignment is to create an A2 poster which shows evidence of planning and research posted on the weblog. The poster needs to visually communicate a set of data which is easy to identify and requires no supporting material – such as a verbal or written explanation.

The brief offers up 10 different subjects to gather data on and visually represent it. The three that immediately jumped out at me were “Where have you been and when”, “Who lives the longest” and “What is the fattest country”.

Once I have selected a subject I will move on to creating the poster following research into the specific subject area.

Following this, the second part to the poster assignment is to give a verbal presentation of my A2 poster in a class critique. This should be a chance to explore how my poster demonstrates my initially intentions and ideas. Problems and challenges along the way should be discussed and an explanation of how I overcame these challenges would be required. The main aim of the critique is to assess my work and identify how I managed to respond efficiently to the set brief. Questions will be asked and answers should be prepared in order to demonstrate that thought has gone into the possible areas class members may pick up on.

DEADLINE – a) Weblog Monday 12th January 2015 (noon)

                     b) A2 Poster Monday 12th January 2015 (noon)

                     c) Critique Thursday 15th

After Effects Workshop 2

In todays workshop we continued learning some skills on After Effects. We experimented with particles and creating a real life ‘Winter Scene’. In order to create this, we had to pick a winter photo from Google Images which preferably showed a perspective line. I chose this image:


I uploaded it into After Effects and scaled it to the size I wanted it. I then created a Null Object which allows you to parent other layer to it so that you can resize and reposition them proportionally. The next stage was to insert the ‘Camera’ layer which enables you to animate the position of the photograph as if a camera is panning and zooming – hence, giving a 3D/Real life aspect to the photograph.

After I felt I had perfected the position and movement of the image over the 15second duration, we had to add in the ‘snow’. This was done using the effects and presets tool. We searched for the particle creator and made a mixture of large and small particles and altered their colour to white in order to represent snow. This was all accomplished via trial and error and playing around with the various different levels of the effects. Below is the final outcome of the animated winter scene:


Guide to Processing

Here are some of the main Processing codes/Vocabulary that we used in our workshops.

  • IDE – Integrated Development Environment
  • Variable – int/floats, boolean, string & arrays
  • Parentheses – ()
  • Class
  • Instant
  • Data Type
  • Compiler
  • Conditional Statement – Testing if something is true or false
  • Camel Case – myVar
  • Do While Loop – do { //code x++; } while (x < 10)
  • For Loop – for ( int x = 0 < 10; x++ ) { repeat code }
  • Variable initialisation – the initialisation of counter of loop
  • Condition – controls how many times the loop happens
  • Iteration – the increment/decrement of counter
  • Stroke Cap – sets style for how line endings are drawn (square, project & round)
  • Stroke Join – sets style for how lines are joined together (miter, bevel & round)
  • Stroke Weight – sets the thickness of the line
  • Random – random(); used for generating random numbers between two values which returns a float and random(10); returns a random number from – up to (but not including) 10

Task 4 – Kinetic Typography Final

I finally decided on a piece of dialogue to use for my Kinetic Typography and chose a short clip of Leonardo DiCaprio’s speech in the Wolf of Wall Street. It is a punchy speech and I felt that I could display the speed and importance of the words through the movement of my Kinetic Typography. Below is my outcome which I am pleased with as I feel like I have progressed from our first After Effects workshop which was not even two weeks ago.


Kinetic Typography Research

Before creating my own Kinetic Typography from just the skills and knowledge picked up in the workshops, I wanted to have a hunt on YouTube and find some examples and tutorials for me to follow and reflect on. I also wanted to get some inspiration of what sound to put with my text – seeing as it only had to be 20seconds worth of sound. I found this really good tutorial to help me just incase I couldn’t remember small details that I learnt in the workshop.


I also found this video of the Great Dictator speech by Charlie Chaplin and was amazed by how quick and snappy it was. I hope to one day be able to produce something of this standard. I enjoyed it so much that I decided I wanted to do a speech of some sort for my task however finding one that creates impact in just 20seconds was the difficult part!