Development & Realisation: Finishing Touches and Final Upload

Below is the final poster I will be submitting on Monday 12th January and includes a final few touches such as the change of background so that it blends better with the timeline and title text. I also altered the second Fun Fact speech bubble so that the text was all above and inline with each other. I decided to change this as I think it adds more structure and professionalism to the overall poster.

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PDF Link: Final A2 Poster

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Development & Realisation: Comparison of Both Ideas

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As you can clearly see from the above comparison of both the posters that the right-hand side offers up the audience a lot more information and there is a visual journey which your eyes are automatically drawn to. The second poster engages with the audience via many images to make it easier to understand. The short text explanations give the audiences extra information about whom and where exactly I went on my travels. Another extra feature missing from the first poster is the ‘Fun Fact’ which offers up a bit of outside context to the audience and steps away from the personal aspect of the poster.

Development & Realisation: Creation of Posters

Initial Idea (World Map):

As I had already began to create my initial idea, I decided to continue a little bit further so I could compare the two final designs. I traced the world map and just kept the outline so that the poster didn’t look too crowded and was easy to see the various different countries I was pin pointing. I wanted to split up to all the continents but the image I was tracing didn’t include Europe, I managed draw the line in myself but this meant that I couldn’t change the colours of Asia and Europe.

I spoke to our workshop leader and she managed to help me figure out my issue – I had to divide up the paths using pathfinder. I then added in the title and the pin points but not the flag versions as I wanted to do a clear comparison of my first ever idea to show the vast improvement.

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New Idea (Timeline Journey):

As I finished the first idea and gained some more Illustrator practice and skills I moved on to the creation of my final poster. I began with the basic outline and chose which colours from my selection to use where. I did the snake like design first and then added all the various different images and icons and finally inserted the text saying which country I travelled to.

I managed my time efficiently throughout the creation of my poster as I tackled one area at a time such as all the different icons and flat design I did together so that they all looked the same and showed consistency. The same font and colours were used throughout in order to replicate existing, realistic info-graphic posters.

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Development & Realisation: Illustrator Tutorials & Practice

After being introduced to both Adobe Illustrator and Inkscape – I decided I was more confident with the tools and shortcuts in Illustrator as I have used it briefly in the past. During our workshops we were shown the basic skills to get us started on the project, these included how to create long shadow images (known as flat design), image tracing and how to create images out of various shapes.

All the skills I learnt in these workshops will definitely help me make my poster the best possible quality as I want to utilise all the skills I have gained and practice them. In order to progress my skills and knowledge of the programme I watched various Illustrator tutorials in order to improve my workflow.

One really helpful tutorial was about how to perfect flat design, I had only done this in the workshop briefly so I didn’t feel overly confident about created various flat design images without any more guidance. The tutorial managed to explain how to achieve flat design with almost anything – before I began my official poster, I decided to have a few practices of flat design, I knew I wanted to include flags within my poster so I started off by trying out a few flags and extending their shadows. Here is what I managed to achieve:

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For the paper airplane I watched a YouTube tutorial in order for me to perfect the 3D shape. I also used an existing icon to create the first aid box by which I copied the general shapes used. Finally, the sun was created by watching a tutorial of how to create the rays using different stroke weights. All video tutorials are referenced at the end of this post.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yewiqKRjSc4

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTkyIH_vHN8

I used the image trace tool for the Statue of Liberty and the Map graphic. The original images are posted next to them to show little changes I made to them.

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References (For the original images):

http://www.freepik.com/free-vector/statue-of-liberty-clip-art_383954.htm

http://graphicdesignjunction.com/2013/04/flat-icons-and-web-elements-for-ui-design/

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-217339768/stock-vector-flat-first-aid-box-icon-vector-illustration.html?src=pp-same_artist-217683745-4

References (For the tutorials):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTkyIH_vHN8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yewiqKRjSc4

Development & Realisation: Planning and First Drafts (2)

In order to make my new design one that ticks all the boxes in the info-graphic market I visited a website which claimed to highlight what made a good info-graphic. The four main elements to a successful poster is purpose, style, evidence and format. These would be the main things I focus on when designing my poster.

Purpose: The purpose of my poster is to visualise the various destinations I have visited over the course of my life. This should be evident to the audience based on the information given.

Style: The layout would be very structured and manipulate the audiences eyes to travel down the page accordingly. Colour schemes will be those of flat colours which are widely used in the creation of info-graphics and flat design graphics. (http://flatuicolors.com/ allows you to copy the colour code straight into Illustrator which saves time and increases your workflow)

Evidence: The evidence will be 100% accurate due to it being my past and a very personal subject.

Format: The format of my poster will be static but also be able to be printed but no interactivity will be involved.

A final element of planning which I regarded as essential was the target audience of my poster. Due to the data being personal there is no direct audience as it acts as a more informative and keepsake poster. I still want to achieve a poster which catches people attention so decided to use this colour theme below along with the detailed final draft.

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References:

http://www.academia.edu/5615673/Visualizing_Text_The_New_Literacy_of_Infographics

http://flatuicolors.com/

Development & Realisation: Changes to Idea

The past week I have been working on my poster and have come to a stand still. I think the main explanation for this is because it doesn’t represent the information like other info-graphic posters do. I decided to still begin to create the draft on illustrator to see if the vector graphic version looked any better but I have thought of a new, completely different idea which is more attractive to the eye. I was looking at existing info-graphic posters and I really think the ones which your eyes have a clear path to follow are the most effective.

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I discovered this poster above and immediately imagined a timeline of the places I have visited acting like a journey along the poster. The eye is drawn to the beginning of the wiggly line and goes through each step, taking in what is in that particular section. I began to start sketches for this new idea and complete some more research into how to make the most effective info-graphics.

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References:

http://www.123rf.com/photo_30682784_stock-vector-business-timeline-infographic-template-vector-illustration-can-be-used-for-workflow-layout-banner-di.html

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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References:

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-flight-routes-world-map-image14431478

http://www.passports.com/lesson-plans/england/norman-invasion-of-1066

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.

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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.

References:

http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Mortality_and_life_expectancy_statistics

http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/life-expectancy-asia

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/may/29/uk-western-europe-obesity-study

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.

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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.

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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.

References:

http://www.informationisbeautifulawards.com/showcase