Research Post #4- What are Vector Graphics?

In class we keep talking about “vectors” and “vector graphics” and I have been confused as to the difference between this type of graphic design and other images. So this research post aims to address this!

Vector graphics are created using shapes and lines derived from mathematical equations or commands. They are sometimes referred to as geometric designs, owing to the manipulation of shapes and lines to create icons and identifiable images.

Unlike the pixels which raster images are composed of, the many shapes and lines that make up vector images mean they are infinitely scalable without losing quality.

You can see in this comparrason, the pixels of the raster image distort when the image is resized beyond its original creation:

Raster_VS_Vector

Vector graphics hold their smooth lines and polished look upon resizing, making them ideal for big billboards, posters and similar uses.

Vectors are unable to create photo-real images. However technology advancements mean vector drawing has become easier, with programs like Adobe Illustrator (which is used for this assignment). Also, more photo-realistic looks can be achieved by applying bit-mapped textures to vector objects.

This image created using vectors comes pretty close to photoreal!

This image created using vectors comes pretty close to photo-real!

Bitmapped texture

Bit-mapped texture

Vector images can also to be turned into raster images for used on websites (rasterizing). Here you are able to specify the size of the rasterized image to best suit its intended use.

This research has been important for my project because I now understand the benefits of using vector images in my infographic as opposed to using photographs. I have created all my icons and images using vectors so that they are easily to resize and manipulate. This also means the infographic could be used on many different platforms without losing its quality.

Some of the tools I have become familiar with include the pen tool (used to create lines and objects) and the shape tools. The pathfinder tools allow these shapes and lines to be manipulated in relation to each other- joined together, subtracted from each other, etc…

Sources:

http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/aboutgraphics/a/bitmapvector_2.htm

http://image420.com/art/what-is-vector-art/

Research post #3- Colour in Infographics

I have already done a research post on colour for my other assignment, so this time I want to look at how colour can be used specifically in infographics.

Infographics use colour schemes religiously. Colour is used to create uniformity and cohesion withing the graphic and to bring out certain pieces of information.

One of the most common mistake in Infographics is using too many colours, says Chow (2015). Instead, he suggests use of different shades, hues and tints  in Infographic colour schemes

This useful infographic  explains some ways of using colour relationships to create effective colour schemes for icons:

:Color-Theory-Infographic

Colour scheme generators are really handy tools for picking colours for an Infographic. I quite like Coolers!.You can easy lock in one colour and find matching shades or complementary colours, or you can keep pressing the space bar to randomize colours until something takes your fancy.

In my infographic I intend to use colour to separate  my 6 sections from each other and from the grey background. I will use 5 different colour schemes comprised on varying shades of a colour in order to keep the sections cohesive but separate. I also want to give a slightly psychedelic effect to illustrate the idea of hypnosis, by using numerous colour in a fun but controlled and sparing way.

These are a couple of infographics I have looked at for inspiration:

dott_infographic infographic

Sources:

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

http://coolors.co/app/533747-dbc2cf-9fa2b2-3c7a89-16262e

http://www.designmantic.com/blog/infographics/the-10-commandments-of-color-theory/

WIP #4

After my class today I have turned a corner and gone in a new direction! Well it’s similar but is working much better for me!

Rather than trying to fit everything in a circle, I am now working with a grid layout surrounding a massive brain with my hypnotic spiral in the centre. I has been much easier to place my icons and text this way and the sections are much clearer.

Somewhere along the way I lost the colours in my icons, however I still intend to have each section with a different colour scheme (but still complementary to each other). This will make sure they stand out from the grey background and also separate the sections, making it easier to focus on one part at a time.

I haven’t yet decided what to do with the title, so any suggestions there are very welcome, as well as suggestions for other aspects! I still feel like it is a little busy, but a set of outside eyes would be helpful.

Here it is:

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 9.24.35 PM

WIP #3 – From paper to infographic…

This week has been all about me trying to find my feet on illustrator. It hasn’t been easy but I think I am getting it now!

I have started to use shapes and vectors to create my layout and my icons. The first thing I did was use various sized circles to create my basic map, making sure everything was centered. I then watched a tutorial on how to create a cool spiral for the middle, and added my title text using the ‘type on a path’ tool.

For the rest of the week I have been brainstorming possible icons and finding ways to create them using illustrator. Most are traced from pictures from flickr, however the signs and the warped clock were just made using simple shapes and the direct select tool to alter them as needed.

One thing I have struggled with is arranging everything into a circle shape, but I think it is better to do this properly once I have made all of my icons. Then I can make sure the spacing and sizing of everything looks right. I have also struggled a little keeping my layers organized…there are so many!

I haven’t started looking at fonts and typography as of yet, again I think this will be easier once I have more to work with.

Excuse the slight mess of icons and words on the page, but here are a few progress pics from throughout the week:

Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 8.12.56 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 9.06.11 PM

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 5.42.46 PM

Research post #2 – Typography

Now that I have decided on a topic and started working on designs, I think it is a good time to look at how typography can be used to enhance my infographic.

They say pictures say a thousand words, but ironically, so can words…..when they are designed well!

Typography is the art of designing and arranging type to make it readable, attractive and give it meaning beyond the word itself (. It includes adjusting the spacing of characters and lines (kerning and leading) and tweaking the anatomy of the letters. This infographic was useful in helping me understand this anatomy, as it is quite technical!

Typographic_Anatomy_by_morowhitewolf

Essentially, typography helps grab and hold viewer attention, makes writing legible and adds meaning, even giving feeling, to the words on the page.

Here are a few infographics that I believe have used typography well to illustrate their topics:

infographics-design-inspirationinfographic_designs_1 typographic_elephant-infographic

In the first one I really like how the word collide uses arrows to illustrate a collision. It is really simple but quite effective. In the gelato infographic the word “artisan” is illustrated nicely through the use of a more elegant font. Throughout this one, the size of the words also brings attention to the most important parts and the words are arranged to fit very square spaces, making it easily read. The elephant image shows how the sizing and spacing of characters and words can be very intricately manipulated to create and artistic message, combining words and image.

I have now started thinking about what types of fonts I would like to use in my infographic to enhance it’s messages. I am also thinking about how I can arrange the words I use to be most effective. After a little searching I have found a few cool fonts that fit with my theme of hypnosis, including

Lastly, this font is readable while incorporating a little haze. It again illustrates hypnosis quite nicely but I would definitely restrict it's use to the main title, as it would be easy to overdo this font.

This font is readable while incorporating a little haze. It again illustrates hypnosis quite nicely but I would definitely restrict it’s use to the main title, as it would be easy to overdo this font.

….

I like the wavering letters used here, it would illustrate the altered consciousness in hypnosis

I like the wavering letters used here, it would illustrate the altered consciousness in hypnosis. It sill looks quite sharp however and is easily read.

Although clever, this is much too busy and hard to read for my liking

Although clever, this is much too busy and hard to read for my liking. Perhaps it would be okay for one letter in a title, the ‘o’ for example.

Sources:

http://practicaltypography.com/why-does-typography-matter.html

http://www.commarts.com/Columns.aspx?pub=5566&pageid=1596

WIP #2- Research, layout ideas and communication objectives

This week, after much thought, I settled on using the topic of hypnosis for my infographic. I chose this because the topic is one I know well, and also because I think the topic can be broken down and explained in quite a visual way. My main objective is to  teach someone who has no knowledge of hypnosis, about what hypnosis is, what it is NOT (as there is a lot of stigma around it), and how it can be used.

This week I have also done a lot of research into how hypnosis works. In a nutshell I have learnt:

– Hypnosis is a completely natural state that everybody experiences throughout the day.

– The brain wave patterns involved in hypnosis

– Who can be hypnotized and how they can be put into hypnosis.

– What the signs of being in hypnosis are

– The common myths and stigmas people associate with hypnosis

– Many uses of hypnosis (hypnotherapy, stage hypnosis, hypnoanesthesia and forensics in particular)

These topics/ideas are what I would like to communicate in my infographic.

However I also did more in depth research into hypnotherapy. I am wondering whether I should include the multiple uses, or just focus on how hypnosis is used in hypnotherapy instead, as this is very interesting and could be explained quite visually.

Upon doing this research, I have also started to sketch some ideas for layouts and possible icons on an A4 piece of paper. Basically I am just trying to organize my ideas. Here is my concept so far…11257649_1065212683506866_2084907341_nAs you can see, I have included the multiple uses of hypnosis in this concept. If I were do just focus on hypnosis use in hypnotherapy, then the whole right section would be used for this topic.

The spiral and heading in the middle would also be larger, but my drawing skills are not fabulous. I then tried to organize my ideas in a more creative way. Using the same information I arranged then inside circle shapes, giving the look of a spiral (I haven’t filled in with the little drawings and information in this sketch, but you get the idea)……11276210_1065221740172627_947022440_n

Rather than lines, I would probably use circles of different colour shades to achieve this look.

I am constantly thinking of icons and pictures I could used to represent these ideas without too many words. Although it’s a little difficult, I am getting there!

I would really appreciate some feedback on these ideas pronto, so that I can start on my image…..

Research post #1 – What are infographics?

As I ponder infographic topics I thought it seemed appropriate at this point to research what makes a good infographic. I hope this will help me decide for myself, what topic would be most effective.

In a nutshell, infographics are graphic representations of information- easy! The aim is to convey complex information in an imaginative and easy to digest way that helps people quickly understand a subject without sifting through bland writing and statistics. They integrate graphic design elements, images and content to create a standalone source of information.

I found this cool infographic conveying the 10 rules of creating good infographics:

10rulesinfographic

Goals, audience, story, relevance, research, persuasive headers, design, social sharing, citations and conclusions are the 10 important elements they claim. However, they also give a simple equation on the website for a good infographic…..

Information + Story + Design = Infographics.

So with this in mind, I still must decide on an assignment topic! I am concerned my ideas so far may be a little too complex to break down into an A4 infographic. However, I also realise the whole point is to simplify complex information for easy and interesting understanding. So I think the important thing in choosing a topic is to think about how I can use visual representations and icons to simplify my ideas and make them interesting to learn about.

Sources:

Adams, D. (2011, March 25). What are infographics and why are they important? Retrieved from: http://www.instantshift.com/2011/03/25/what-are-infographics-and-why-are-they-important/

http://www.avalancheinfographics.com/portfolios/10-rules-about-infographic

Plus information presented in week 1 workshop.