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Week 10 Peer Critique

Cory: enlarge the image of the disease. It should be the focus because I am trying to scare teens and children into getting vaccinated. For figures that show how disease is spread use simple line drawings instead of basic male figures. Potentially use zoom feature to move through graphic.

Richard: look at truth campaign, change audience to pubescent teens and older individuals, good client and goal of project


Unit 9 Reading

a. “This Chart Is a Lonely Hunter: The Narrative Eros of the Infographic”

Summary: The author provides us with examples of info graphics and contemplates the infogasm. To achieve the infogasm that all info graphic designers strive for there are many factors we must take into account but most important is to make sure the graphic has accurate information that is unencumbered.

Take away: Just because there is a lot of information doesn’t mean that an info graphic needs to be chaotic and loud. K.I.S.S.

b. Profile 8: Moritz Stefaner, “Truth and Beauty Operator”  pgs. 314-325

Summary: Stefaner emphasized the importance of sketching and making the design cohesive. He seems to be pointing out that if a design develops and has a final stage of making it look pretty, then it is not quite right. He argues that although most designers seems to think that way, a different approach should be used. Every element of a infographic should help build on it’s underlying meaning, not be added to make it look better because there is beauty in making an accurate info graphic. He also emphasizes sketching as much as possible through the whole process but especially at the beginning.

Take away: Start with sketching, stick with sketching, move to black and white, get out the kinks, and then add color.


Unit 8 Reading

a. Chapter 9 The Rise of Interactive Graphics pgs 185-209

Summary: This chapter talks about the development of interactive graphics, but more importantly the basic functionality that should be applied to them. What you should do if you want the user to go through certain actions (such as hitting a button) or emphasizing the important points with hierarchy. When stepping through the info graphic the designer should also make sure the user isn’t lost because of inconsistent styling. Similar things should stay similar in order for them to be grouped together for the users understanding.

Take away: There are a lot of little details to remember through the process of creating an interactive info graphic, but they are basic details that help you format your graphic into a cohesive, understandable in fo graphic.
b. Profile 7 Hans Rosling (Gapminder Foundation) pgs 306-313

Summary: Rosling explains that way that the data is displayed is more important than the data itself because it is what the user takes in. What you are trying to get across isn’t the numbers that you have in your design, it’s the message behind them. If you only wanted the numbers to get through than you would only need to post them up for people to see.

Take away: Displaying a bunch of numbers in a pretty graph doesn’t help people understand the implications of the numbers, it makes them look pretty. IN the future I should only display the numbers if they have appoint to make in my designs.


Unit 4 Reading

a. Chapter 5: The Eye and the Visual Brain

Summary: This chapter talks about the complexity of how ours eyes function and what we should do with that as designers. Our brain translates what our eyes see so that we can put a name to things, as it were. When we are walking around in the world there is a lot of information that blends in around us because we are focused on certain things, such as the person we are walking with. We aren’t going to notice the bee buzzing around the flowers you just walked by.

Take away: Simple drawings, outlines even, are easier for humans to comprehend than realistic renderings, so if possible, make a simplified drawing of an object.
b. Profile 4: Hannah Fairfield (The Washington Post) pg 264-278

Summary: Fairfield encouraged the exploration of ideas for info graphic inspiration among info graphic designers. She changed the culture of The Washington Post graphics department by getting them to start coming up with ideas for info graphics rather than waiting to be told to make one. When asked about specializing Fairfield was of the opinion that it is unneeded but play to your advantages.

Take away: Find subjects that interest me to create info graphics about, so that I don’t miss information in my unenthusiastic search for research.


Unit 3 Reading

a. Chapter 3: The Beauty Paradox: Art and Communication

Summary: This chapter talks about the issues one may have with the design of an info graphic in several different aspects. It’s all about finding the balance in your design so that it does not alienate the viewer or make them turn away in dislike. For instance, balancing what the user has seen before with the new information you are trying to impart on them. Striving for a balanced design helps you to edit said design.

Take away: The idea of the visualization wheel is fascinating! I think I want to try to make my own.

b. Chapter4: The Complexity Challenge: Presentation and Exploration pg 73-92

Summary: This chapter talks about the space that you have to work with on your graphic and how you should use it. Cluttering your graphic with texture or images may not be useful in presenting the data you are trying to display. Every part of the info graphic should be used to emphasize and illustrate the point you are trying to get across to the viewer.

Take away: When going through the designing phase wait to add backgrounds until I have added the rest to ensure that I don’t clutter my design too much.


Unit 7 Reading

a. Chapter 8 Creating Information Graphics pgs 153-181

-Summary: This chapter talks about the process of creating info graphics and attempting not to dumb the information down too much. The most important parts of designing an info graphic are making sure you don’t ruin it with bad font and too many colors, and giving the info graphic a solid design layout makes all the difference.

– Take away: Focus on the layout of my info graphics before even thinking about color and font. Build a good looking design before I skip ahead.

b. Profile 6: Geoff McGhee (Stanford University) pgs 293-305

– Summary: McGhee talks about the tools used to create info graphics, their flaws, and their development for improve the creation of graphics. He talks about the importance of the visualization of data and how it needs to be  used to inform more people, to educate more. Knowing that the brain absorbs visual information more readily than textual information adds credence to his point. As humans, there is a lot more that we can learn than we currently are, and info graphics can help us to do that.

– Take away: Touch on the graphic development every day, look at it with fresh eyes and don’t get bogged down by the deadline or personal expectations. Also, teaching through info graphics is a great way to go.


P3 Project Ideas

Cultures around the world – how they look from the outside.

Creation of fantastical worlds – exploration of what it takes to create a believable fantasy world to share with the world.

layers of a black hole

preventable diseases

types of light

Unit 6 Reading

a. Profile 5 pgs. 279-292 Jan Schwochow (Golden Section Graphics)

– Summary: This profile mostly talked about the importance of accurate information display in info graphics. Jan Schwochow is a cut above because he researches in depth and illustrates things without making any of the information up.

– Take away: Making up information or illustration does not help the viewer really understand, accurately, the information that is presented. Tracing from real images and using the real shapes for visualization is the best practice, rather than guessing on the information.
b. Chapter 7 Images In the Head pgs 133-149

– Summary: The chapter talks about how the human brain interprets images. The automatic recognition of faces and associated meanings are what every info graphic must build on. If you cater to these things then you make the info graphic easier for the viewer to absorb.

– Take away: Realism vs Symbols. I want to try to make distinctions about the information I present in the future in my info graphics. If the information is less widely known, has been largely not talked about or seen, I should try to go for a realistic illustration. With other information that may have been seen or heard about before a better approach may be to make a symbol graphic that is basic lines and basic shading.

Bottom-up VS Top-down Processing

Bottom-up Processing is when the eye’s color detectors send information to the brain. Top-down Processing is when the brain sends information to the eye. With top-down processing there could potentially be issues with bias in the viewer, and visual information can be filtered out, causing the person to “not see” certain things. Also, top-down essentially brings up a hologram in our minds eye, which isn’t the original images, while bottom-up shows us actual images in front of us.

Iconic memory: is short term memory that stores visual information. It is a function that allows us to comprehend what is going on in the moment and allows us to sort through it later.

Explain the purpose in an infographic of
a. iconic component imagery

– Simpler line drawings are easier for a viewer to understand in an infographic because our brains have less to sort through to figure out what we are seeing. Giving just enough detail to cause recognition helps the viewere move through the info graphic faster.
b. the use of realism.

– Realism would be used to inform the viewer of what something looks like that hasn’t neccessarily been seen before. Realism is for introducing a new concept, while symbols are for things that have been seen before.


Wk6 P2 Class Chum Feedback



-Client is a small raw milk seller in california

-doing P1, switched with P2

– process drawing of pasteurization of milk

– suggested expanding out 6-sided shape to become backbone of design layout


– Client is WA state schools

– may do map of WA with areas and their common crimes

– thought timeline design (simple graphics illustrating types of technology/telescopes) was good


– suggested showing people major discoveries through history

– suggested making design a print graphic (i agree)

– suggested, on timeline, using tech/telescopes on top, planets on bottom

– suggested galaxy finds rather than planets

-suggested talking about planets similar to Earth

– keep map flat, add topography?

– color scale showing top 5 and bottom 5

-client is US gov

Issuu P1 link