Unit 5 Reading

a. Profile 1 John Grimwade (Condé Naste Traveler magazine) pgs 212-230

– Summary: John Grimwade is a graphic designer that has created many successful info graphics and has his own business for info graphics. Through a series of questions Grimwade goes over his process and how it hasn’t changed much since he began. He explains how he starts with a research, then edits that research into a story that viewers can understand. He emphasizes the cutting out of unneeded information that many newer graphic designers seem to add into their designs, showing a lot of information to the viewer that isn’t strictly required to get the point across. Through the rest of the profile Grimwade expresses his practice of sharing information with others and being involved in the design process, on paper, very early on, so you can have more control of what information goes into the final graphic.

– Take away: I liked how Grimwade explained that each graphic needs a narrative. A story to step through. That makes so much sense, yet I’ve never heard it explained that way.
b. Chapter 6 Visualizing for the Mind pgs 110-132

– Summary: This chapter is all about mind tricks for designers. The first section of the chapter illustrates how flat black and white design may not help the viewer understand what is going on with displayed information. Shades and varying color help to distinguish the differences in information displayed. Spacing is discussed next. Clearly sectioning bits of information together leads the eye to what it is supposed to be looking at, as well as informing the viewer of what information goes together. Along these lines there are background boxes, which should be used much the same way, organizing information into groups, but only enough to separate out the information into clear groups. The chapter closes with the issue of comparing data points or other similar information. When comparing numbers  it’s probably best to use a bar chart of line graph, rather than varying shapes. And with a lot of data you should probably parse it down to a few colors that are displayed on top of a format that brings the information together.

– Take away: “Continuity is better perceived in curves than in lines with sharp angles.” I think it just looks prettier too. I want to take this forward to remind myself that sharp angles and straight lines may not be the best route through a graphic.


Unit 2 Reading

a. Chapter 2: Forms and Functions: Visualization as a Technology

– Summary: This chapter talks about the what an info graphic should do for the user. Should it answer a question? Compare 2 or more situations? Does it need to organize a topic so the viewer can comprehend the situation? On top of that should what would the reader want to know from the graphic? Ultimately this chapter expresses the need to think about the goals of the graphic you are making and what the user could hope to get from it.

– Take away: Formulating the goals of the graphic as much as possible helps determine the design of the info graphic.
b. Chapter 8 Creating Information Graphics pgs 153-181

-Summary: This chapter talks about the process of creating an info graphic. It specifically focuses on condensing the information that you collect down so that you can figure out a narrative for your graphic and build a structure based off of it. Also, sketching with rectangles could be a life saver in organizing your project.

– Take away: Build your info graphics based off of the path you want your viewer to step through.

Explain Cairo’s perspective on the phrase “form follows function”.

Cairo seems to think that form determines the function of an object. He talks about today’s slight skewing of the original point Sullivan was trying to make about the function of a things. We have taken his words and adopted the mentality that any design should be based on the user. Therefore the form must meet with the function in order to work for the user.
Explain Cairo’s perspective on bubble charts

Cairo dislikes bubbles. From a scientific perspective he disagrees with them because the human mind doesn’t really comprehend the size of the bubble so much as the height of it. Also, it’s difficult to see the actual numbers that are being used and if you add the numbers in as labels then the bubbles are just a waste of space anyway. The best time to use bubbles seems to be when you are comparing proportions, not numbers.


Week 4 Class Chum Pow wow Feedback

Manny and Heather’s Pow wow

paper book readers vs ebook readers

coral reduction on earth – awesome

planets found over time – a lot of info on this, will look at exoplanet app

P2 Statement


The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) project, and consequently NASA, would like to have a graphic made to show technologies progress and encourage interest in the new telescope.

This graphic will first step through the development of technology up to today, which will cover how we began looking at planets and the stars.

Then there will be a display of how many planets have been found to date on a graph accompanied by text that explains, briefly, the trend of discovery today.

Finally, the graphic will close with a look to the future. There will be an image of the JWST to be launched in 2018. There will also be a paragraph briefly explaining the technology being used on the telescope.

Target Audience

This graphic will be geared toward stakeholders of the JWST project. This graphics should encourage viewers to learn more about the new telescope and spread knowledge of the new telescope.


Show what has happened with telescopes over the course of history. A timeline will be shown that depicts the history of how we have looked for planets. This timeline will have small symbols that show the type of device that was used for a certain amount of time (this amount of time will be noted below the timeline).

Show the results. Display all the planets found over time. A graph showing the number of planets discovered over time will be the main focus of the info graphic. Body copy will accompany it to explain the significance of the information.

Show the future. Show new telescope that is being made. This section will have body copy explaining about the JWST being built and that it will be launched in 2018. An image from the JWST website will be displayed that is an artistic rendering of the telescope.


There are large amounts of information involved with this subject. Parsing it down to make it understandable will be a challenge. The information about planets will be mostly kept to planets similiar to Earth. Most humans are more interested in this variation of planets rather than all the variations of planets that are being found.

Key Benefit

Will bring support to project, get more people interested in the new telescope. This new telescope will essentially be replacing the Hubble and will be the most powerful telescope available to Man.

Support Statements/Reasons Why

Bringing more attention to the telescopes development will encourage more stakeholders to participate and therefore donate money to the cause.


This graphic will have an educational feeling without being boring. The graphic should draw the viewer in visually and sufficiently explain all the concepts that are covered without loosing the viewer in information.


This graphic will be shared with stakeholders in PDF format or print format. A base size of 8 x 10 in will be used.

Creative Considerations

None at this time.

P2 Project Ideas

  1. Numbers that read books versus eBooks
  2. Coral Numbers around the world
  3. Number of planets found over time

Process: Week 2


Week 2 Peer Critique

 Manny suggested potentially doing the graphic on an echidna, because it’s an odd ball too.

Preferred the oval layout design that displayed the process of the egg life cycle  and the location of each stage. The line that displays the ground is a good separator for the overall info graphic

Week 1: Physical Infographic Process

Brainstorm/mindmap 3 ideas minimum. Research and collect links to relevant information sources. Do not redesign an existing infographic. Consider creating online or print collateral supporting a kickstarter campaign.

  • Mudslide zones in WA – maybe, current events make this relevant. would be a map of WA with highlighted areas and descriptions
  • Parts of a platypus – good idea, diagram, could be a parts comparison or a anatomical diagram. go for anatomical diagram because it’s less
  • Natural disaster regions of America – maybe, relevant because of events. would be map of US with highlighted regions and descriptions.

Establish a client for this project: who pays for this? Why?  Explain the client and the destination(s) for this project. Explaining fully the real world context of your project will improve your final result. Imagine hard and make a plausible scenario.

  • Client – Pacific Science Center – http://www.pacificsciencecenter.org/
  • What does the client want out of the project? A graphic that can go in the magazines for free and also be displayed on Facebook in order to spread.
  • What is the destination of this project? this project would be displayed online, on Facebook, and in magazines as ads.

Establish the destination for this project:

print? if so, what magazine, newspaper? What dimensions do you have to work with? website? if so, how much real estate in pixel dimensions do you have to work with, how many pages? What images/screenshots do you need to establish this project in context?

– Web, magazines (Kids NW)

– Dimensions:

– Images of a platypus to base my own images off of. Legitimate information about the platypus.

Are you working with a developer who will translate your mockup to to code/actionscript/flash? What sort of layer organization- intelligently titled groups will your developer need in the photoshop or illustrator file you deliver? Group review of research on blog at end of class.

– Coding: Not at the moment

– Text, Main Illustration, Side Bar, etc

Process: Week 1

  1. brainstorm P1 ideas
  • mudslide zones in WA – Pacific Northwest Chapter of International Erosion Control Association – maybe, current events make this relevant. would be a map of WA with highlighted areas and descriptions
  1. create client for P1
  2. brainstorm ideas for type of graphic
  3. search for similar sites
  4. search for design ideas

Unit 1 Reading

a. Introduction: Infographics and Visualization xiv-xxi

  • I find the way the brain process through life to be endlessly fascinating. The way we can connect with others and have a bond strong enough that it allows us to understand without words, to know what someone else is saying without having to say a word is an interesting facet of human behavior that can boggle the mind. Creating an informational piece and getting viewers to see and understand it is an important and challenging task.
  • The thing I want to take away from this section is the inspiration I get from Figure 3. The graph line that is displayed is colored separately for each year between 1981 and 2010. This is a subtle but visually interesting way to make it clear to the viewer what year they are looking at and allows for better understanding of what is going on in the info graphic.

b. Chapter 1: Why Visualize: From Information to Wisdom pg 6-23

  • I have looked at multiple bland graphs throughout my life, and I have been frustrated plenty of times by them. Looking at them and understanding what exactly they are saying can be difficult if it is just a single line that meanders around the graph. I appreciate the idea of compositing multiple graphs to form a hierarchy and increase the chances of the viewer understanding what they are looking at as well as being able to compare graphs because of this.
  • What I want to take away from this section is the concept of how humans understand information. Going forward, I need to remember that people translate information that they understand into symbols that are organized within their minds. Striving to make that process easier will help my info graphics to be more successful in the future.

c. Profile 2: Juan Velasco and Fernando Baptista (National Geographic Magazine) pg 230-249

Summary: At National Geographic they spend a lot of time on their info graphics compared to the average info graphic creators, a couple weeks  more. They also sketch like mad. The developers of the info graphics travel to the places that they are displaying in their info graphics (if it’s about a place at least) and accurately sketch out the design based off what they see and what experts suggest to them.

Take away: Accuracy of information. National Geographic talks to experts and looks at a lot of different information in order to build accurate descriptions of the information they display, which I hope to do as well.