DES2104 – Wk 4 Lecture

Week 4 in Vector Illustrations focused on the infographs, which are excellent ways of displaying concepts you would not be able to show with photographs or other forms of art.

When trying to create ‘information graphics’ it’s important to consider the hierarchy of information; you need to take into account things like the direction people read in, and what elements catch the eye first. This point reminded me of an old anecdote I’ve heard:

A British detergent brand decided to expand the reach of their product, and started selling and advertising worldwide. Everything was going well, except the detergent just wasn’t selling in the Middle East. It took them a while to figure out the problem, and it turns out it all came down to their printed ad. The advertisement was a series of images read left to right, that depicted clothes getting cleaner thanks to their product; however, Arabic languages are read from right to left, so instead their campaign made it appear as though the detergent made clothes dirtier!

Anyway, moving on…
Before making an infograpic there are some important questions to you should:

  • Who is it for?
  • How much (information) do you need?
  • What can you remove?
  • What do you have to keep?

Thinking about these questions ahead of time will help you keep on task and ensure that enough information is conveyed without confusing the target audience (Medley, 2013).

And finally, some interesting examples from the class of interesting forms of infographics included:

  • Charles Joseph Minard map/graph combination that illustrated the decline of Napoleon’s troops due to the temperature during their 1812 campaign against Russia;
  • A map of Japan that was able to represent both locations and weather patterns in a straight line, by presenting it from a horizontal point of view (eye level as opposed to top-down);
  • The ‘graphical music scores’ by Kat Hope, who creates visual images of sound to be played.

On that note (ha note, geddit?) here’s the TEDx talk by Cat Hope about this very different way to represent music:


Medley, S. (2013, March 23). Distillation. Figure/Field Relationships. Lecture presented in Vector Illustration. Edith Cowan University, Western Australia.

[Image 1] T-shirt covered in fabric stains [Photograph]. (n.d.). Retrieved March 31, 2013 from

TEDxTalks. (2013, January 22). New Music on iPads: Cat Hope & Decibel at TEDxPerth [Video file]. Retrieved from

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