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!

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DES2104 – Wk 3 Lecture

One of the reasons illustrations can be so useful in conveying meaning is because unlike photographs, they provide information without being too specific. By moving away from the more concrete images on the Realism Continuum (i.e. photos) concepts can be brought down to their most relevant components, without the distraction of background elements or irrelevant details.

In week 3 of Vector we looked at Isotypes “International System of TYpographic Picture Education“, which are a way of showing the connection between information through pictures. Some aspects of Isotypes to keep in mind when using them to depict information:

  • They’re used to visually educate;
  • Differences in amounts are generally represented by repeating the same symbol, rather than increasing its size;
  • Colours and shapes can be used to represent connection (with colour being the dominant connection);
  • For the sake of clarity, they’re rarely shown in a perspective view.

(Neurath, 2010; Medley, 2013)

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