Our second project for Advanced Visual Media was to create an infographic! Our objectives were to collect data that can be converted into a visual form, organize said data collected in a logical order, use Adobe Illustrator to create silhouettes, charts, graphs, and other representative graphics, design an infographic that was visually appealing and informative, and save and optimize the infographic to be shared on Pinterest and other social media sites. We had creative freedom in that we could choose the topic and the data, but I feel like that may have actually hindered me more than helped me. Before we embarked on our project, we made a list of things that we loved, and then circled the top five contenders.
Mine were: Portal, Pacific Rim, Barbies, History, and Web Design. Any one of these could have made an awesome infographic, so choosing between these was… difficult. I started out by doing research on the Portal games, as I have been playing them for years and years now. But my first idea had been to do an infographic on Barbies, since I have an immense wealth of knowledge about them and still find them interesting at the ripe old age of twenty. I decided to go with my gut instincts, and I started researching.
I came up with even more resources and research on Barbie than I could have used to fill fifty infographics, and I panicked. How was I supposed to narrow this down?
My first draft was positively awful, and definitely reflects the confusion I was feeling. At first blush, I really wanted to do an infographic based on the ways Barbie’s body has changed, from her eyes in 1971, to her waist in 2000, to the new body types and articulated ankles in 2016. The problem was, my graphics were not working well with the rest of the content.
Sometime, when I have the time I need to spend on a project like this, I would still love to do an infographic with the graphics I had planned. At this point, I had at least figured out how I wanted the title to look (but embarrassingly, I had written 1957 at the top instead of 1959!). I loved the way the eyes had turned out, but I couldn’t grasp how to give the same effect to the waists and the feet, and I dreaded making graphics for the body type, skin tone, and eye color. I had hit artist’s block.
At this point, I knew I had to switch tactics. I wanted to point out Barbie’s changes, but I also needed to communicate why they were necessary and whether they worked. I also needed to simplify my message. If I had three years to work on this infographic, it could be beautifully dense, but with my current skill level and amount of time to work I couldn’t quite do that.
The third draft was closer, but I wasn’t meeting the project requirements yet! I needed at least one bar chart or graph, and I still had no statistics.
This was much, much closer! I planned to put it through another review process, but the general consensus from my class and my professor was that it was a good start. They all agreed that I needed to take another look at the spacing on my infographic and create some extra emphasis with the text, and they all hated the splash of blue with my logo at the end.
I emphasized some of the text with bolder fonts, fixed the spacing and some of the coloring, and updated the images included in the infographic. In addition, I recolored my logo and outlined it so it blended in with the infographic better. I chose Fjalla One by Google Fonts because it echoed some of the sans serif fonts used by Mattel to promote Barbie in the 1960’s, and Open Sans (also by Google Fonts) to make it easy to read. The black, pink, and white echo Barbie’s super-stylish history right down to the correct shade of Barbie pink pulled from her website. Below, you can see the patterns and icons I created for the project.
You can see the complete infographic on Pinterest here! As always, thanks for supporting my work!