The topic I chose to base my infographic on is screen time and its negative effects. This is a topic that is particularly relevant to us now during covid as we as a society are spending way more time on screens that we ever have before. A big reason I was drawn to this topic is because I live in a very tech oriented house hold. If my family members and I had been spending an insane amount of time staring at screens before, covid has significantly exasperated the situation.
I had learned a lot about designing infographics, visualising data from the lectures on them and I had gotten an idea of how to develop charts and graphs from the master/apprentice exercises. I still had to do some research though.
I started by looking on Pinterest and making a board of infographic inspiration. You can find that here. This helped give me a quick and effective overview of how infographics can/should be structured. It also gave me a lot of design inspiration.
I then looked at more specific examples like infographics and data visualisations done by designers that were pointed to in lectures. I found the work of Giorga Lupi, George Hatzis and Charles Joseph Minard the most interesting. In particular I really enjoyed looking through all Haatzis’ infographics on film and television. He did a joke count infographic which was for the mcu movies and as a huge Marvel fan I thought it was really cool.
I bought a book at the start of this semester about data visualisation called ‘Dear Data’ by Giorgia Lupi and Stephanie Posavec so I gave it a read. The premise of the book is that these two designers; one living in New York and the other in London, each week for a year would send each other postcards with some form of data visualisation of their week based on one particular topic in order to better get to know each other and themselves. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It taught me that data can be taken form anything and everything and collecting data is a lot like taking a picture as it can capture the world in the same way a photograph captures a small moment in time. Before reading this book the word data always feel really cold and scientific to me but now I see how data is everywhere around us and if we wanted to we can use data visualisation to capture moments in our life much like taking a photo or to learn more about ourselves and our behaviour. The book also contained an abundance of beautiful and interesting data visualisations that opened my mind up to thinking more outside the box when it comes to visualising data and communicating information. Overall it was a really enjoyable fun and light-hearted read that taught me a lot about visualising data.
I also had to actually do some research on my chosen infographic topic. Here are some of the sources I looked at:
- health.harvard.edu/…/stretch-to-ease-screen-time-related-neck-and-shoulder-painHarvard Medical School
I had done some initial concept sketches that are in a previous post. After doing research and receiving feedback on them I tried to flesh out my design and figure out the layout in a larger sketch. I decided that the content would be broken into two clear sections, screen time at the top and downtime at the bottom. The screen time part would be where I explain what screentime is, show some numbers and outline the risks associated with too much of it. The downtime section would again give an explanation of what downtime is and underneath that have some examples of ways to spend it without screens.
My idea was to break up the content by placing the information in device screens like you can see in my sketch. For our group critique in week twelve I digitised those and showed this sketch.
After receiving feedback on what I had done so far, I decided to rearrange the layout to have the devices fall one under the other to give the infographic a better flow. I did a quick rough sketch of that.
When settling on information to include, I decided to leave out gaming addiction as it was a lot harder to source statistics on that for Ireland and I wanted my infographic to be more universal for anyone and everyone who spends time on screens. Gaming addiction only really applies to gamers and a lot of people who still use screens a lot don’t play video games or at least not frequently.
Once I had an idea of what I was including it was time to do more digitising. I started with my downtime icons. For these suggestions I used a combination of common sense, a bit of research into downtime and I considered what I myself like to do that’s away from screens. I first sketched them out and then once I knew what I was doing, made them on illustrator.
I should mention now that to decide my colour palette I took to Pinterest. I knew I wanted to have the screens be a light blue to sort of represent blue light and I took inspiration from different illustration pieces to find colours that would compliment that. I landed on light pink being the background colour behind the devices and then the background would be blue behind the downtime section so my icons would then be primarily pink to contrast.
Then it came to font choice. For the header I knew I wanted something tech looking but not so tech that it would look weird on Downtime. I searched for a while on adobe fonts till I came across the font Acier BAT which filled those requirements pretty well. I just layered the different weights (not really sure what else to call them) in different colours and I think it ended up being really cool looking and matches the style of my infographic well. For the rest of the type I decided to use Futura as it’s easily legible and goes well with the font I chose for the headers and once again the overall style of my infographic.
After I knew what type and colour I was using, and had all my illustrations done it was time to put everything together and add in my information in a cohesive way. When it came to hierarchy I tried to make the numbers stand out the most by making them bigger that the rest of the text and also a bright contrasting colour so that one’s eyes would instantly be drawn to them. I noticed a lot that in most infographics the numbers are massive but I didn’t really have room to do that so I focused on other ways like the colour to make them stand out instead and I think it works.
With that my infographic is complete.
Here is a pdf of my completed infographic: infographic.pdf
I’m quite happy with the final result. I think overall the design is very clear and cohesive. The only thing I’m not 100% on is the type hierarchy but I put in a lot of consideration and did my best with it so hopefully I did a good job with it. What I enjoyed most about this process was doing the illustrations and thanks to this module as a whole I am starting to realise that that illustration and iconography may be strengths of mine.