Sunday, 25 May 2014

Exercise - Birthday List

I did some doodles in my sketchbook and decided I liked the circular format best. The idea would be that it could be attached to a noticeboard with a central pin and rotated as the year progressed. Edward Evans did something very similar here but I felt I could expand the idea.
 I started with a simple wheel of names in a rainbow of colours
I then tried putting them into the petals of a flower, the petals are purposely different sizes to accommodate the different number of birthdays in each month.
 Which I made yellow
 and then more colourful

I like the idea of a flower so I played with some more ideas
which lead to this which is based on a sunflower
 the centre is a bit dull so I thought I'd add some lettering
 better if the petals are closer together and the centre is more like a sunflower?
 This could then be written on with the birthdays
maybe better with a bit of adjustment?

I think actually I prefer my first attempt for its clarity and simplicity

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Exercise - Giving information

Here are some collected examples. I'm surprised how often the colour purple features - these were a random selection of graphics. I'm a sucker for maps but often find these diagrammatic representations difficult to reconcile with the real world. It must be difficult for the designer to work out what landmarks to use, what to put in and what to leave out. The weather map is deceptively simple but conveys a lot of complex information. The map of England was in the paper illustrating the cost of homes. I guess the designer has some sort of template into which they put the relevant information. This could lead to dramatic oversimplification but I guess for the newspaper that isn't of concern. The choice of colours is important to get the right feel especially for readers who don't study the graphic but are just skimming to get a feel for the story. Here red is used to represent the overheated areas and blue for the calmer markets.
I also found this site which has an enormous selection, its a shame they seem to have stopped posting in 2012
I got a bit distracted from the journey to work infographic into thinking where I had travelled in the last 12months (not very far) Based on memory I drew this on a map

I expanded it to include trips outside my local area
 Then with a bit of guesswork I made the places I'd been to most bigger

 Maybe a little background colour helps? I chose light green to keep with the map theme

I'm not sure this was quite what the brief was asking for though it was fun to do, and reminds me I need to get out more....

How about a map of my desk expanded to include some of my house?

this from my sketchbook which I fiddled with on the computer to give
It's a bit too busy. I'm playing with a different graphics package and I'm not happy with the image quality either.

Randomly I have discovered today that Florence Nightingale whose birthday was 12th May (while I was writing this) was a pioneer of the introduction of the pie chart, also known as the Nightingale rose diagram, to explain complex statistics to people who would otherwise have had trouble understanding them.

I redrew the image more simply
 I'm just not sure its very interesting so I went back to my sketchbook and played around with ideas from the layout of my garden to instructions to getting on a boat (the layout of my cupboards, which was another suggestion, is a mystery to me so that wasn't an option). I decided that my other workspace, when I go to my day job is a lot more interesting. (I'm a veterinary nurse)

 This was my sketch book mockup which I simplified down to a drawing
I then added some explanations
 This is a better layout I think. I spent ages trying different fonts instead of cheating and using hand drawn lettering again. Eventualy I chose Segoe Light because it feels right and suitably friendly, and Tempus Sans ITC because I feel it bridges the hand drawn graphic and the more formal standardised text of the information
 but it needs some colour
 or maybe it is better as a"blackboard" style image?
The colours are a bit dull, I thought primary colours would make it feel friendly
 I like the mad colours I get when I go for a negative image
 but I want the viewer to be more interested in the actual anaesthetic machine and I think the bright pink and blue draw your attention to the monitor and scavenge, I'm not even sure I want to include the scavenge but I think it provides some balance to the layout.
 I tried swapping them but this is just dull
However I can't cope with the yellow oxygen cylinder, in real life, for safety reasons they are always colour coded black or white so I had to change that

Friday, 2 May 2014

Exercise - Judging a book by it's cover Part 2

I had some ideas for different backgrounds.

Firstly an American flag;

 It doesn't lend itself well to much writing on the back of the cover
does this background count as an illustration?
I also thought I could use a modified version of a map of America as the background and tried some experiments with pastel and Paintshop

I think, to make the lettering stand out these become a bit washed out. I tried a negative version
It's more striking but it looks a bit odd. I don't think the idea is good enough to spend the time fiddling with the colours.

I tried a  watercolour map
This one's too wishy washy
These are better. I like the second one best but the dark splodge gets in the way of the blurb so I went with the top one to give
 With the colourful background you don't need the image of the motorcyclist.
I think this would be attractive enough to get potential buyers to stop and pick it up.