GDF – S2 – 2011

Conduct research / Evaluate the nature of design in a specific industry context

Month: August, 2011

Information can be beautiful

by Mike Svoboda

The visual imagery in information design can be beautiful to the eye. The examples and designers shown here, in my opinion captivate and lure me in to the data and information.

New York Times Movie Revenue Graph [Edward Tufte]

The Ebb and Flow of Movies is an interesting graphic with a lot of detailed information, inspired by a seismogram reading, it gives a beautiful earthly feel plotting something boring such as revenue.



Timelines [David McCandless]

This timeline with a sense of space represents all the time travel plots from TV and film. Squeezing everything into neat and uniform paths. Instead, curvy and chaotic lines took over as the trajectories of time, with colour representing the method of time travel. The visualizations show that you don’t have to use a traditional straight-X-Y-axis graph to create a picture that makes sense.



Eigenfactor [Moritz Stefaner]

A new aesthetics of data visualization is emerging. The universal image of the tree has transformed from a natural form that was used as a mythical image, to a visual metaphor, a symbol, a dynamic organizing structure for information, and finally, an algorithm that generates lifelike trees in virtual space.

Human Trafficking [Taulant Bushi]

A striking poster which examines global human trafficking. It depicts each country’s level of involvement (from Very High to Very Low) as either a country of destination or origin. While this poster is aimed to be aesthetically pleasing, its primary purpose is to display information clearly. All research data came from sources such as the UN and a few other organizations that maintain databases of numbers regarding abuse towards women and children. The project concentrates on the smuggling of people from one country to another – mainly illegally. In many cases these people are forced to do work that is illegal, such as prostitution or child labour. All of the text on either side of the circular design covers detailed information made available for each country. The idea of the poster is that the closer the viewer gets to it, more detailed information is revealed, such as numbers of children of a specific country being involved in



­­­­­Crayola Century [Stephen Van Morley]

Crayola’s crayon chronology tracks their standard box, from its humble eight color beginnings in 1903 to the present day’s 120. By the year 2050, there’ll be 330 different crayons

David McCandless, Infographics Genius ~ Will

by blkthread


Award winning writer, designer, author, David McCandless is taking infographics and putting it on the worlds graphic design stage as a highly respectable form of design. At first glance Davids’ work is clean, bold, bright, colourful and balanced, graphically well refined and aesthetically pleasing. When traditionally graphs and grids bring to mind textbooks or business reports, landing your eyes on something that looks like a piece of modern art (David never studied graphic design) its a breath of fresh air, it creates intrigue and draws you in like a window in a classroom.

David touches on issues from climate change to drugs to politics and time travel in tv and movies. On his website, Information is Beautiful…  , he touches on a broad range of topics some important some maybe not but either way you find yourself reading through it, learning though remaining entertained through well chosen words and of course the graphic layout and design. The layout designs bring fresh new ways of ordering importance of information, keeping things in proportion and perspective, revealing an underlining story or pattern. Its graphic design meets information design to create a informative visual tool.
For me this is graphic design for a difference at its best, its design allows important information to quickly and easily processed for the average Jo. In this day and age information and statistics are such a powerful tool, this proves with good design it can be used for good on a mass scale.

Amazing Infographics for Health Conscious People

by ilebrinsmead

Initially, I wanted to show you some alternative medicine and healing practices by way of infographics but unfoturnately, I could not find any interesting information in the web. Hence, you may be curious about Infographics on weight loss and other health issues.

Infograpics on weight loss

Generally, people do not really know the calorie intake and outtake that is contained in food and how hard it is to work out to get rid of extra energy.  So this chart below helps you to decide when to stop weight sneak up on you.

While the chart looks visually appealing, I find the comparisons only useful for people who eat what I consider junk food – Big Macs, fries, chocolate chip cookies, but not for other sensible food items.

Also this infographics may be more useful using  bar charts to show calorie intake and calorie outtake by the type and hours of exercise, instead of graphing minutes to burn off.

Facts about smoking

How about looking at the essential facts on this legal, yet dangerous acitivity: Smoking in numbers of people smoking versus deaths.

This infographic seems to show smoking causes more deaths than alcohol, car accidents, suicides, AIDS, homicides and illegal drugs  in the US.

Disease Fatality Rates

How about case fatality rates for popularly known diseases? Very interesting to note that Aids, an untreated disease ranks the highest and the common seasonal flu ranks the lowest….Beware!

Dietary Supplements Effectiveness

Truths about dietary supplements are usually obscured by marketing hypes and finding the truth about research can be time consuming.

Consider the figures in this infographics with a grain of salt. The numbers may be incorrect, and some of them are definitely open to interpretation.

Calorie Intake Outtake

Facts about Smoking

World Health

Disease Case Fatality Rates

Effectiveness of Dietary Supplements

Golden Section Graphics

by mishydee

Michelle Davies

Above: September 11 – In the four attacks, a total of 2996 people lost their lives, including 19 terrorists. This infographics give an insight into the knowledge that was gained over the last ten years about these events.

Golden Section Graphics was founded in January 2007 by Jan Schwochow, who has more than 20 years of experience as infographics artist, designer and journalist. He was head of department and the art director of the infographics department at Stern magazine, and art director for information graphics in the graphic development of the publisher Milchstraße. He also established the infographic department for the Agency Kircher Burkhardt in Berlin, which he led for  two years. He has been honored 28 times at the Malofiej Awards in Spain, the annual international infographics awards. In Germany he has won five awards, including a silver medal of the ADC and the first prize at the dpa Infographics Award 2008.

Above: About the German forests

The infographics by Jan Schwochow and his team also enjoy great popularity in corporate publishing. A total of 22 winners of the Best of Corporate Publishing Awards include information graphics created by him at Kircher Burkhardt and Golden Section Graphics. Jan Schwochow is a member of the Art Directors Club Germany e.V. and the Society for News Design.

The agency  specialises in the  transfer and designing of information, using designers, technical writers,  journalists, graphics artists, illlustrator and programmers.

Above: Ingraphics is a visual magazine full on infographics. The magazine is published twice a year and is produced by Golden Section Graphics.

The agency writes: “It is the duty of infographics to depict circumstances that are difficult to understand in a way that the viewer can easily get a clear picture of complex structures, spacial connections, stages of a process, developments, effects and contexts.”

The company covers an extensive range of works – Charts and diagrams, graphs, maps, illustrations, 3D visualisations, 3D animation, interactive applications, corporate infographics and style guides, PR infographics, orientation systems, user manuals, eLearning,  data visualisation, apps and interface design, classic graphics and web design, editorial work, consulting.

Below: A large infographic for the politics section of German weekly newspaper Die ZEIT. On the upper part of the page it shows news topics that were hyped and shock topics on the lower part. In the middle, there’s a timeline from beginning of 2010 until March of 2011 where all topics meet.

I  like the company’s ability to get a lot of information into a form that makes you want to read it, and enjoy reading it. A lot of their work is in German, but the visual component makes it easier to understand the information even if you can’t read the words. The Infographics magazine looks very interesting and would be great to get a copy of. Can see that growing in popularity.


Cool Infographics Blog

Infographics Magazine

Golden Section Graphics

Visual Journalism – Malofiej Awards

Channel Rebranding – It’s a badge of honour’.

by justinebarratt

ABC 1   &   ABC 2

Digital Pictures was awarded this significant branding project based on their design ability to demonstrate how they would differentiate the brands in an ever-increasing multi-channel environment – a key component of the brief. ABC1 being the place for high-quality, trusted content and ABC2 being home to quirky content for younger viewers.

This project was made more challenging and interesting given the brief to retain existing viewers and to engage with a younger working family demographic whilst retaining the image of ABC as a destination for ‘truth’ and ‘credibility’. The ABC is also positioning ABC1 as the home of intelligent entertainment. Our “Think Entertainment” tagline conveys both these ideas in a sophisticated and visually exciting way’.

As usual with the ABC,  little time, not much money and loads of ambition.

Digital Pictures created six network idents for ABC1 that incorporated live-action narrative, 3D animation and visual effects. In these idents 3D animated photo-real ‘thought bubbles’ emit from the minds of different characters, bursting with playful graphic images reflecting the breadth and excitement of the network’s content.
Finn Spencer adds: ‘This wasn’t just another job. We were passionate about delivering quality design that was visually compelling. Every good motion designer in Australia aspires to work on a network rebrand as prestigious as the ABC, at some stage of their career. It’s a badge of honour’.

From a branding perspective, the design team reworked the ABC typeface logo to compliment the ABC News logo. The design team created a new font for the numbers 1 and 2, and the ABC1 logo was updated with a new colour palette of aqua and burnt orange, colours that represent the Australian landscape.

The new Branding looks contemporary and aspirational, ABC1 has blue heritage, and its new look has a credibility clean vibrancy, I love the new colour palette especially the ABC two pink and olive green.

View the channel IDs at

Infographics: real info or power tool?

by Helene

Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual of information, data or knowledge  about a specific subject or combining related subjects. The idea is to represent complex information in a quick and clear manner, with the purpose of being available for comprehension whatever the cultural or educational background.

Leonardo da Vinci may have been an infographer genius!

Also in 1972 the Pioneer Plaque was launched into space with the Pioneer 10 probe. Inscribed into the plaque was an information graphic intended as a kind of interspace “message in a bottle”  designed by Carl Sagan and Frank Drake.  That was to communicate with other forms of life in the universe!

Infographics includes information such as in signs, maps, journalism, technical writing and education. Here for instance, like in most large cities, the complicated network of the Washington underground is simplified as was the London underground map. People visually know where’s the location of something by recalling to mind the underground map.

With an information graphic, computer scientists, mathematicians, and statisticians develop and communicate concepts using a single symbol to process information to make it a lot easier to “digest”.

As the increase in constant information with TV and radio channels surrounds us, giving us up to date information about every thing that happens in the world, instantly, simplifying this enormous amount of information is crucial.
Infographics are becoming a great way for all kinds of businesses to pass on information on interactive screens and bring in more people to visit.

The advent of smartphones makes information spread immediately over mobile networks. Personalizing interests allows for information such as sports, market shares, interest rates, payments due, GPS location of friends or favorite shops in the vicinity of your current location on the screen of your mobile phone, whether you are in Timbuktu, Mali, Sydney Australia or Santiago Chile.

Information has become power. With this bombarding of information, data visualization has the power to change the world by changing our habits, our laws, our business strategies and what we understand about the world around us.  How we understand   data forms the foundation of how we make choices, form opinions, and at least one study claims that up to 80% of the human brain is wired just to interpret and remember visual data.

It can make you enjoy something you really didn’t like but its visual representation suddenly makes it accessible. I really cannot stand the Tour de France, but this picture makes it almost interesting…


To sum it up, data visualization makes things easier to understand.  It puts data into context and allows the viewer to see large data sets summarized in a much smaller space.  However, it can also summarize to a point where information can be misinterpreted by the viewer taking away its context and details to be included. The more you simplify the easier it becomes to understand, but also, the less you need to explain.  Another powerful tool for misinformation.

Online Schools – Infographic’s – Brett

by johndoedesigns

Online Schools is a premier portal for online education on the web. Their goal is not to revolutionize the concept of education, but rather to help bring people into the 21st century in terms of the way they perceive learning. In today’s Internet age, education is now about infographics, blogs, e-books, web articles, youtube, wikipedia etc.

Online Schools strive to revolutionize the way people think about and approach education providing honest, up-to-date and readily available info.

Online Schools has different topics with infographics such as – Business and finance, Education, Engineering, law and criminal justice, Technology and internet, Science and many more! The subjects are broken up into how the information is given for example if you learn better with infographics you would go to the information that has GRAPIC under the topic this is an infographic, other ways of learning are TOP BLOGS, WHAT IS, ARTICLE ect.

There is a wide verity of inforgaphic topics some more serious than others topics include –

Obsessed with Facebook

Things you didn’t know about YouTube

The evolution of video games

Marvel Comics


And more serious topics such as –

Is online learning for me?

Student Debt

What degree should you get

Personally I find infographics a great way of learning information that may spark your interest but maybe not enough to sit and spend hours of time researching it. I think Seeing the interesting facts broken down into easy to read style with fun graphics and graphs is a much easier way to absorb information.

Patrick Clair – Infographics

by antisocialskateboards

First gaining experience in the creative industry by donating his time as a runner on film shoots in Brisbane, over time Clair gravitated toward the post-production side of things and started working as a designer, editor, writer – and taking whatever work he could find really. After a few stints working for production companies, Clair headed south to Sydney to study motion design at AFTRS (Australian Film Television and Radio School), an experience that formed the basis for the many great things to come.

After graduating from AFTRS, Clair scored a job with MTV Australia, where he was encouraged to push himself to make work that was creative and original.

Specifically, it’s information graphics that Clair really enjoys and excels in – design that makes people think, and, regardless of whether it’s a documentary or news story, he finds it most satisfying to work on pieces that are about sharing information and telling a story.

 “Motion design can be a great medium to have fun with. The technology is changing so fast that new techniques become possible all the time. You can use motion design to mash together pretty much any other medium, and I’m really passionate about innovation and finding new ways to create visuals. Motion design lets you do that.”

It wasn’t long before Clair started working for the ABC’s The Chaser, which he describes as a ‘wild ride’. Being a satirical current affairs style program, the jokes had to be up-to-the minute, which meant that most of the graphics for the show were made the day the program went to air.

 “It can be really exciting starting a sequence from scratch when you know it’s going to be in people’s living rooms in just a few hours,” says Clair. “At first it just scared the hell out of me, but now I find it kind of addictive, working through the panic of it all.”

CLEA – POST 3/4: Infographics & Data Visualisation

by clea1g

We will start off this new topic looking at an old favourite of mine: Harry Beck’s diagram of the 7+ lines of the London Underground, although geographically inaccurate, provides a coherent overview of a complex system. With excellent color printing, classic British railroad typography (by Edward Johnson), and, in the modern style, only horizontal, vertical, and 45 degree lines, the map became a beautiful organizing image of London. For apparently quite a number of people, the map organized London (rather than London organizing the map). Despite 70 years of revision due to extensions of the Underground and bureaucratic tinkering (the marketing department wrecked the map for several years), the map nicely survives to this day.

The BBC documentary The London Underground Map (from the series Design Classics) is an oldie but well worth watching.

Then we will take a look at Edward Tufte, regarded as a guru in this field. Tufte has written several books and lectures frequently on how to effectively present data and information. He essentially advocates a “keep it simple” approach, arguing that jazzy colors and designs distract from important information.

A Yale University professor of political science and computer science, Tufte is widely respected in the design community for his work on infographics. He was recently recruited by the  Obama administration to advise stimulus board officials on how to better explain the complexities of the economic stimulus to the general public.

David McCandless makes infographics — simple, elegant ways to see information that might be too complex or too big, small, abstract or scattered to otherwise be grasped. He discusses his ideas in a recent Ted talk.

In his new book, Information Is Beautiful (in the US, it’s being called The Visual Miscellaneum), McCandless and his cadre of info designers take a spin through the world of visualized data, from hard stats on politics and climate to daffy but no less important trends in pop music. Most of this info is available on his blog.

McCandless’ genius is not so much in finding jazzy new ways to show data — the actual graphics aren’t the real innovation here — as in finding fresh ways to combine datasets to let them ping and prod each other.

Closer to home is Patrick Clair who may be familiar to many of you through the brilliant motion infographics he creates for Hungry Beast on the ABC. Take the time to check out his work.

The Spanish design group La Mosca (Scott Dadich/Wired mentioned them in his talk) produce some very beautiful work. The image above was designed for La Vanguardia newspaper as a regular feature called Data.

A few more sites to find info on this topic are Smashing Magazine where there many more fascinating examples. (Not to mention a zillion other interesting things to distract you…) There is some great stuff too at the aptly named Cool Infographics.

What are the current design trends in the area of Infographics and Data Visualisation? Find an aspect of this topic that is of interest to you and share your findings.  This post due 7/9 at the end of class… thank-you!

Rebranding of Mr.Swirl by Will

by blkthread

Mr. Swirl is a well established plumbing and services business in Vancouver which have been operating for over 20 years. Competing amongst a competitive industry all seeking the same audience, Mr.Swirl needed a new look and competitive edge. the design agency Cossette – were brought on board to create a fresh new approach.

I had no previous knowledge of Mr.Swirl (really?!), but the graphic transformation really captured my eye. I also like the idea of taking graphic design and applying it to areas where design and aesthetics are not usually considered to be important such as a plumbing business, i think as graphic designers its our duty to make everything look good down to all corners of the world we live in. In this case they have gone for a quality and friendly look to their designs like something from an early era where quality and heart were what was important.

The new designs (below) use a visual language of simple bold shapes and borders, creating a friendly and professional look and feel, whilst incorporating a certain traditional style.

New Logo


Branding Illustration

The 3d designs continue with the simple bold look. I feel like the cleaning products package designs leave the products to speak for themselves, nothing too flashy just a simple good product.

Package Design

Brand Application

New Website

And this is what was before….

old logos

old website and coupons

Below is more product rebranding that i thought had a similar feel and thought process, using simple colours and shapes, refining the design down to a cleaner look.

Old packaging

New Packaging