Information is BeautifulPosted: January 12, 2016
First day back, after a really nice Christmas break, and we’re jumping straight into our second field option. It feels a little odd being back in Cardiff after a few weeks at home, but I’m happy to be back with everyone and eager to start doing some work again.
So, this term’s field for me is Information is Beautiful. Our new tutor, David, started off the day with a presentation, taking us through what information design was and showed us some really nice examples of pieces of work. These pieces were all really interesting, beautiful and pretty unique, which was really good to see because I’ve never been a fan of the far too common, really generic infographic posters which are plastered all over sites like Pinterest.
One piece of work that really caught my eye was Atlas by Joost Grootens. “The Metropolitan World Atlas documents a total of 101 metropolises and analyses them through a combination of same-scale ground plans and statistics, with categories ranging from population density to data traffic to air pollution.” (Taken from Grootens’ website: www.grootens.nl) Basically, it shows statistics from around the world, but it does is in a beautiful way and keeps the scale the same size throughout and keeps each country in the same position throughout the book. I love this! The attention to detail and accuracy in this is fantastic.
Another piece of work that caught my eye was I Hate Mosquitos / Dream / Sleep by Christoph Riemann. I really like the playfulness of these and I think it’s cool that they’re about his own life and all have an element of humour in both the information and the way they’ve been made.
After the presentation, the class did the the first data task. For this we all had to answer 7 first date questions. The answers for these questions would then become our data and, as groups of 3, we had to develop a visual system to organise and display the data. The questions were:
1/ If you had to be stuck in a lift with somebody, who would that be?
2/ What is your favourite book/publication?
3/ If you had to listen to one song on repeat, what would it be?
4/ When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
5/ What is your Guilty Pleasure?
6/ Who inspires you?
7/ If you won the lottery, what is the first thing that you would buy?
I was with Seb and Callum for this and we had question 3 to work with. We produced this poster as our visual system.
We broke our data up in 4 different ways: genres, decades the songs were released in, alphabetical order and how many were solo males, solo females and groups. Because we were working with music, we decided to display the information using a sound wave (looking) graph. We liked the look of the 4 graphs overlapping, so our plan was to break down the big graph into the 4 separate categories and have the information on these so the poster was less cluttered and the information was easier to read/understand.
I think we were all pretty happy with the look of this and didn’t realise this was just a short exercise, so we were a bit disappointed when we realised we wouldn’t be carrying on with this.