Inspirational Concept Techniques!

Here is some very different concept inspiration but pull from it what you like. Some address the icon, image, and word together and some just reference the icon and image. Either way I believe that concepts are very strong and evoke other meanings than the icon can not do alone. I also tried to find inspiration using different techniques, as you'll find out they vary from drawings, to photos, to paint, to whatever.


Placard Image Concepts


Concept, Formal Exploration, Element Composition:

Final Image Concept:
So I decided to go with one concept that was much stronger than any of the rest of my concepts. Mainly because of how long my thought process was for it and the amount of attention it will need to be pulled off in a successful manner.
My inspiration originally derived from the work of Chris Jordan and his series of photography titled Intolerable Beauty. Here Jordan accumulates information on the levels of consumption and exposes them to his audience, us, in the form of a collage. What drives him to do these extraordinary pieces is what seems to be so interesting to me, The Information on our consumption levels which he states, "can be desolate, macabre, oddly comical and ironic, and even darkly beautiful. For me, I feel there was a direct connection in that since the beginning my theme didn't speak directly to beauty but it was my goal to find it.

Iron - Clothing
Frying Pan - Food
Plunger - Toiletries

My objective is to take the object that each of my icons affect the most and to create 3 separate 3-D renderings of those objects based on each year that the icon has been existing. I chose to represent each year with two objects. For example, hypothetically, if the frying pan has been existing for 94 years, I would make a collage using 188 pieces of food linked together to create a larger pile of food (94 x 2 = 188). With photography and icon placement I will explore relative scale amongst the three piles as well as relationship to the size of my icons.

Patterning Ideas:
Iron - Clothing
-Pair of socks every decade
-Pair of undies every 50 years
-Shirt and Pants every other year

Frying Pan - Food
-Fish every decade
-Steak every 50 years
-Eggs and Pancakes every other year

Plunger- Toiletries
-Paper towel every decade (distinguished from toilet paper by visual pattern and texture)
-? every 50 years
-Two different colored toilet papers for every other year

I also plan on implementing experimentation with xeroxing the objects, using full color to create some patterning and using various materials to actually build these things such as toothpicks to create to structure support.
Images of process will come shortly!


Top 3 Image Concepts so Far:
1. Showing the effects of time through an abstract representation of the physical marks and tears that my objects obtain over time. Using various mark making tools and materials to show scratches for the pan, tears for the bear, and burns for the iron.
2. Showing members of the family who would interact most with the objects. A mother in her apron for the pan, a man in his suit for the iron, and a young child for the bear.
3. Showing the objects that my objects affect in a mass collage. Using cut-outs of: clothing for iron, food for pan, crap for plunger

The objective for this assignment is to effectively combine three of our icons with type and image to create great form through the experimentation of using hierarchy, elements of color, image, and various processes. phew!


Project 3 Statement

From this project, the greatest thing I learned was how important it is to know your content and be able to apply different design devices to it in order to make your content stronger, not weaker. A lot of the time I tended to bring in stylistic elements that didn't really relate to my content but were visually what I wanted to include. Before I tried adding in things like animations and at times I completely forgot about my content and how it was supposed to speak to household object that were shabby yet antiqued.
I also realized how important it was to work on both the magazine spreads and the info graphic simultaneously because you want them to feel whole and not separate with each other. I specifically focused on relating my image content throughout and using color to denote importance.


Magazine Spreads

Finally, after weeks and weeks of countless revisions, editing, and nit picking, it's almost over. Here's what I have come to.
Any final suggestions?


Hand to Digital Translation


I made some color alterations and a change of names. Since the title of my Article is Shabby Relics I thought to introduce a new title for my info graph that spoke to the idea of age-old objects. I came up with the title Take Care to emphasize the evolution of my icons and how easily they can be worn or forgotten .

Critique Suggestions from Laura and Jamie:

Lighten the brown background
Scale the collaged images up a bit
Multiply the colored bars to show where they overlap
Make the dates inside of the text box larger and scale the icons up
Continue the colored bars over into the time line to create a nice pattern
Scale the title of my info graph to the size of my sub-heads in my article
Incorporate another sub-head on the second page of my article
Rework the scaling of my pull-quote
Take "Key" out

Major Editing:

So I rearranged my info graphic and added some new elements to it.
I decided to show the collages directly on the background instead of the circles because of how distracting they were. Also, I made my time line accurate, keeping the intervals evenly spaced while varying the lines connecting to it. I also reworked the boxes surrounding my text and images containing them in clumps for easier understanding since I have varying angled lines.

Some elements kept were my color selection , only brightening for legibility, and my centralized time line allowing better space management.

Quick Question, Should I incorporate the name of each room, could i make the images clearer by adding more imagery?

Some process thoughts:

This idea, which was leading more towards a playful effect, was to show different ways to extend the life of your household appliances. I decided not to go with this idea because it simply did not match the overall tone I was going for. It became too comical and competed with the set of icons I had already established.

A great idea though. Maybe I will consider exploring this some other time later.

First Draft of Infographic Spread:

The Evolution of my Time Line:

Finally, I came up with the solutions of leaving a space between each row of information, allowing free space for my icon evolutions, as well as using lines to link each fact with each date. Yay, a simple solution alongside some technical adjustments for a quicker and easier read.

*side note: still working on the clarity of my icon evolutions for easier comprehension, specifically speaking to the phone and the bear

So I flipped it vertical and tried using both sides of my time line while not overlapping areas of color. Although I became satisfied with the vertical structure, now I had developed a new problem in that I hadn't considered space for the icons I was going to include, as well as not being able to link the text directly with the dates.

So I started off with a time line that was a bit confusing and a bit fussy as well. I had problems with the overlapping of certain areas that had no meaning, but because this is an infographic time line there is no place for "no meaning."

Things to think about and keep in mind:

1. Emphasize more on the collage aspect of my infograph. Lose the hard-lines as they don't fit in well with the content.
2. With the time-line, try working outwards from a central view point for a more dynamic and readable composition.
3. Find a better way to integrate my imagery with the time-line. Maybe picking a specific time period for each icon and depicting that entire room setting would be better. Work on the hierarchy of each section of info, giving one more dominance than the other.
4. Work on the framing of sections and other technical mistakes of the infograph.
5. Continue rapid development of icons. Maybe they work best without the frame? Is there any other way to show the between stages of each transformation without introducing more icons.



Some Infographic Inspiration

Check this Out!

I was flipping through some of my art magazines and thought this article was pretty cool. The title pretty much says it all, and the actual information graphic by Tyler Lang is amazing. This article gave a really good insight on the impact of graphic design and really broadened my knowledge on how many design based jobs are really out there and how many jobs offers one can receive through good process development and the encouragement of some teachers. I really like that Mimi Zeiger, author, included some of his process thoughts which I closely related to how I went about mine.

Just thought I'd post a bit of inspiration, ENJOY!


Informative Timeline

More, More, More Evolution of Icons:

In the process of evolving my icons I realized that as I made them simpler the subject matter became clearer. Because of the addition of my newest sets, (one's without wear & tear and leading up too), some of the flaws in my earlier decision making became more apparent. In the beginning I was focusing too much on the actual object than on the physical wear & tear . Because of that, I created more problems for myself than necessary in the long run. Although I've found a "happy place" with this New Evolution of my icons, I plan on revisiting the previous ones to elaborate more on the subject of the wear & tear, seeing that, bringing out those features was my initial purpose.

Since I chose time as my research angle, I decided that a visual Time Line would work best to show the wear and tear of my objects. Here are the extremities of each icon (icons on the left show each item before it was manipulated, and after on the right). Although the actual style and form of the objects aren't changing over time, progressively the static objects gain physical features relating to the nature of the objects' environments and how their surfaces are affected.

Is this effective so far?

Infographic Research Information

Final Hand-Rendered Infograph:

Some close-ups:

"Mind-Mapping it out," was the primary focus during this stage of the process. The goal was to bring out viable information, pertinent to the topic of your choice whether it be through Time, Location, or Comparison, was the key.

Updated Physical Process: