FIRST SHAPES ON ILLUSTRATOR
I started on my basic layout by using the shapes tool and adjusting/distorting parts to create what I wanted. I originally wanted to put a spoon and fork on each side however realised this would not work in the space I had available. I downloaded a font from fontsquirrel.com called ‘Carrington’ as I feel like it fits the ‘recipe’ type of look and is elegant yet legible. I decided with just using the word ‘Pancakes!’ as I feel as though ‘How To Make Pancakes’ would have been too long and it is obvious with the rest of the image (when it’s done) that it will be how to make them. I then went on to create the stack of 7 pancakes for each step. I did this by placing an image of the pancake stack I got from flickr.com and used this as a guide. I used the pen tool to go around each pancake and rounded the edges. I made each pancake a different colour to co-ordinate with each step. I am planning on making the images for each step in the same colouring as the step it goes with. I am still playing around with the idea of taking out the rectangles on each side but I want to see how the step-by-step images will look with and without it first before I decide.
Once I had completed the pancake stack and the toppings I added in tiny indicator lines just in case it is not clear which step goes to what pancake. With the colour scheme, the basic colours I ideally want to keep with the shades of yellow/browns (as these are the colours of pancakes) and with white/black. I do not want to make it too complicated with extra colours. I did try a few different coloured background base colours, however I ended up keeping with the grey (only slightly lighter) just to make the baker’s hat, plate and pancake stack really ‘pop’ and contrast well.
I have also just completed the smaller infographic by using two of the stack of pancakes, the toppings and just simply ‘Pancakes!’ in the same font. I used the ‘type on a path’ tool to make the title curve in a similar way to the pancake’s edge.
I think both of these examples are very effective at presenting information. They are a great inspiration to what I’m trying to achieve.
The use of similar shades and complimentary colours really makes these infographics ‘pop’ and instantly attracts the viewer.
I definitely think that these examples have done well in creating a focus with the pyramid and circle/world shapes. This shows the viewer what the infographic is about. These are well balanced with the more in depth smaller statistics on the right hand side of the graphics. The composition and whitespace has been used well to not clutter the overall infographic.
There is not much type however each aspect is communicated in a way that people will understand what the statistics mean. There also may be a key to go with these infographics to match up the colourings of the images. This is an idea that I may use; colour coding my pancakes to certain steps on the side for example. I feel like it could make what I’m wanting to achieve easier as fitting the image INSIDE each pancake may make the images smaller and insignificant. I am still looking into this idea.
I also want to add that I like the illustration style in these infographics and would like to experiment with this once I start in illustrator and am done with all this planning!
I think that these infographics are both equally detailed and simplified so that it visually communicates it’s intended message with one look, yet in an interesting, unique way. This is something I aim to do with my inforgraphic.
Finding images on Flickr:
(…and I’ve decided on a layout)
So I have decided to use my THIRD layout idea to start off my infographic as it was the most popular and could really do well to effectively show this process as well as being visually appealing and unique.
To begin, I went onto Flickr in the ‘all creative commons’ section and found some images that might be helpful in completing my images for my infographic. I may use the following…
Typography is the use of text and typefaces. In an infographic it is important that this text aid the images and is used to help communicate the infographics message. Typography is everything from from digital type to calligraphy and uses whitespace around and through the letterforms to create a whole design. Headings in an infographic are handy to break up the data and make it easier to read and take in.
Due to the nature of infographics and the assignment brief I will want the attention and focus mainly on the images and not on the typography. The only typography that I will want to stand out will be the 3 headings: Pancakes, ingredients and method. I want these to be eye catching and fit the font of the subject well.
Four general type classifications
- “Sans serif and Serif are similar but with distinct finishing. Sans serif typeface is with composed simple lines while Serif has “extensions” to its finishing. Sans serif is best used for website and flat designs, creating serious and stable copy. Serif, on the other hand, is slightly fancy but produces strong and bold quality. This makes Serif typeface suitable for printing, i.e. newspapers and novels.”
- “Decorative typeface is a novelty face. This type creates various moods, but mostly classy and elegant quality. This type is good for branding in products packaging, labels, and posters.”
- “Script is cursive or handwriting type that are ornamented with flourishes. It’s stylish and elegant. Best use for classic ads and content, or even for wedding stationary. You will notice the fonts give off a soft and classic feel, yet intense and strong.”
Pairing fonts of the same class
To create contrasting typography yet still have unity within the infographic, pairing fonts and using fonts in a unique way can be a way to do this. Adding lower case with upper case lettering, bolding or using italics can create a difference with the same typeface. Also similar fonts that can pair well and create a difference that is not going to distract from the balance and unity of the overall infographic can work well.
“If you find using different typefaces for a piece of content not to your liking, you can pair fonts of the same typeface classifications. It gives a good contrast yet does not deviate far from its style.” (http://piktochart.com/infographics-design-series-design-your-infographic-like-a-pro/)
These are some very rough ideas of what I might start off with for my infographics layout…
In all of these ideas I would like to further develop how I show the measurements of the ingredients. Possibly place them in a specific order or way that is more interesting than just listing the measurements. I also want to point out that the squares indicating the steps will probably be larger in the actual, final infographic I do than in the following sketches.
1) This first idea I had was to create a visual in the centre and put the process around this visual. With the infographic being about how to make pancakes the obvious choice for the centre image was a stack of pancakes. This tells the viewer at a glance what the subject of the infographic is. I like this idea but would still have to develop it a bit more.
2) I used the same idea of the stack of pancakes in the centre, however placed the ingredients on the left side of the infographic and placing the steps slightly differently around the main image. I think if I were to go with this sort of layout it will need a lot of work and I don’t think the steps set out this way is as effective in showing a process. I may scratch this option when deciding upon a final layout.
3) In this idea I decided to base the whole process inside the image of the stack of pancakes. I want to make the baker’s hat much larger for the ingredients, though not as large as the pancake stack as I don’t want it to detract from the main message. I think there is an adequate use of whitespace but I’m still unsure exactly how to place the images for each step in each pancake. I will work on how to do this once I decide on what layout I will refine. I think this idea could work out nicely.
4) I followed a basic step-by-step layout in this idea, using the rule of thirds. I feel as though the ingredients are squashed up at the top and would definitely need to find another way to display this information if I were to use this layout as a starting point. Like the last idea I feel as though there is a good amount of whitespace used here however I don’t know whether the baker’s hat is the right main image compared to the stack of pancakes…
The way the infographic is put together is very important in conveying the intended information. Piktochart.com (http://piktochart.com/layout-cheat-sheet-making-the-best-out-of-visual-arrangement/ ) talks about how a well arranged layout and the use of whitespace is used to help create an effective and elegant infographic.
Whitespace is space that is essentially empty and ‘unmarked’. Whitespace matters because it allows for the image to complete without being overly crowded. It draws attention to certain parts of the infographic that need attention and keeps the graphic clean and simple.
(Source: http://piktochart.com/layout-cheat-sheet-making-the-best-out-of-visual-arrangement/ )
I would want to try and use whitespace to my advantage and would like to keep my infographic as clean and as legible as possible. I will do this by using just enough whitespace so that it looks balanced and neat. If I use too much whitespace it will look empty and boring. If I don’t use enough it will be too busy and distract the viewer from what needs to be communicated.
Creating one strong focal point in the infographic can really help the viewer identify what the infographic is about and is usually the largest image on the page. It is the image that pulls the viewer in.
I am thinking this strong image will be a stack of pancakes on a plate and will have the steps/information working with this main image.
Other useful things I stumbled across while researching:
-Three colour palette is easier on the eyes and could prove more effective
-Branch out from just using basic charts
-Give the most visual weight to the most important information, make it stand out more in the infographic
Selecting A Topic + Recipe:
After considering a few different ideas for what I will do this assignment on, for example “how grapes turn into wine” (which I found to be too complicated) and “how does recycling work” (which I found to be too simple) I have landed on the idea of “how to make pancakes” I feel as though this will offer plenty for visually communicating a process without the use of excessive amounts of text. In class I had asked my tutor for some feedback on this idea before I made a start and then went on to find a recipe.
This is the recipe I think I will use for my infographic assignment. Each of the steps has potential visually and at the end of the process also. I might add in an 8th step just saying something along the lines of “Enjoy with your favourite toppings!” therefore making the infographic more evenly balanced and also giving me an opportunity to show a finished -or a few finished pancakes.
The recipe is as follows:
In a medium-size mixing bowl or large glass measuring cup, whisk together your dry ingredients (or follow directions for premade pancake mix).
In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (milk, eggs, vegetable oil, or melted butter) until the egg is broken up (this will prevent overmixing in the next step).
Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir them together until you stop seeing flour. Remember to not overmix, which makes the batter tough. Keep a few lumps in your batter to keep the pancakes tender.
Turn your stove to medium-high heat and place a large skillet or griddle on the burner. To test for temperature, sprinkle a few drops of water on the pan. It’s hot enough when the droplets bubble up and evaporate.
Moisten a paper towel with vegetable oil and use it to lightly wipe the bottom of the pan. This will keep the pancakes from sticking.
For each pancake, gently pour 1/3 to 1/2 cup of batter into the pan, using a ladle or a measuring cup. Use a spoon to spread the batter into a circle. Add pancake fillings, like bananas or sliced peaches, in the circles of batter.
Once bubbles begin to pop in the pancake’s center, it’s ready to be turned. Insert the entire spatula under the pancake’s middle. Lift the pancake quickly about an inch off the pan’s surface and flip it over. If you’re making pancakes for a large crowd, place them on a wire rack over a baking sheet (to prevent sogginess), and keep pancakes in the oven on low heat (approximately 200 degrees F to 225 degrees F) until you’re ready to serve.”
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted or vegetable oil
Ingredients from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/good-old-fashioned-pancakes/