Mapping the brands we love – Store Locator Guides

For Project 2, students created a store locator map for their selected brand. Check out some of the gorgeous specimens originating from our section of Design 4!

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Anatomy of an Infographic

While designing infographics over the course of the semester, we must remember that our infographics should always include the following:

  • Headline (Name your infographic)
  • Paragraph of text that explains what the infographic is about
  • References/footnotes giving credit to all sources
  • Pictograms
  • Strong visual hierarchy
  • The Grid System
  • All charts should have titles so it’s clear what data is represented
  • Labeled X and Y axis on all charts and graphs
  • Labeled pies on pie charts
  • Cohesive color palette used throughout
  • Clear typefaces, limited to 2-3 max per infographic composition

Making Maps in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator

I’ve scoured the internet looking for helpful (and easy) map making tutorials.
Check out these 3 great sites:

Check out Spoon Graphic‘s fantastic tutorial on making road maps with Adobe Illustrator.  They make it look so easy!  Their trick is creating individual brushes for each type of road.  This is a real time saver.

Designer Freelance‘s tutorial takes a more manual approach.  Their map design includes a hint of terrain, so it’s a bit less abstract/stylized and a tad more labor intensive.  They rely heavily on the use of layers in Adobe Illustrator.

While the maps we are making in class are grounded in reality, we can still learn from the world of fantasy map making.  Over at Virtual Verduria, they are using Adobe Photoshop to create maps.  Their demo for making topographical mountains is particularly helpful, and the image that shows the five Photoshop layers as separate components clearly demonstrates how Photoshop layers work together.  It’s a great example.

(Repost from d4 2011)

Brainstorming: Mapping Your Thoughts With A Mind Map

In class last week we discussed making Mind Maps as a brainstorming tool.  I stumbled on this primer on LiteMind that will refresh you if you’re still having trouble wrapping your brain around making a Mind Map.

How to Draw a Mind Map

Drawing a mind map is as simple as 1-2-3:

  • Start in the middle of a blank page, writing or drawing the idea you intend to develop. I would suggest that you use the page in landscape orientation.
  • Develop the related subtopics around this central topic, connecting each of them to the center with a line.
  • Repeat the same process for the subtopics, generating lower-level subtopics as you see fit, connecting each of those to the corresponding subtopic.

Some more recommendations:

  • Use colors, drawings and symbols copiously. Be as visual as you can, and your brain will thank you. I’ve met many people who don’t even try, with the excuse they’re “not artists”. Don’t let that keep you from trying it out!.
  • Keep the topics labels as short as possible, keeping them to a single word – or, better yet, to only a picture. Especially in your first mind maps, the temptation to write a complete phrase is enormous, but always look for opportunities to shorten it to a single word or figure – your mind map will be much more effective that way.
  • Vary text size, color and alignment. Vary the thickness and length of the lines. Provide as many visual cues as you can to emphasize important points. Every little bit helps engaging your brain.

Understanding Plastic…Through Infographics

According to theplastiki.com:

  • It is estimated that almost all of the marine pollution in the world is comprised of plastic materials. The average proportion varied between 60% and 80% of total marine pollution.
  • In many regions in the northern and southern Gyres, plastic materials constitute as much as 90 to 95% of the total amount of marine debris.
  • Scientists estimate that every year at least 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die when they entangle themselves in plastic pollution or ingest it.
  • According to Project Aware, 15 billion pounds of plastic are produces in the U.S. every year, and only 1 billion pounds are recycled. It is estimated that in excess of 38 billion plastic bottles and 25 million Styrofoam cups end up in landfill and although plastic bottles are 100% recyclable, on average only 20% are actually recycled.

The Plastiki has created some great infographs to further illustrate the perils of plastic:


Making Maps in Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop

Check out Spoon Graphic‘s fantastic tutorial on making road maps with Adobe Illustrator.  They make it look so easy!  Their trick is creating individual brushes for each type of road.  This is a real time saver.

Designer Freelance‘s tutorial takes a more manual approach.  Their map design includes a hint of terrain, so it’s a bit less abstract/stylized and a tad more labor intensive.  They rely heavily on the use of layers in Adobe Illustrator.

While the maps we are making in class are grounded in reality, we can still learn from the world of fantasy map making.  Over at Virtual Verduria, they are using Adobe Photoshop to create maps.  Their demo for making topographical mountains is particularly helpful, and the image that shows the five Photoshop layers as separate components clearly demonstrates how Photoshop layers work together.  It’s a great example.

2010 Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

From the NY Times.  Clearly inspired by ISOTYPE drawings of soldiers.

Where does your productivity go?

The Bermuda Triangle of Productivity…

Mapping Profanity on Twitter

A heat map is a graphical representation of data where the different values are represented as colors.

1.5 million Tweets were tracked and distilled down to the cities with the cleanest and naughtiest Tweets.  It looks like it’s the dirty south, after all!  San Francisco and Cleveland have potty mouths, too.

(In this case, the brightest spots represent the cities that swear the most.)