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!


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

London 2012 Olympic Pictograms

Check out the pictograms that will be used during the 2012 Olympics in London.  Can you identify each of the activities?  Are they easy to understand?  Do they meet the criteria required for an Olympic pictogram to be successful (as determined by Keith Bright and Associates, the designers who created the pictograms used at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics)?

Six criteria essential to a successful pictogram:

•Clear communication; pictograms, by themselves, should be recognizable by people of other nations.
•Consistency; the pictograms should be identifiable as a set, through uniform treatment of scale, style and subject.
•Legibility and practicality; they should be highly visible, easy to reproduce in any scale and in positive or negative form.
•Flexibility; the pictograms should not be dependent upon a border and should work equally well in a positive or negative form.
•Design distinction; the pictograms should avoid stylistic fads or a commercial appearance and should imply to a worldwide audience that Los Angeles has a sophisticated, creative culture.
•Compatibility; they should be attractive when used with their Los Angeles Olympic design elements and typestyles.
You can read more about pictograms at the 2012 Olympics here.
Take a look at the beautiful preliminary sketches below:

Olympic Pictograms Through The Ages

Great video from Steven Heller for the New York Times. It traces the use of pictograms at the Olympics. Check it out–which are your favorite??

Assignment 2: I BOUGHT WHAT?!

For their second assignment of the semester, D4 students had to create an infographic detailing the money they spent over the course of one week.  All student designs can be found on each individual student’s blog, filed under “Assignment 2.”  Some highlights are below.

Tracey Lin:

Dominique Romero:

Ray Chen:

Hannah Phang:

2010 Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

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

Star Wars Retold With Icons

Not sure when Star Wars was renamed Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

In any case, if you are already familiar with the movie, take a look at how easy it is to recognize each of the characters from their icons alone.  Each has been distilled down to their most basic shapes and forms, and all extraneous information has been removed.

If you are completely unfamiliar with the cast of characters, it would probably have been helpful if they included an icon legend (key).  Keep this in mind when you recreate the Twilight saga.  (Oops, did I forget to tell you that’s the final assignment in the class?  Kidding!)

Star Wars Icons

Click to see the entire movie…

Most Popular YouTube Videos, Iconified

How many of these do you recognize?


Click here to view a fantastic catalog of ISOTYPES designed by artist Gerd Arntz (1900-1988).

Per the website:

“We did our utmost to make Gerd Arntz’s work accessible for a large public, because it is part of our cultural heritage and we believe his work is of great importance for the world of contemporary visual communication.”


How and When to Use Pictograms

D4 CLASS:  Please click and read link if you still have questions about pictograms and Assignment 1. This post is a great down and dirty introduction to pictograms, what they are, how to use them, etc…

Click here for link!

“Pictogram-styled icons are all about peeling away layers of details until the simplest recognizable shape remains:”