In Profile One The Infographics Gentlemen Cairo talks about John Grimwade who is a graphics director of Conde Nast Traveler Magazine and a personal inspiration. He mentions Grimwade as being “a true gentleman, one those professionals who are always willing to help rookies”. Cairo covers Grimwade’s design background and personal experiences in a series of interview questions. He started doing information graphics years before computers and therefore have developed simple principles. His main goal is to tell a clear story and have narrative through graphics. It is important to establish hierarchy and identify main components of the story early in the process. My favorite piece of his is “Medal Exchange” Conde Nast Portfolio 2008 because it immediately grabbed my interest and is a great example of how hierarchy is used in a clear and informative way. In addition to this Grimwade gives some great advice to students or people thinking about entering the field stating that it is a lot more challenging then it looks and how you need years of self-teaching and trial-error to master techniques and tools.
In Chapter 6: Visualizing for the Mind Cairo discusses visualization in terms of our brains and how we interpret images and processes things. I found it interesting that “the brain is much better at quickly detecting shade variations than shape differences“. Our brain is also a device that picks up on patterns, proximity, similarity continuity, and closure all of which are principles that help us to make our infographics more functional with organization, composition and layout. Choosing graphic forms based on how vision works is important while designing for numerous reasons. There are numerous approaches to visualization we can take while designing but this chapter helps us to understand how we as people differentiate in comparisons, values and other groups of information. This in turn helps me to understand what types of things to consider, knowing what my viewers will look at first, interpret and visually organize.
In the blog post reading How to Do Infographic Research talks about the four parts to a successful infographic. The research forms the foundation, next comes finding sources, then referencing sources and finally structuring your results.
Linked image in relation to reading:
I chose this link because it visually displays the elements discussed in the reading that allow it’s viewer to clearly organize information with use of color, hierarchy, shapes, and size.
Hotlinked example of excellent data visualization: