Brief 2, Research 3: Typography

Getting the the style and aesthetic of the writing within my infographic right is essential for helping readers to understand the information that is being conveyed. The typeface, font or even the colour of the text can aid greatly in how information is perceived, understood and overall how the different aspects of the design fit well together together to form a harmonious aesthetic. I’ve come across three websites which offer guidelines for getting the typography of your project right. The information included is sourced from ‘smashingmagazine‘, ‘creativebloq‘ and ‘designschool‘.

  1. Creating a visual hierarchy is important to differentiate between the content in your project. Making sure to add main headings, sub-headings and body helps to understand the content and information being conveyed.
  2. Make sure to choose typefaces that are aligned with your content.
  3. Take advantage of type characters and symbols. If you are faced with a type character such as an ampersand then play around with it and try and make it a feature of your design instead of just a way to separate text.
  4. The easiest and simplest way to make something look elegant and sophisticated is to go small. Smaller typefaces help convey this style.
  5. Use leading, kerning and tracking to make sure that your text can be read and understood properly.
  6. Always keep legibility in mind when selecting typefaces – your information has to be able to be read by everybody.
  7. Don’t match your typefaces too much. Choose typefaces that compliment each other but remain unique enough that your design doesn’t look like it has inconsistencies.
  8. Create variety within your text by changing weight or size, rather than using too many different typefaces.

For my own infographic, I would like to use serif fonts as I feel as if they convey a sense of sophistication and sophistication is a concept that is often associated with cats. Within my infographic, I would like to place more focus on the images rather than the text and therefore a visual hierarchy may not be as important to conveying my information as maybe leading/kerning/tracking may be.

Brief 2, Research 2: Design Inspiration

Catfographic
 ‘Catfographic’
I really like the simplicity of this infographic – especially in terms of layout, colour and icon style. The layout is clear and concise, with bulk of the information toward the bottom of the infographic. I think having most of the information at the bottom is important for keeping the interest of your readers. If you have most of the information at the beginning your reader may lose interest trying to sift through an overload of text and images. I also think the colour palette of this infographic is very complementary, and the colours help to organise the information into different sections. The icon style is also very minimalist which integrates well with the design. From this infographic, I think what I might incorporate into my own is the layout of information.
‘The Healing Power of Cat Purrs’ by Gemma.
I think the visual style of this infographic really fits the topic. It has a very sophisticated and simplistic feel to it. I really like how red is used to highlight the headings of the various pieces of text – this also helps in the readability of the information being conveyed. I also like the fact that, even though this topic relates to cats, the main image of the infographic is a human body. However, the image of the cat is still quite strong and manages to draw your attention in. The neutral colour scheme of the background and the absence of patterns also helps the reader to focus in on the main images of the human and the cat.
‘Stealth Kitteh’
I really like this infographic and how it’s bold in using dark colours. The colours really help in conveying the topic/information convincingly. I also like how the cat is centered in the layout and the information is placed all around the icon of the cat. Like the previous two examples this infographic also uses colours to highlight different sections of information which helps with readability and comprehension for the viewer. I also like how the text information is separated using speech boxes. These speech boxes help in visually representing the information clearly, especially since the colour palette of this infographic very dark and almost monochromatic.

Work in Progress 2 – Information Flow

I think at this point in completion of the assignment, it is important to organise the various steps and bits of information that I will include in my infographic. I’ve just done a little flowchart in Photoshop putting the information into a logical process. The information in orange will be separate from the main explanation of the ‘cat righting reflex’ (and maybe I’ll add some extra cat facts but still not sure about that). This is still a work in progress and the flow of my information may change but it’s at least a starting point to help in organizing how to visually represent the information.

flowchart

Brief 2, Research 1 – ‘Cat Righting Reflex’

For this initial research post I will compile information regarding the ‘cat righting reflex’ which is the topic I intend to visually communicate in my infographic.

  1.  Cats have a unique ability to orient themselves in a fall, allowing them to avoid injuries. This is the result of a unique skeletal structure and a ‘righting’ reflex (Source 2).
  2. Cats maintain a highly tuned sense of balance and have very flexible backbones (they have more vertebrae than humans), this allows them to twist their bodies around to ‘right’ themselves when falling (known as the ‘righting reflex’) (Source 1).
  3. When a cat falls from a high place, it uses its sight or vestibular apparatus (a balance system located in the inner ear) to determine up from down – then the cat will rotate its upper body to face downward and its lower body will follow suit (Source 1).
  4. The ‘righting reflex’ is augmented by an unusually flexible backbone and the absence of a collarbone. When these two factors are combined it allows for amazing flexibility and upper body rotation. When the head and forefeet are turning, the rest of the body will naturally follow and the cat will be able to reorient itself (Source 2).
  5. Cats are said to have a non-fatal terminal velocity. That is, because of their very low body volume-to-weight ratio cats are able to slow their descent by spreading their bodies out – flying squirrel style (Source 2).
  6. The minimum height required for this to occur in most cats safely would be around 30 centimeters (Source 3).
  7. The ‘righting reflex’ can be observed with kittens as early as 3 – 4 weeks, and is eventually perfected once they reach the age of 6 – 7 weeks (Source 3).
  8. Cats can easily be distracted by things such as a bird or squirrel, causing them to lose their balance and not have enough time to ‘right’ themselves (Source 1).

Sources
Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

Work in Progress 1 – Info-graphic Idea

This week I have finally made a decision on a topic to do for my info-graphic. Basically, my info-graphic question is “How does the ‘cat righting reflex’ work?” or in simpler terms “How do cats always land on their feet?”. I have chosen this topic mainly because I would like to draw cats, but also because I find the theory behind the ‘cat righting reflex’ interesting.

Summary

The objective of my image is to communicate the new law in Australia whereby parents are now required to vaccinate their children if they wish to receive child benefits from the government. The concepts and messages that I have attempted to communicate through the use of visual imagery include the abuse of power, the negligence of not getting vaccinated and the lengths people will go to in order to obtain money for survival. In terms of the abuse of power, it is evident through this new law that the Australian Labour government is using money as a means to manipulate people toward achieving a certain goal and agenda. This new law also places a spotlight on the people who don’t vaccinate for various reasons and who are putting others in danger by doing so. Lastly, the final concept lies in the fact that there are guaranteed individuals who will now vaccinate their children in order to obtain money – which may be essential for their survival and livelihood.

The first major component of my image which communicates the previously mentioned concepts is the composition. I have arranged the subject matter of my image in a way that imitates the ‘Creation of Adam – Hand of God’ fresco painting by Michelangelo. The reason I have chosen this composition is that it represents the power relationship between Australian parents and the Australian government. The hand which holds the vaccination reflects the hand of God, and the child’s hand reflects that of Adam. I have also chosen to limit the colour of my subject matter, and I have chosen a complementary colour palette with accents of red. In order to utilise this colour scheme I have added an orange hue to the skin and have highlighted and brightened the blue examination glove within the composition. In terms of colour, I have also darkened the area around the child’s hand and brightened the area around the examiner’s hand. I have done this in order to further highlight their respective positions within the relationship of power. Another component of my image is the use of money within the syringe itself, and dripping out of the syringe in a liquefied manner. This is to highlight the fact that, for some parents, vaccinations are purely a means to financial gain and stability, even though their personal ideology may be against vaccinations. Another interesting element of within my image are the emphasized veins on the hands of the child. These were added to in an attempt to communicate the idea that some individuals regard vaccinations as harmful and threatening to well-being, therefore I have darkened the blood of the veins to represent this. To further emphasis this I have also made the hand of the child sickly.

The main elements of knowledge I have applied to the manipulation of my images are the concepts and theories regarding colour, composition, semiotics and image manipulation techniques. Out of these the most important has been composition and semiotics, as these elements directly relate to my use of the ‘Hand of God’ arrangement from Michelangelo’s painting.