I was instantly drawn to this infographic because of its simple and stunning appearance. The colors that are somehow both bright and muted, the abstract pattern that the colors create, the thin line weight of the type, the overall simplicity of the layout – all of this and more contribute to a beautiful piece. However, the most important question, as always, is: does it work? Fortunately, it is a question I can answer with a resounding “Yes!”
The first great thing about this infographic is that it easily guides your eyes through the steps that are necessary to understand its narrative. Starting at the top, you immediately know that the infographic is going to be outlining the daily routines of famous creative people. Then, as your eyes make their way down the page, you get a more in-depth description (along with a cited source) of what you’ll be discovering – paired with instructions on how to make it interactive. Next, you find your way to the key, which succinctly tells you what each color means. After glancing at the timeline to understand at what time the daily routines are beginning, we can finally take a look at the most important part: the routines!
This infographic also has excellent color codification. For each person, as we can tell by looking at the key, the colors mean exactly the same thing. When we are looking at a specific person’s routine, it’s always extremely understandable what they were doing at a given time due to the consistent color meanings. And what’s even better is that this infographic is interactive: We don’t have to simply see that they were exercising and leave it at that – instead, we can hover over their “exercise” segment and read that they were taking a walk through the streets of London. I appreciate that the designer kept the layout simple, and only gave more superfluous information if it was wanted by the viewer. For example, if I’m only interested in the daily routine of Picasso, I can hover over his daily routine singularly, instead of having to scroll through lengthy descriptions of the other creative’s routines. I also appreciate that the designer added a small information button next to each individual, in case after seeing their routine you’re curious about who they were.
My first negative critique of this infographic is its linear layout. While I appreciate how that makes the infographic appear visually, and how the hours can be easily understood, I don’t necessarily think that it’s the best layout for understanding the information. The infographic’s timeline begins at 12 a.m. and ends at 12 a.m., yet because it is a straight line this doesn’t make much sense. It is the designer’s intention that, for any given creative, we start at 12 a.m., make it to the end of the bar at 12 a.m., and imagine the routine is starting over again for a new day. However, in my opinion, having a linear timeline means that there is a definitive start and finish, a beginning and an end. Because these are daily and repetitive routines, I think that a circular timeline for each person would be a better graphic format. It would reinforce the idea that these routines are not a “one-and-done” thing, rather they are continual.
The second and last negative critique I have for this infographic is its lack of hierarchy. I love thin line weights when it comes to type, however I think the designer may have slightly overdone it. From the top, all of the type is in the same thin line weight, until we get to the names of the creatives. Having each name in bold is great, especially against the colored bars, however I think the infographic needs just a bit more. Having either the times in bold or the key in bold would be helpful for calling out the important information.
Overall, I really loved both the subject matter and the layout of this infographic. I learned more, I was inspired, and because of the cited sources at the bottom I knew I was getting accurate (or as accurate as possible) information. What a great concept!
Citrix. “The Daily Routines of Famous Creative People.” Podio. Citrix Podio, n.d. Web. 03 Feb. 2017.
Upon first glance, this infographic I found in the book Visual Storytelling appears to be about cooking, or maybe making homemade jam. I read the title: 100 Years of World Cuisine, and observed jars, red liquids, and kitchen utensils. But then, I got a little closer – took a longer look – and realized that this information graphic was most definitely not about cooking. I noticed that under the title were the words: 38,000,000 deaths, 25 conflicts, 1915-present. I understood that the “red liquid” was not so much jam as it was blood. I took in the callouts that read things like “Armenian genocide, 1915-1916, 1,500,00.” And all I had to say for a while was, wow.
This infographic is powerful, to say the least. The fact that they chose to represent the amount of deaths in each conflict by the amount of blood in a jar, cup, or kitchen utensil rather than an illustrated bar graph or chart brought shocking realism to the information presented. If I were to see these numbers in some sort of graph or chart, I would be surprised and saddened, however seeing a giant jug filled with blood that represents 6,000,000 people dying in the wars in Indochina brings a whole new level of meaning and significance to these numbers. It makes me think endlessly of the people that died, it makes me uncomfortable to see blood representing their deaths in such a nonchalant and everyday setting, it makes me hurt – so much more than any “typical” infographic could. That being said, I do think it is helpful to have the three charts in the upper right hand corner: Breakdown by continent, breakdown by decade, and total 20th century death toll. After being so shocked, they help bring you back to reality.
Because of how painfully impactful this infographic is, I honestly can’t say I have many negative critiques. Could some of the design be better? Yes. The charts in the upper right hand corner are extremely hard to see, the type layout could use improvement, and the type system lacks hierarchy. However, the infographic did its job perfectly for me. I didn’t care about the type, and I didn’t care that it took me a little longer to understand the charts in the upper right hand corner. I was both informed and impacted by this infographic – more than almost any others I’ve seen – and that’s what is important.
Infographic by: Clara Kayser Bril, Nicolas Kayser Bril, Marion Kotlarski
Andrew Lowsowsky. “Breaking News.” Visual Stories. N.p.: Gestalten, n.d. 72-73. Print.