This is my completed infographic; it’s meant to look like a news site/app within an ipad screen. One of my concerns with this project was that it would end up looking too text-heavy, and I wouldn’t succeed with the data visualization part. Since the subject is news, it’s text-heavy by nature, but I made sure that each section had a visual representation/component. I chose a red, white and black color scheme for the infographic, since breaking news banners (and the BBC and CNN logos) use red and white, and black goes with text and the ipad border. The left side represents ‘old’ media, or newspapers, and I used a Typewriter front and a newsprint-type background to distinguish that segment. I tried to use interesting visual elements to represent kind of boring facts, like the R.I.P. section, which is meant to look like a news story. For the right side, or new media side of the infographic, I used a white background and Trench font. I chose the font because it’s a pretty modern looking sans serif font, and because it’s thin, which allowed me to play around with stroke (boldness) and font size to emphasize certain points. I also drew all the images except for the social media logos and trophies, which was a little challenging, especially with making curves. Working with Illustrator was a series of huge frustrations and small victories. Nothing much changed between my sketch and my final version, though I did get rid of the timeline because there wasn’t enough space. I also tried to avoid making the graphic too complicated and noisy by keeping to two fonts and three colors, though I did use blue for the hyperlink. Overall, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, and I don’t think there’s anything I’d do differently.
I did Questions of space for my text project, and had fun using the space of the screen as well as different fonts and effects to encapsulate the meaning or feeling of some of my questions. These were my questions: Can space contain? If space can contain, is it restrictive? Is space context? Is space destructible? If space is destructible, can it be rebuilt? Can space be atmospheric? Who/what controls the atmosphere of space? Can space be shared? Can shared spaces have an equal balance of power? Does defining space change it? Is space constant, or in a cycle of death and rebirth? Are they the same thing? How do space and time interact? Since I had 12 questions and 2 minutes to work with, I allocated roughly 10 seconds to each question, which gave me a good framework to work within. I found After Effects really fun to use once I got the hang of it, and wish we’d gotten more time to spend on it. With regard to the Struppek reading, I think it would be cool if the screens in Times Square were hijacked to display text projects like these; the ‘bright lights’ of Times Square are all ads, and I never understood why people travel all this way and get so excited to see them (probably because they were sold the idea of NYC as this romantic, bustling city and Times Square as the heart of it, a must-see). I think hijacking this very urban public space (surrounded by virtual screens) would transform it from a commercial, capitalist hellhole to a center of culture and communication.
This is a sketch for my infographic – I chose the information that seemed most interesting from the data I’d gathered, and drafted a few rough layouts. Then I made sure that each segment, or chunk of information, had a visual representation. After that, I played around with fonts and colors, and decided on a red/black/white color scheme. For the left column, which is dedicated to newspapers, I’m going to use a newsprint colored-background and Typewriter font. For the rest of the infographic, which focuses on digital, I’m using a modern Sans Serif font called Trench, in three different weights. I’m worried that it still looks a little text heavy, but I’m hoping that it’ll come together with the charts and logos and different colors and fonts. Chip Kidd’s book has been really helpful to me in the design process. The next step is replicating my sketch on Illustrator. After that, I’ll test out the printing on transparency and regular paper.
For my conference project, I’m doing an infographic on the evolution of journalism. It’s not really a space-altering project, but because I’m going into journalism after I graduate this semester, I’m using this as a way to learn digital media skills and to use images to help tell a story. Right now I’m working on my data sheet, which will contain my subheads (i.e. no. of newspapers that have shut down/become online only, percentages of how people get their news now) and the info/stats that I’ll be using. Then, I’ll move on to design and layout. I’ve been collecting infographics I’ve found online that I like, and am using them to figure out what kind of fonts/colors etc will be most useful, and how to represent information in graphic form. My general idea for the layout is to have the infographic be an ipad screen, to showcase how most people get their news digitally nowadays. The interior will be in the style of either a digital news story or a news app, with different sections containing text, stats, pictures and a timeline. Material-wise, I’m thinking of either transparency, to follow the ipad theme and make it look like a screen cover, or newsprint, for the irony. The Saskia Sassen reading talks about how technology is enabling alternate networks and independent media to subvert media conglomerates by creating globalities that maintain their localities, and I think my infographic will demonstrate that in part.
For my box project, I wanted to make something fun, so I chose the question mark cube from the Super Mario games. After giving up on GIMP, I used Photoshop to do the cube mapping, and printed it out on the 9880 printer. I put the skin on a 11.5×11.5 inch cardboard box, and stuck it up on the wall in the hallway using Command strips. My idea was to modify behavior by hopefully having people jump up and touch/headbutt it (as in the game), or if they don’t get the Mario reference, to at least be intrigued by the bright yellow box covered in question marks. I wanted to make the box more interactive, ie by adding a sound element, or having something inside it like a dispensable roll of paper with fortune cookie-type stuff on it, but in the interest of time I just left it as it was. I installed last Wednesday evening, and was informed by Angela that it had fallen off on Thursday afternoon. I put it back up with more Command strips and some help from Amos on Monday. Haven’t been able to observe it much, though I did see people looking at it and saw one person touch it. While I’m not sure how much effect it’s had on behavior, I think it does modify the space, particularly since the hallway’s so bare.
Can space contain? If space can contain, is it restrictive? Is space context? Is space destructible? If space is destructible, can it be rebuilt? Can space be atmospheric? Who/what controls the atmosphere of space? Can space be shared? Can shared spaces have an equal balance of power? Does defining space change it? Is space constant, or in a cycle of death and rebirth? Are they the same thing? How do space and time interact?
Strategy in terms of the ‘Reframe’ and ‘Making the Invisible Visible’ readings: For the first image, I took part of the SLC brochure slogan “You are different. So are we.”, and contrasted it with uniform rows of pixelated ‘white hipster’ faces. It’s meant not so much as an indictment of hipsters as what I perceive to be a lack of diversity (racial, socioeconomic, ideological, etc) in the student population. And the school admin really isn’t that different. Also, I just thought it was funny. I wanted to take the idea of repetition further, so I printed a sticker sheet to install in several different areas of the building. The second image was created specifically for the space I had in mind: the restroom. I took the original image, which was positive, and reframed it by adding a black eye, a warning sign in the background, and overlaying it with an angry-looking eye. The intent was to bring up people’s expectations in gendered spaces, and to highlight that the restroom can be an uncomfortable and even dangerous space for those that don’t look like they ‘belong.’ These are the stickers installed in their spaces: The first image was installed in the 1st floor women’s bathroom, on the mirror between the two sinks. The eye ended up having a really cool holographic effect. Since Heimbold isn’t really a hangout space, I installed the ‘hipster’ stickers in various high traffic areas on the 1st floor: in the middle of some ads by the cafe, by the water fountain, and on the side door next to the computer lab. I installed them on Wednesday evening, and they were taken down shortly before a Board of Trustees meeting in Heimbold on Friday afternoon, so I put some of them back up. The visual code in the building makes an assertion of functionality and prestige, using concrete, crisp white hallways, large glass windows and the prominent Barbara Walters Gallery. However, the walls are surprisingly bare for a visual arts building, and the hallways feel a little claustrophobic. There is also lots of underutilized space. Overall, it feels sterile, uninviting, uninspiring and soulless. I tried to subvert this with my sticker project on identity, by putting up images that reframe ideas and invade spaces, in high traffic areas.