Unit 10 – Self Directed Project: Brief 1 – Project Ideas

Yesterday I was really struggling. As I said I felt like I was going over the same old ground with type and meaning, so I was really trying to think of something new to look at, or at lest another thing that I am interested/concerned with as a designer.

While getting ready to go to sleep, taking my socks off, I literally had my lightbulb moment.
During this time I wasn’t really focusing on thinking about the project, but just something that I posted on twitter popped into my mind.

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I posted this due to the fact ( when head butting the computer as I couldn’t think of anything new ) while researching information design, every single, bloody image, is of CHARTS! Since the publishing of “Information is Beautiful” (which I bought when it first came out) it seems the in trend to turn anything and everything into a cool illustrated vector. This bugs me majorly. Information design is not just overly styled charts that don’t explain the data. Information design is also forms, books, brochures, timetables, anything that contains data.

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Now I feel like i’m starting to get to something interesting, this also relates and is relevant to me as a designer information design is extremely important to get correct, if you don’t it doesn’t serve its purpose. I believe that many info graphs don’t serve any purpose in making data understandable, but instead trying to make it look good.

So this topic is bringing up a couple of questions;

1. What is information design?

2. How do we categorise it?

3. Can it be categorised?

4. What is the difference between information design and data visualisation?

5. Will data visualisation replace, information designer?

6. Why has there been a rise in visualisations? Visual systems better than language systems?

From Wikipedia, Information Design,

In technical communication, information design refers to creating an information structure for a set of information aimed at specified audiences. It can be practiced on different scales.

  • On a large scale, it implies choosing relevant content and dividing it into separate manuals by audience and purpose.
  • On a medium scale, it means organizing the content in each manual and making sure that overviews, concepts, examples, references, and definitions are included and that topics follow an organizing principle.
  • On a fine scale, it includes logical development of topics, emphasis on what’s important, clear writing, navigational clues, and even page design, choice of font, and use of white space.

At the moment I’m not 100% sure where I want to go with my issue, so I will have to think about it and refine what I want to look at some more.

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