Task 1: Data Visualisation

Data visualisation communicates large amounts of information very quickly to audiences – contrasts and patterns stand out more when data is presented as an image, rather than text. A data visualisation is a graphic or diagram that shows all of the relevant information at the same time in one ‘snapshot’. This is faster than reading and comparing lines of data in, for example, a statistical table. Especially if the statistical table is very long, with thousands of lines to absorb.

It is important to ask a question and then attempt to answer it with data visualisation, so that irrelevant information can be filtered out (Reas & McWilliams, 2010). There are different data visualisation techniques to use, depending on what needs to be shown and to whom.

Network diagrams show simple connections between objects and this can help identify the order of connections in a set, and the location of central ‘hubs’. When a network diagram is used in an instruction manual for a household electrical appliance, it might indicate how to plug it in or how to connect it to a second appliance, which is very useful for consumers. A network diagram of a public transport system might show the biggest stations with the most connections, so that commuters know where they can change trains or it might tell the train company which station will need the most platforms and ticket machines.

Another type of data visualisation is dynamic maps, where extra information is added to ordinary maps so that new ideas are communicated (Reas & McWilliams, 2010). In the video The European Debt Crisis Visualized, dynamic maps show the complex trade barriers between European countries before the creation of the European Union and why the interconnection of these countries made the debt crisis such a serious issue afterwards. It is far easier and quicker to understand the information about tariffs, currencies and debt collection through the maps in this video than it would be to read a chapter about it.


Screenshot of a dynamic map (Jarvis, 2014)

Ultimately, data visualisation helps people understand large amounts of information and the important takeaway concepts. Instead of having to guess what the key points are within pages of boring data, they can see them clearly presented in a graphic instead. Data visualisation also makes information more interesting, so that people find it easier to learn new things.

Jarvis, J. (2014) The European Debt Crisis Visualized, Vimeo. [screenshot]. Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/91098314

Reas, C. & McWilliams, C. (2010) Form + Code in Design, Art, and Architecture, New York, Princeton Architectural Press.


Assessment 1: Response 1

The First Things First Manifesto 2000 is a rallying call for change against consumerism’s message of ego over empathy and the pursuit of mindless leisure over altruistic purpose. Its existential questioning of the role of designers in a “harmful code of public discourse” (First Things First Manifesto 2000, 1999) awakens hope for change through self-awareness and empowerment by unity.

Runaway consumerism perpetuates needless suffering, inequality and waste. Real demand never needs to be manufactured; time wasted on “inessentials” is unsatisfying. Buying things does not satisfy all human needs (Maslow, 1943) and the system’s focus on endless consumption requires permanent change. But why is it up to graphic designers in particular, to risk their survival in being humanity’s last defence against rampant greed?

Sarcastically entertaining and truthful, Bierut’s Ten Footnotes to a Manifesto provides fair and reasonable criticism. Though harsh on the Manifesto authors, he communicates important hypocrisies and contradictions, especially regarding design as a job instead of a calling. His multi-faceted answer allows easy implementation by individuals on their own – adhering to common decency, considering the public as the most important client, simplifying the complicated, adding meaning wherever possible and designing aesthetic visuals (Bierut, 2007).


Bierut, M. (2007) 79 Short Essays on Design: Ten Footnotes to a Manifesto, New York, Princeton Architectural Press.

Emigre 51. (1999) First Things First Manifesto 2000. Retrieved from http://www.emigre.com/Editorial.php?sect=1&id=14

Maslow, A.H. (1943) A Theory of Human Motivation, Brooklyn College. Retrieved from http://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/34195256/A_Theory_of_Human_Motivation_-_Abraham_H_Maslow_-_Psychological_Review_Vol_50_No_4_July_1943.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIWOWYYGZ2Y53UL3A&Expires=1499924845&Signature=0PygQkuUp2V7x0Bb5iGjriIFnXg%3D&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3DA_THEORY_OF_HUMAN_MOTIVATION.pdf

Week 12: Finalising Designs

My invitation and movie poster are finished!

The main typographical decisions I made in my poster focused on the sequence of information in a single page, highlighting communication in an order of priority using contrast, sizing and position. I added balance with white space in the poster and this impacted the length of the communication in important places (such as the tagline).


Here are some images of the final invitation, including overprinted elements:



The key typographical decisions in regards to the invitation centered around organising my sequence properly and working to styles for body text, title text, subtitle text and pull quote text.

I wanted to make sure it was readable, but at the same time to maintain the nice white space balance I had in the movie poster for a matching look, hence the font sizes used were not the largest they could have been, but add to the appearance of the final item, making it look more contemporary. The right aligned text on the mirrored Georgia might not be the finest decision, but I felt it added dramatically to the shape of that particular block, making it more interesting for the reader when faced with lots of text to look at.

Here’s some photos of my final invitation mockup:


Week 11: Invitation Design Refinement


Collaborate – Edits
The second test print and subsequent collaborate session highlighted some important edits to be done.


1. The sequence of information was still not quite right. More ‘unfolding’ and less synopsis was needed on the first few pages. I am editing to build more suspense with the sequence.

2. The studio logo will no longer be CCS (it is a bit awkward) and instead I will use a contemporary film studio logo as advised by ELA.

3. My concerns around the trippy mirrored Georgia image on the inside could be alleviated by creating some differences between the two images. I ended up making a larger/smaller combination.

4. Breaking up the synopsis means that the story is not read all in one space but is spread out more, making it easier to absorb.

5. I put the ‘you are invited to’ on the front as I wanted to build suspense instead of providing the film title up front.

6. I added an extra pull quote to fit in the cabin space on the inside of the design (it looked awkward being an empty inverted pop up space).




The collaborate session was really useful and in adding the edits to my invitation, further inspiration came about, leading to a most interesting typographical arrangement around the mirrored Georgia on the inside.

While right aligned text would not normally be used for readability, I found that it fitted really well for one paragraph in shaping the text around the Georgia in blocks, so that there was an impression of a mountain near the inverted pop up cabin. It added interest to the synopsis (a large, boring block of text).



Week 10: Design Development

I did a test print of my invitation and I’m glad I did, as there were quite a few edits:


Test Print – Edits

The main edits in the test print included getting the colours right, matching text sizes all of the way through where possible and adjusting scale/sizing of elements.

Page Notations

1. The cover page is fine. I could make CCS a bit larger for impact. The blue PMS can be adjusted further.

2. The text needs to follow the style of the body text in some way (sizing?)

3/4. Make film title fit better inside popup (reduce size). The word ‘PREMIERE’ to be a bit smaller (match font used for film title?) Date/time/address to be a smaller body text sized type. Kern ‘Charlie Chaplin’ to fix strange gaps and reduce by a point size. Cream colour does not stand out enough – it needs to be a bit darker to impact well on an equal tone/density to the blue. Make the popup dieline thinner and very light (10%).

5. Light body text not working – needs to be a heavier weight. Source text too small. Maybe leave out opening bolded summary sentences? Call it ‘A Silent American Comedy…’ instead of ‘Synopsis’. Remove heavy text from smart quote. Where possible, make smart quote a larger type size.

6. Working perfectly – use these type sizes for body text on other pages.

Initially I was planning to use a die cut as well, however at this point I don’t feel it would necessarily add more to the final product. I don’t want to overdo the special effects and I envision that gluing the inside of the invitation in place or printing it on a slightly thicker stock would produce a polished result instead.

Then remembered to do the second side and started working on a poster for it, including using the inverted popup as a 3D element:


In the background of the white popup, there will be cream and my favourite tree, refeatured again and carrying through the theme from the front of the invitation. The mirrored heads of Georgia tie in with Georgia having two men vye for her attention for most of the movie.

I finalised the design of my movie poster, by fixing the colours (which were a bit flat on the test print), adding the CCS logo and fixing fragments in the logo. The CCS logo didn’t want to fit well down the bottom with the centered layout, hence I discovered that it fitted OK sequentially between the tagline and the image. It also balanced the white space there better.


Week 9: Invitation Concept Designs

After lots of experimenting, I decided to stick to simple folds and embellish my invitation with cutouts, diecuts and/or popups. The three folds I liked the most were the 6 page roll fold (with and without lock) and a 10 page unfolding mailer, which could be die cut into interesting shapes.

Of course, I’m hoping that a combination of implementing artwork with one of these folds will unveil more possibilities.

Here are my fold sequences:


I sketched some rough ideas on my A3 layouts with greylead pencil. It was a bit hard to see the impact of the ideas I had, so I redrew over them in fineliner, which made it much easier to choose a design to work with.


Ultimately, I ended up not liking the locking devices and decided the most contemporary and sleek look would be achieved without them. I usually prefer receiving proper invitations in envelopes instead of junky-looking mailers – plus every locking device included reduced the space available. I have decided to work with the non-locked layout and incorporate a definite popup and potentially a die cut (yet to see how die cut would work but aiming some idea with colour showing).

Here’s the progress of my InDesign artwork:


The black dieline is the popup in a cabin shape.

Week 8: Poster Development

Here are my thumbnail sketches of concepts. I wasn’t happy with the first page of concepts by itself, so I did two:



Then I sketched my favourite two concepts…


…and decided on one. I played with the layout…


I’ve yet to add colour.

Here’s my film title development (also going to play with colour on this one):


Here’s my poster design (almost complete). The colours have been selected with white for the snow and the blue and cream from 1920s sardine tins.