This week I decided to go back over constructivism after touching on it again in class.
Constructivism refers to the eye movement of the viewer and the resulting images constructed by viewing them in this manner.
This theory can work well to direct the viewers attention or guide them through a graphic. The viewers eyes must constantly move through the graphic to focus and consume each part of it.
Constructivism is often used in web pages such as news websites to direct the viewers attention to certain components over others.
Placing the least important aspect of a graphic in the center would not draw in the viewers attention. By placing the aspect with the most weight in the graphic in the center, the viewers eye would be drawn into the image and then subsequently to the other aspects of the image such as title etc.
Composition plays a big part in how coherently your message/graphic is portrayed.
Above is an infographic about how the United Nations System operates. This graphic is incredibly overwhelming with information and can be rather difficult to follow. The viewers eye does not flow through the graphic, it is twisted and turned in every direction to sections that loop between each other. The use of solid and dotted lines/arrows between sections intersect with others frequently and the viewers eye can get lost or distracted between sections. This is an example of a poorly constructed infographic with too much information that does not coherently flow.
This above graphic however effectively uses composition to create a coherent message leads the viewers eye through the graphic to convey the appropriate message. The sections are in a list format that draws the viewers eye left to right then down – as is how text is read in the English language. Sections are uniform in shape and size, one does not detract from the other.
After talking about typography in this weeks tutorial I decided to do some more research on it.
I spent a bit of time on the typography subreddit and found this image from The Simpsons. The two different scenes represented use typography to represent the same message in different ways and as a result represent polar opposite meanings.
I continued browsing the subreddit and found a link to a TED talk by David Carson that also talked about how the use of typography can present two different messages from the same text.
Typography is the arrangement and formatting of text and contains different elements such as letters, words, text, size, sans serif and serif.
In the example used in the youtube video, two different type’s are used to convey the message, while also employing size.
The first example of the “No Parking” sign gets the point across to the viewer. The second example employs a handwritten-looking type to convey the message and is a lot larger than the first sign. David poses a question to the audience, asking which sign they would park in front of, and it is clear that you wouldn’t park outside the second sign out of fear of whoever wrote the sign.
Recently in class we went back over semiotics (sometimes known as semiology).
Semiotics is the study of signs and how we correlate meaning with certain imagery or signs. These signs can be distinguished in three groups, iconic, indexical and symbolic
Iconic signs portray what they aim to represent such as ‘slippery when wet signs’ shown below. These signs are very straightforward in portraying their message.
Indexical signs require a bit more time to consume than iconic signs but still portray a direct correlation between imagery and meaning, employing a logical and common sense approach. An example of an indexical sign is a traffic light. The light itself does not directly stay go, slow down, stop, rather it employs the use of colours to portray these messages.
The meaning of symbolic signs must be taught due to their abstract nature. Social and cultural considerations can often impact on these messages. An example of this is the class icons for characters in the MMORPG World of Warcraft.
To those that don’t play the game or have never heard of it, they would have no idea what these signs represented but to those who do, they represent different classes of characters that possess different traits.
I decided to look into the use of colour schemes within graphics as I believe colour is such a deciding factor in creating messages and tones.
Whilst doing research, I found this article that details picking colour schemes for your infographics that I found very relevant to the progress I had made in my project.
The article details sticking to preferably two (with a maximum of four) main colours and then using shades of those colours if needed instead of employing more colours. By doing this the graphic will not be overpowered by all these colours and the components will flow.
The infographic above used shades of colours instead of picking more colours to feature in their graphic.
The article also comments on letting the content of your graphic decide your colour pallet. It would be unwise to use green for the skin colour of a person as it would just look unrealistic and weird.