Minute Works: A Crash Course on Infographics

This morning Dominic and Jimmy from Manchester based graphics company, Minute Works came in and spoke to us about different elements of creating infographics. I studied Visual Communication for a year so this really appealed to my more creative, designer side.

The talk was really informative and incredibly useful for our assignment which requires us to create our own original infographic on a global current affair of our choice.

Icons

Discussing the creation of icons, they said it is about breaking down concepts and getting to the substance of things; looking at the meaning. Trying to distill things down to its simplest form.

“To remember simplified pictures better than to forget accurate figures. Words divide, picture unite” — Otto Neurath.

They also gave advice on creating a cohesive set of icons. Often used in layout, a grid system seems to work well in addition to more obvious choices such as a set line weight and colour scheme. Consistency of icons on an infographic is important for the overall finish. A mish-mash of signs could create visual confusion.

RiotID

Working with Bournemouth University lecturer, Dr Anna Feigenbaum, they created a booklet consisting of icons to illustrate tear gas safety information, manufacturer locations, weapon types and tips for documentary photographers.

Using a more scientific style of illustration was effective in this particular project given its topic. This has now been translated into seven other languages including Arabic, German, Greek, and Turkish.

Toxic Remnants of War

Toxic Remnants of War Network black and white icons

The first project they shared with us showed their skill at creating simple yet effective icons. Their brief was to establish a new identity for the Network suitable for application to a wide variety of outcomes. The icons have now been used in printed reports and on the Network’s website.

Igloo Footprint

Visible on their website, this recent project shows further examples of simple icons and even an infographic. They definitely go by the idea of less is more. White space is very valuable in visual communication and this is something to bare in mind when designing infographics and icons.

Overall Dom and Jimmy gave some great tips which will definitely come in handy when creating my infographic. Applying design skills such as a grid system to icons will help create aesthetic continuity, creating a more professional and cohesive finish.

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