Category Archives: Client Work

30 Aug

Museums, tube lines and handwritten notes – Marches network infographic

A few months back I was invited by Glynis Powell and Sue Knox of the Marches Network (a group of museum development officers working across the West Midlands) to create an infographic to show off their work.

The information was a mix of statistics and text-based information on the various projects and successes throughout the year.

[toc]


The Layout

Grouping the Information

My first job was to look through the information for groupings  – a way to sort the data and allow the reader to approach it in an organised manner.

I settled on 6 category titles:

  • volunteers
  • paid staff
  • economic
  • governance
  • visitors
  • collections

These neatly covered all the areas of work  – and all the data fitted into at least one of these categories – with some falling into more than one. This led to an interesting challenge, showing crossovers, and shared categories. I’ll confess, I’ve been dying to try a tube style map for a while, and this seemed like a perfect opportunity.

The Lines

My normal process is to scribble a few words about each “bit” of information onto a post-it note, and spend a good amount of time (1-2 hours) rearranging them on my desk until a pattern or structure appears. However, in this case I felt Gliffy was a better tool. Gliffy is an online mind-mapping/flow diagram tool – and the main benefit for me is the ability to attach connection lines between 2 boxes, which move as you rearrange the boxes. perfect!

I created a series of boxes, one for each section of information, plus one header box for each category and started drawing the connection lines.

See the diagram below.

Note: as with any information – these connections were based on my understanding of the data  – the client made some changes and further advice on how they felt the data should be grouped  – so this diagram does not match the finished piece. 

Flow diagram showing the structure of information for a museum infographic

Moving into Illustrator

This Gliffy diagram gave me a great point of reference – when moving into Illustrator.

Gliffy allows you to export as an SVG file, which can be very useful in Illustrator, however i this case I simply printed off the image and had it next to me as I worked.

I created a grid on my Illustrator page to give me an idea of how large each “text box” should be, and then started creating the individual elements.

Once the tex boxes were in the right place I used the pen tool (with a 2mm curve) to create the lines.

screenshot

 


Design Considerations

Colours

There was some time between getting the brief, and receiving the information, so I spent this time working on the theme and colours I’d use in the infographic. Along with this infographic, there was also a set of 7 infographics I was to create in the future, so wanted to settle on a strong colour scheme that would work across all of them.

Colours for Marches network infographics

Textures and Ephemera

Even from the early drafts I wanted to give the infographics a weathered, archive feel – so used the texture below at 20% opacity. It added a beautiful finish to the infographic.

 

On the final graphic – I had to remove this texture as it caused some problems with file sizes, to be replaced with a simple pattern of random small dots. However it did reappear in the series of 7 infographics that followed.

screenshotscreenshot

 

Ephemera

I also wanted to add some further elements of “ephemera” to the infographic  – museum style items, i.e handwritten notes, postcards, objects that would give that archive feel. As you can see above, the handwritten notes really added some texture>

I sourced these items from a range of places, including Design Cuts, and the host of free-vintage image sites out there including:

http://e-vint.com/free.html

https://www.flickr.com/photos/chrysti/sets/72057594064002193/

Typeface

The typeface I used was Anodyne, purchased as part of a vintage pack from Design Cuts. It’s really effective, with strong definition but a weathered feel.

screenshot


The Finished Infographic

Marches Network infographic

 

 

 

 

 

 

29 Jun

Sunday Mirror – Justice on Trial supplement

Last weekend I was incredibly proud to see a series of my infographics appear in the Sunday Mirror newspaper.

I had been commissioned to work on the graphics, in collaboration with the Ampp3d data journalism team and the editorial staff at the newspaper.

I think it’s fair to say it’s my most high-profile piece of work to date, and the staff at the paper were incredibly pleased with the results!

You can see a few of the pages below:

Sunday Mirror  - Justice on Trial page 2 and 3

Sunday Mirror - Justice on Trial supplement page 12 and 13

Sunday Mirror - Justice on Trial page 14 and 15

Sunday Mirror - Justice on Trial page 22 and 23

 

20 May

CB Ltd infographic used in winning business award entry

Congratulations to Engineers Mate, a West Midlands engineering supply company, who recently approached Caroline Beavon Ltd to boost their entry for the Express and Star Business Awards 2014.

On the night they picked up the Young Business Award.

The company wanted a one page infographic (below) to explain the growth of the company over the past 12 months, as well as a series of slide images to use during their presentations to the judges.

It was great working with Engineers Mate as their industry was a far cry from the local government and arts organisations I normally work with

 

 Caroline Beavon is a freelance information and infographics designer – get in touch for more details

linkedin


 

 

Engineers Mate - infographic-01

09 May

My Week – 5-9 May 2014 / big screens, walls and audiences


 Caroline Beavon is a freelance information and infographics designer – get in touch for more details

linkedin


It’s been another one of those funny short bank Holiday weeks – but here’s a quick summary of what I’ve been working on in the infographics design world, and training!

SCIENCE CAPITAL

On Tuesday night I spoke at the Science Capital “Doing Business With Data event at Millennium Point in Birmingham.

The focus of my talk was Presenting Your Big Data, where I was keen to stress the importance of thinking about the audience. Highly technical and numerate crowds often forget that the people they’re communicating with may not understand data as well as they do. It’s important to engage the audience, connect with them, help them understand, reveal the data through navigation and allow the audience to make their own discoveries through exploration. You can see my slides here

Ahead of the event I was collared for a quick interview with Paige from The Information Daily. The interview may be appearing on the Information Daily website soon – I’ll share the link when it goes up!

The presentation was delivered on the Giant Screen at Millennium Point which I wasn’t a huge fan of – no slides look good at that scale and some of the audience looked a little too comfy in those big cinema seats!

I did get the change to have an interesting discussion with Vernon Blackmore about the use of infographics and diagrams in academic documents. Several organisatons are still reliant on heavy text and documentation. A phD student (Stuart?) who joined our chat admitted that his attention span was low and he struggled to tackle weighty tomes! Vernon suggested that there could be some greater encouragement of visual communication within academia, where students are encouraged to  demonstrate their learning through diagrams instead of text, and he’s already recommending tools like Infogr.am to help them present their information!

MYSTERY CLIENT X

(image The Happy Show at Design Exchange, Toronto)

I’ve also spend quite a bit of time this week researching environmental graphic design after a potential client asked be to quote for creating a wall-based infographic for their new building.

tumblr_mh54gyjDGa1r9ewdgo1_1280This is an interesting area. Museums and galleries are already adept at using their space to relay information but until now my experience has been either on a flat surface (paper or online) or in an animated interactive space (touch table).

The added challenge with this brief was to allow the infographic to be up-dateable on a regular basis (ie monthly) as the statistics change.

After seeing her speak at the Design Festival in Cheltenham, I was taken with Morag Myerscough/Studio Myerscough‘s huge scale graphics, and have been inspired by her use of text, colour and usability.  You can see some of the images I’ve pulled together as part of this research on Pinterest

The job would include actually putting the infographic onto the wall, so I’ve also been looking into various techniques for adding lettering and design to a surface – ie vinyl letters, stencils etc.

Fingers crossed the client likes the ideas I sent over!

CUC – Creating Usable Content

I’m in Cardiff next week delivering an Infographics workshop for the Creating Usable Content event. I’ll be travelling down with one of my co-tutors, Pete Ashton, on the Sunday night and spending all of Monday delivering the course several times over.

This will be a much-condensed version of a half-day infographics workshop I held at Coventry City Council a few weeks ago.

My aim for the 50 minute workshop is to guide group through the infographics process! Now as this usually takes a couple of days it’s going to be quite fast paced, but I’ve already prepared the information and will be using it to help everyone learn the important of sorting your content and thinking about your audience!

OTHER PROJECTS

I have a couple of other projects bobbling along nicely right now – I’m working on Sampad’s My Route project, where we’re developing an interactive touch table app to allow people to explore the history of the Stratford Road in Birmingham.

I’m also in the very early stages of writing an e-learning book on Music Journalism for the Open Professional School – I’m making a start on the initial outline next week so will report back then on how it’s coming together!

And finally, I’m trying to find the time to work on a couple of self-initiated projects (i.e. not for a client) including:

  • an idea for some hyperlocal maps to help people find useful locations in their local area (ie cashpoints, cafes, parks etc) that they may not be aware of
  • icons for the Noun Project
  • images for Red Bubble – a site which allows customers to “build” their own products (tshirts, iphone cases etc) from images uploaded by designers, who get a cut of the original – not sure if its entirely worth the effort, but I’m currently investigating!

 Caroline Beavon is a freelance information and infographics designer – get in touch for more details

linkedin


28 Feb

UPDATE – courses, quickies and connections

screenshot

I’m constantly pleased to see the number of organisations thinking about visual communication.

Over the last 6 months I’ve been busy with a series of “Influential Analysis” training courses for Understanding Modern Government, where I have been (hopefully) inspiring people to rethink how they communicate information both internally and externally.

Organisations attending the public courses, or booking in-house sessions, include various NHS trusts, Lincolnshire County Council and even the Department of Transport – all of them equally open and welcoming to new ideas for communicating their data.

I’ve been working with the brilliant Ian Taylor, from Flying Binary who is now taking over the courses. It’s been great working with him, and I’ve learnt a lot. I’d recommend signing up to the next public course if you’re battling with your data.

  ————————————-

screenshotOn the subject of training – I’m testing out an interesting new half-day workshop at Coventry City Council next month. This is a variation of my full-day Data Visualisation training course, but instead of delving into the theory, I’ll be spending 3 hours guiding them through the process of building an infographic from scratch.

I’m interest to see how this is received. I am always preaching that tools like Piktochart allow anyone to create “something” visual – but does it allow them to make something good? With my guidance, I hope so.

 ————————————-

I’m also keen to turn my focus back to my design work – which is my real passion. I’ve had a few long running projects on various back burners and these are now springing back into life.

I’m currently working with Lara Ratnaraja on a data-visualisation for the CATH (Collaborative Arts Triple Helix) project.

screenshot

This sees 3 sectors …

  • higher education institutions
  • small-medium enterprises
  • cultural organisations

… working together on a range of really interesting projects, and we want to show those collaborations on a data diagram for the project report. We’re dealing with around 50 organisations, so the trick is to make sure the full complexity of the project is demonstrated, without the chart appearing cluttered.

I’m planning to use RAW to generate an alluvial diagram (above) – but I need to have all the organisations grouped and categorised before I start. The organisations have received the groupings list today and we’re just waiting to get final approval on the copy.

  ————————————-

screenshotIt was also nice this week to receive a “quickie” request – in short, to create an infographic for a PR agency in Germany within 24 hours.

I don’t want to tempt fate (the graphic is currently with the client for approval) but the agency are pleased with the image, and glad I managed to get something turned around so quickly. I’ve normally shied away from this kind of work, but there is definitely a market for these “emergency infographics”!!

They provided all the information, which I shaped and edited down into a structured form that could be transformed into an A4 infographic.

 ————————————-

 Whether you’re after in-house data visualisation training, a data visualisation or something quick  – drop me an email – caroline at carolinebeavon.com

01 Jul

Tableau Public – creating a map for someone else to update

If you’re not familiar with Tableau Public, you can find out more here

—-

I’ve recently been working on a project which encourages creative SME’s to explore data as a way of improving their business. I’ll blog more about the project at a later date, but I wanted to share on particular element of the project that I thought may be useful.

After discussions with one company, we decided a series of maps would help them plot future business growth. One map would contain their current activities and would be used on their website.

Factors to Consider

  • the SME could not be expected to pay for the full version of Tableau
  • the map should be publishable on the web
  • the client has no experience of Tableau
  • the client wanted to be able to update the spreadsheet and the map with minimal effort

Solution

  1. Create Tableau Public account using their email address (you won’t be able to change email later). You’ll have to get access or ask them to click on the confirmation link when it arrives
  2. Locate your spreadsheet and save in a specific dropbox folder
  3. Login to Tableau Public with their login details and create your visualisation
  4. Save to the web
  5. (If you create any shapes or images, you will also have to copy these into a Dropbox folder)
  6. Send the person a link to Dropbox folder
  7. Ask them to download Tableau Public and login with the details you used above
  8. They should be able to access the workbook that you have created
  9. Ask them to move the spreadsheet file onto their computer.
  10. (if applicable: ask them to drag the Shapes folder into their Shapes Tableau folder
  11. They will need to update the link to the file,  from within the workbook. Hit f5 and Tableau will walk you through replacing the original file location with the new one.
  12. The workbook should now work as normal
To Update the Data
Open the spreadsheet
Make the changes
Hit F5 in Tableau
File>Save to Web
25 Jul

Communicate – latest issue out now

I am delighted to say that the latest issue of Communicate Magazine is out, featuring a handful of my latest infographics.

As their in-house Visualization Specialist, I create graphics from various research data for their monthly issues.

For this issue, the focus was the attitudes of the PR industry and the media to digital trends, including use of email and social media.

I created more images than the ones used in the article – the rest are going to be used in another publication, a report for researcher Broadland Maingate and for an online animated project.

See my previous work for Communicate

 

All content (c) Caroline Beavon 2020