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  • Information IS beautiful

    Wed, 19 Jan 2011 16:27

    blog image

    A peek behind the scenes with the Design bods.

    Drawing inspiration from some of our previous bookmark competition entrants, we have decided to have a go and create our own set of bookmarks using the theme of 'Useful information'.

    The brief Creating a set of bookmarks was quite an interesting brief to receive, but to top it off they had to be packed full of useful charts and informative content that you would use every day.

    This set of useful bookmarks includes:

    • Ruler / CM to Inches conversions
    • Fahrenheit to Celsius / Litres to Gallons
    • International shoe size charts / Clothes sizes,
    • Useful phrases in different languages
    • 2011 mini calendar
    • Periodic table
    • Keyboard shortcut keys for Apple and Windows
    • Basic Guitar and Piano chords
    • Google cheat sheets
    • Countries, capital cities, dialling codes and currencies
    • Multiplication tables
    • Useful knots
    • Nato phonetic alphabet (Oscar, bravo, lima) / Morse code alphabet
    • Cooking measurement conversions

    Information and inspiration I set about the task by first collecting all the information, looking for subjects that would be useful to me in everyday life, like the 'Nato phonetic alphabet'. I'm forever making up different code words to describe letters over the phone and in the process surely confusing whoever is on the other end of the phone. S for Spock, T for Teleport (You can tell I'm a trekkie can't you?) Cooking conversions was another useful subject to me, as I love making food! (I love eating it even more) I never knew what a 1 cup of sugar meant, after all I own cups of all shapes and sizes. The next step was looking for some creative inspiration to help me along my way. I found various influences in the form of our previous bookmarks, a neat little pack of Cards called 'Type Trumps' and a couple of cool info-graphic books. Information is Beautiful by David McCandless called and Envisioning Information by Edward R.Tufte.

    blog imageThe Design process The creative process mostly started off with sketching ideas on paper, creating mind maps then trying to re-produce and improve them using Illustrator and Photoshop. In the case of the Litres to Gallons bookmark, it was pretty simple. I started off with water drops as an idea to represent liquid weights, and placed the water drops falling from top to bottom with the idea of placing the UK, US Gallons and the litres underneath each drop. However the data seemed to be too far apart and disconnected, so it developed into the water drops expanding out from a centre creating a focal point to relate the data - then gradually growing in size from top to bottom. Designing information graphically turned out to be quite tricky, the designs had to be simple enough to understand, graphically appealing whilst not cramming too much information into the limited space available. In general the goal was to make this information beautiful yet very usable.

    Keep a look out for when we release these great new bookmarks into the wild...

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