Affordable Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

For this diagram project, I decided to do a process diagram visualizing ways college students could reduce their carbon footprint in an affordable manner! This project was inspired by a media and the environment course I have taken this semester; in the course, we have watched many videos and clips highlighting the vast amount of issues our environment faces today. The issue that dominated the majority of the course was the topic of global warming and climate change. While learning about the issues has been an eye-opening experience, many of the movies and clips we have watched do a lot of “scaring” the audience without much focus on what we can actually DO to help these issues. My increased awareness left me with much concern for our environment, without much knowledge on how I can help on a day to day basis; so, that is why I wanted to conduct my own research on this topic and create a graphic that could inspire people to implement these positive changes into their everyday lives.

Initially, I wanted to explain where electricity come from and show more graphics about how greenhouse gases are released into the air Рbut in the interest of space and the true purpose of my diagram, I decided to leave it out. I concluded that diagrams showcasing the inter workings of energy plants could have been an entirely different project all on its own. My primary purpose for this project was to inform readers of ways they can personally take action, so I tried to  give a quick informational summary of the link between energy plants and climate change instead.

Also, I chose to do a slightly different style with this project. Some of the things that inspired my to take this class were the stylish infographics seen in magazines and especially on Pinterest, so I wanted to design a compelling visual headline that would capture the attention of readers both in a newspaper or floating around on the web. I also wanted the diagram to look friendly, because it is a positive infographic of ways to help an unfortunate reality.

This project definitely gave me the most practice with drawing in Illustrator than any other project I’ve done for a design class. I wanted to include two to three visuals for each mini “step” to align with the three column layout (as part of a larger 6 column grid). I tried to make each graphic adhere to the overall visual style, with partial shading and a coherent color scheme. I really like how the overall look of the piece turned out. As usual, I underestimated how long these drawings would take me – some of the drawings (like the bus, the bike, the car, the air conditioner) were fairly time consuming, but I think the end result was worth it.

In the future, I hope I get to create different kinds of diagrams in my design career because this was definitely my favorite project yet. I loved getting to draw many visuals for the design and apply the proper color scheme to unite the whole page.

If I were to do this again, maybe if it were not for a print publication, I think I would include a very simple mini-diagram of where electricity comes from. I didn’t want to take space away from my true purpose of the design for this project, but on a longer art board I think it could be a nice touch.