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.

Continue reading “Affordable Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint”

Comparing Big Ten Football Fandom

Click on the image for a PDF version of my page

My inspiration for this project topic came when I visited a couple friends from high school at their respective college, University of Kentucky, during a big football weekend. The environment was different from IU in a lot of ways. For one, fans seemed to be a lot more interested in the game – some people even hooked up TVs to play in their trunks while they tailgated. There was a live band playing at the student tailgate, and the familiar sea of red was replaced by a sea of blue. Even though U.K. isn’t a part of the Big Ten, it sparked my curiosity of how other Big Ten schools compared in terms of their school spirit and game attendance.

When the Big Ten network airs weekend games, they always include an animated graphic of a map of all the schools. I knew I wanted to include a map of my own style locating these schools while I was concepting for this project. I loved the idea of using each school’s logo as the locator points. From a design perspective, this can be an interesting task because of the potentially “clashing reds” and school colors, but I decided to adhere to each school’s branding in both the locator map and the corresponding average percentage of stadium capacity bar graph. I thought it enhanced the relationship between the bar graph and the locator map without clashing too much.

For the mini-maps of the stadium seating capacities, I was excited to see how different each stadium structure was. In order to get the proper shapes, I went on each school’s website to purchase football tickets and screenshotted the stadium map. Once I had the screenshots, I scaled them all so that the football field from goal line to goal line would be the exact same width. It took longer than expected to trace these objects, but once I was finished I thought it added a unique element to the entire design. Although our eyes have trouble picking up a difference in areas as much, it is definitely obvious that IU’s Memorial Stadium has much less seating capacity than the top five largest Big Ten stadiums. I chose to only show the top five largest, because I wanted the difference between “The Rock” and the largest stadiums to be more apparent.

I used green throughout my design to mirror the turf on a football field, and included the football tracing to appear as if it were being kicked out of any of the Big Ten schools, and to fill the white space around it. I wanted that to be a focal point that would appeal to football fans and catch their attention so they would read the infographic.

In terms of the bar chart, I researched the statistics policies for the NCAA to see if attendance is recorded by ticket sales or turnstile clicks. In the last couple years, ticket sales has been the favored number because schools tend to be more interested in how much revenue was earned, instead of how many ticket buyers actually attended the game. But the statistics policy claims that both numbers are used depending on the school’s reporting system. For my original purposes, it would have been nice to see an exact number of real attendance from turnstile clicks, but that number isn’t regarded as significant as it used to be. Instead, I settled for the average season attendance numbers reported by the NCAA compared them to the stadium capacities. Among other interesting comparisons, I thought it was noteworthy that Nebraska, Ohio State, and Michigan regularly sell over their seating capacity.

Even though Memorial Stadium only sells about 80% of its seating capacity on average, with the new coach I am curious to see the effect of both ticket sales and REAL attendance. The combination of a better coach and increased fan support could mean great things for IU football in the next couple years.


A Thrilling Influence

Click to view a full sized PDF of my project.







As Halloween approaches, Thriller by Michael Jackson will be heard on the radio with increasing frequency. The song was originally released on November 30, 1982 – ironically almost exactly a month after Halloween. However, since its release the song has been enjoyed year round, but especially during this spooky holiday.

Michael Jackson was easily one of the most influential artists of his time, and his legacy still lives on today. I have always loved Michael Jackson’s music, but I especially love seeing how current artists channel their own inspirations from him into their own musical styles. This is why I chose to create a tribute chart to Michael Jackson and compare similar artists to the King of Pop.

As far as the aesthetic of the chart, I am very happy with how it turned out. I think it works nicely as a whole package, and each individual section looks nice as well. I was having fun with this project, and chose to add the silhouette of Jackson using image trace and some Illustrator editing, as well as a couple call-outs of quotes from artists to add an extra element of interest to the page.

If I were to recreate this chart, I might make the overall look a little darker to correspond with the theme of “Thriller” and Jackson’s classic red and black color schemes. Additionally, I meant to add more call-outs to the line graph, to emphasize certain points. For example, it is incredible that the “Thriller” album stayed within the top 5 of the Billboard 200 for almost an entire year! That is worth drawing attention to, but once I started fine-tuning my graph the call-outs completely slipped my mind.

My biggest challenge for this project was compiling the data. Music Industry data offers a great database of Billboard chart information throughout history for various artists. They have interactive line graphs showing the trends of Billboard rankings, but they had no spreadsheets of the data available, so I had to manually create the spreadsheets myself. Moving forward, I will definitely need to give myself more time for research and data mining with future projects.

I learned that there is a LOT to consider when creating an infographic. Aside from making it “look nice”, it is important to conceptualize which kind of chart would communicate each message the most effectively, which pieces of information are worth drawing attention to, and if the labeling decisions are intuitive.

I really enjoyed this project, despite the fact that it took me longer than I expected it to. The key was finding a subject I was excited to research and design for. My initial idea did not motivate me, but once I stumbled upon the final idea I couldn’t wait to start designing. I will learn from this lesson and start brainstorming for the next project now and throughout the next couple weeks.