Breaking down a fine-tuned classic

My diagram
Click on the image to see my full illustration.

I’m pretty proud of this final project. I started by finding many reference images and other diagrams to see what the inside of a piano looks like, and I combined aspects of several different references to create my own.

The overall style of this piece is more magazine-oriented than my previous projects, which I personally prefer, with the more decorative callouts and flat-colored illustration.

I considered adding more highlights to the outside casing of the piano, and I played around with flat shapes or the gradient mesh tool, but I preferred a more simplistic style. I think one of the hardest things about diagramming complex objects is simplifying it enough to be easily understood and so readers can apply it to many different versions of what you’re portraying. Pianos vary by make and model, so I wanted to focus on the basics of what every piano will have.

I could have done a more decorative type treatment, but wanted to stick to my established typography style for this class.

Starbucks not so common in Bloomington


Map package thumbnail
Click on the thumbnail for the full size PDF of my map package.

Starbucks is a very appealing subject to many college students, and I was inspired by the example showed in class to make my map package about the popular coffee chain.

The data turned out to be harder to find than I thought – I originally wanted to make a map of Indiana with the different densities of Starbucks per county to match up with the chloropleth map of the US, but I could not find that information any other way than to manually zoom in on each county on the Starbucks website and count the stores. Since stores only appeared if you zoomed in enough on the map, it was very hard to keep track and was just not an option if I wanted to maintain accuracy. So I went for a map of Bloomington instead, because I could confidently keep track of where each store was.

Ultimately, I think the appearance of the graphic turned out well, but I had wanted to portray different data.

Gun violence in the United States

Maia Rabenold's charts.
Click this image to see a full PDF of my work.

Since the October 1st mass shooting in Las  Vegas that once again surpassed the United States’ record for the largest mass shooting in recent history, gun violence in our country has constantly been on my mind.

Since this topic is so important in light of recent events, I was extremely interested in searching for data surrounding it. At first, finding relevant data in an easy-to-use format was very difficult. The FBI has some statistics about gun deaths in the U.S., but not compared to other countries. Vox had some interesting graphics about the U.S. compared internationally, but I could not find the source data. What finally got me to the numbers I was looking for was tracking down sources cited by news articles or publications’ infographics, and I found a great chart detailing how the United States compares to other countries in regard to gun violence and yearly deaths by firearm.

I wanted to make the United States compared to other countries graph the central focus, because I think that’s the most shocking and impactful data – that the U.S. has such an immense lead on other countries.

Looking back, I wish I could have found more specific information on how many gun owners there are in the United States or how many guns are in the United States, because the only data I could find in the time I gave myself was how many guns were produced in the United States. I also wish the package had been more visually interesting, but I didn’t want to add pictures or illustrations to a package about such a serious topic. I also could have used just varying shades of red instead of using blue and red.

Overall, I’m pretty proud of the data I found and how the finished package is clean and easy to understand.