NBA 2016-17 MVP

Rachel Weather's chart graphic
Click to view the enlarged PDF of my work

It’s no secret that basketball is a sport all know, even if they don’t watch it. I could argue that everyone knows at least one player by name. This past season Russell Westbrook was named the MVP of the NBA after much controversy. If you look at the votes alone it seems there’s not much competition, but when you look at the statistics it’s a little more vague as to why he was chosen. Harden was also one of the top players fans were rooting for, but the reason he didn’t win in the end is because Westbrook is the best well rounded player. This infographic can be argued as timely because preseason for the next season is starting, but this also could be used in sports and entertainment.

The first bar chart is for how many wins each player contributed to for their team. I thought this chart would be effective because it doesn’t just show how each individual player did, but how they helped their team grow.

The pie chart is for the overall free throw percentages for each player. This shows how each player did under the pressure. I originally thought this information would be really effective, but I think I could’ve chosen different statistics to show more how Westbrook shined as the overall player. This was, however, shown well through the bar chart over the player efficiency rating because no only does it compare Westbrook to Harden, Leonard, and James, it also shows how Westbrook’s average is the best in the league as a whole.

The other two bar charts are broken up into each player to show the individual game statistics for the assists and points made per player per game. Originally I had these charts broken up into order from A-Z, but I decided to change this. The assists are lined up, as well as the points, in the order from fewest to greatest. The individual charts for each player makes it easier to read; however, I wish I would’ve been able to arrange them in a way were they were still clear but smaller. I had difficulty doing this because there are so many games played in the regular season.

The final graph, is for the votes given to each of these top four players. This shows that although all the other numbers in the charts were close, there’s no controversy over who the real winner is. I also really enjoyed making an outline of Westbrook to try and make the chart package as a whole more visually appealing.

Overall I think the graphic turned out well, I like my typographic style because it’s simple and clean cut which I think is effective for various types of infographics not just one specific set. I think my colors complement each other well and each were taken specifically from the teams. It’s clear to see which data goes with each player and I think the subtle grey lines make it easier to see the divisions of the years. I unfortunately really struggled to effectively give the design a dominant element, which was really frustrating. I also don’t think my headline grabs much attention. At the end of the day, I am pretty pleased with how this turned out. I put a lot of time and work into it so I’m content. However, if I were to do it again, I would probably have considered using different data or more focused data because I think having less graphics would allow readers to be able to focus on the package better because all the information, looking back, is a little overwhelming.

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.

Sara Joyce – Blackhawks Graphic

Sara Joyce's chart graphic
Click this image to see a PDF of this work

The charts project proved to be a challenging having never experimented with Illustrator’s chart tool before this class. The thought of also working with numbers made me anxious at first, but I am glad I have expanded my skills in Excel with this exercise. For this project, I decided to use the sports team, the Chicago Blackhawks. I’ve grown up watching the Hawks and already knew a little about their history so I figured I would dive deeper into the true history of the team over the year. For my first graph, I did an area graph of the wins, losses and ties from since the ’90s. This particular graph showed the progression of the team’s records through the years. Because of the high population of international players in the NHL, my second graph was a pie graph of the home countries from the players. I decided to take advantage of other design skills and put a 3D effect on the graph to make it a hockey puck. The third graph was a horizontal stacked bar chart of the number of goals and assists from the top 15 players of the 2016-2017 season. For other style choices, I decided to use the five colors from the Blackhawks logo, green, yellow, red, orange and brown. I also used my favorite san serif typeface, Avenir Next Condensed. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this project and loved learning more about Adobe Illustrator and Excel along the way.

The Nobel Prize and Gender

Caitlin Seitz's chart graphic
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Overall, I am very pleased with the outcome of my first Infographics project. It was a lot of hard work putting together the charts and the data, but it was well worth it to see the end product. As happy as I am with it overall, there are a few final touches that I would like to add.

I chose to do my project on the number of female Nobel Prize winners (or lack thereof) compared to the number of men who have been awarded the Nobel Prize. The sheer difference in numbers is astonishing, and something that is very interesting to me, so it was fun to research. I did, however, have to piece a lot of the data together myself. So, as we’ve said in class, the fruit wasn’t hanging very low. I did thankfully find a spreadsheet containing the names and categories of all winners from 1901-2014, but I had to go in and add up the number of men and women, and calculate the necessary data. It was a process, but I don’t regret my choice of topic.

As for my actual project, my graphs and such actually came out very nicely. I would like to go back and fix some of the alignments of the words and such, but that is really the only big issue I see. Specifically, I would like to fix the numbers indicating the number of female Prize winners over the bars in my main chart. They’re just a little off-center, but the more I look at them, the more I wish I would have noticed and fixed them before turning in my project.

I chose to use blue and a yellow-ish/gold for my main colours. I chose blue because it is a colour used frequently on the official Nobel Prize website, and I chose gold because it contrasts nicely and could be associated with the ‘gold’ of the Nobel Prize. I chose to use the BentonSans family for my project, as I’ve been using it in class for all of our assignments so far and I really like the look of it. I used book style for the main paragraphs because they are easy to read, and I used bold and medium styles for the graphic titles so that they would standout. For my callouts, source, and notes, I used BentonSansComp/Cond to save space and set them apart from the other words.

Overall, I am very happy with how everything turned out and I look forward to growing my skill set and working on further projects.

Shifts in the Camera Industry Over Time

Graphic displaying trends in the camera industry over time.
Click image to see full sized pdf version.

As a photographer, the idea of exploring the recent struggles of the camera industry was a topic that peaked my interest. The camera industry has seen recent hardship in our new digital world fueled by social media, mobile devices, and instant satisfaction. Large, dedicated cameras just can’t keep up with the versatility and mobility that consumers expect from technology in 2017. People want smaller, lighter, and intuitive devices and modern cameras seem to be the opposite.

Average consumers no longer have to learn how to use advanced camera settings and photo editing applications like Photoshop or Lightroom to get decent photos worthy of sharing on social media. The Improvements in high-end smartphone cameras with built-in Gaussian blur effects or “portrait modes” coupled with the versatility of having a smartphone that can do it all with a nearly limitless number of apps has spelled disaster for the camera industry in recent years. Point & shoot cameras have seen the greatest decrease in sales as their digital zoom works in a similar fashion to that found in a smartphone, but interchangeable lens cameras have also found themselves losing ground with Nikon causing panic amongst photographers after reporting extraordinary losses earlier in 2017.

The dominant chart in my package is a bar chart depicting the sale of cameras worldwide over a 20-year time span. With the inclusion of film cameras in the chart, we can see how digital cameras are now following a similar trend to their predecessors. A common discussion in photography is how Kodak died off due to their unwillingness to embrace the shift towards digital photography and now we are seeing a similar trend with DSLRs where companies like Canon and Nikon won’t innovate or embrace mirrorless systems. I chose a bar chart to represent this data because I liked how simply it distinguished the gradual decline of film in comparison to the growth of digital. Looking back, I think I could’ve maybe included a callout pinpointing the year that smartphones began to become common in society.

My second chart is a line chart showing the sale of digital cameras by type over the span of 5 years. While point & shoot cameras have always dominated digital camera sales due to their affordability, the line chart shows how far they’ve fallen within just five years. Even though point & shoot cameras aren’t known for producing quality images, Sony is pushing major innovation in the camera industry with super-zoom point & shoot cameras like the RX10 which utilizes elements of interchangeable lens cameras like a full frame sensor and high continuous frame rates.

Lastly, my third chart shows the share of interchangeable lens cameras in 2012 compared to 2016. Since I’m comparing pieces of a whole, I chose to represent this data as a pie chart. Until recently, DSLRs would’ve been the only real contender in this area but the introduction of full frame and medium format mirrorless cameras from Sony and Fujifilm has caused a disruption in this area. Mirrorless cameras host a variety of advantages over DSLRs such as the ability to operate in silence, an electronic viewfinder that allows you to preview exposure in real-time and shoot video without live view, the ability to use DSLR lenses from any brand, and more. Professional photographers and enthusiasts are moving towards mirrorless cameras and it was recently revealed that mirrorless cameras sold more than half of the total sales of DSLRs in the first quarter of 2017.

Overall, I really enjoyed completing my charts package and love how the final product turned out. While I knew the state of the camera industry wasn’t too great, seeing it put into visual form really showed me how bad the struggle actually was. Having the opportunity to have my chart critiqued during class before submitting my final project was really invaluable. I took notes and later changed many things such as converting units to millions, correcting font sizes, and the altering my headline. I also revised my color scheme to make it blend better and craft a better sense of unity between the different categories. I myself didn’t really like my original colors so hearing feedback from someone else really pushed me to rethink my color scheme. I chose a scheme based on blue because of its heavy association with technology which I believed to be fitting for this package. My font from the beginning has been Benton Sans. Since it is IU’s choice for communications, I believed it would also serve well in news publication. It’s modern, sleek, and IU provides multiple families for free which allows me more flexibility while designing.

Uganda Changes your preset of HIV


click this image to see a pdf of my work
I produced this infographic which goes with my story, HIV empowerment in Uganda. When I work on reporting in Uganda, I found Uganda communities and government pay a lot of attention on controlling HIV spread. More important, I found Ugandan are more knowledgeable in HIV compared to me and my US classmate. Thus, I am curious statistically how well do they control HIV.
In the first graphic, I compared the percentage change between world’s new infection and Uganda’s new infection of HIV positive. I believe percentage point is a fair way of comparison. Also, I choose comparison of new infection instead of the population of infection because I want to indicate the result of the HIV control strategic. I hope I can put more call out in the middle of the graphic. However, I didn’t because the detail information is difficult to research. I also want to find the way to include more line in this chart.
The section graphic is the bar chart of HIV treatment coverage. I choose this graphic because it can also indicate the success of Uganda HIV control. I think this graphic is better than the first one since it does not have lots of empty space. I am not sure should I include the key in this graphic, since the color of the page is united. Also, in the callout, I should mention the date of the world as well.
The third graphic compared the percentage of infected man and women. I created this graphic because people in the US always believe that HIV is a gay disease. This graphic tells us to pay attention to women health in HIV. Due to the time limit, I didn’t put enough information in this graphic.
Overall, I think the style and alignment are ok, but now I think the font I chose, Avenir Next, is a bit ugly. The way I use color is successful because I give viewers a sense that red represent Uganda and purple represent the world. I will put more effort into headline and subhead in the future. It is a bit hard for me to produce a good headline since I lack cultural knowledge and have the language barrier. I also want to make the layout more visually compelling instead of looking like a textbook page.

Economics of Beer

economics of beer
Click to see full size version

For our first project I decided to look at the economics of beer. I charted market share, the number of people employed and the average salary by state, and the liquor sales by month. I gave myself a lot of time to complete the project because I started thinking about my idea and gathering research early, but that didn’t help me to avoid all stress. I found so much data it was confusing and overwhelming. I had a hard time picking a theme for the project and examining the data. I got frustrated at times because analyzing the data and deciding what to chart is the hardest part of the process for me. Sometimes numbers don’t click in my head and I just end up confused and frustrated. Once I decided what to chart, I struggles a little with the layout. This chart was too big, that one didn’t fit, and this one’s alignment was off. After tweaking it quite a few times, I settled on a layout I liked and added colors, call outs, and style. Over all I enjoyed this project because we had so much control over the content, and working through the struggles I had throughout the process forced me to learn and figure it out.

Welcome to J464!

J464 Fall 2017 syllabus
Click the page to read the class syllabus.

My goal is that you will leave this class with a solid understanding of what constitutes an effective informational graphic as well as the ability to render a variety of different types of graphics, from serious news stories to light-hearted features, from the clear and direct to the complex and engrossing.
You will learn the history of graphics, their prominence in today’s media and their promise for the future. You will develop and refine your visual skills, enhancing your ability to illustrate and design so that your graphics have maximum impact and help readers/users better comprehend important events, draw in the curious with essential and arresting visual information and lead them skillfully through complex data in a logical and appealing way.
We will focus on building skills to report and write for graphics, create valuable data sets that we can turn into charts, isolate key information and focus on how best to convey that information in a visual way. We will concentrate on developing your fundamental knowledge of reporting and producing infographics. This class is a design class, a drawing class AND a reporting class, and as such, there is a focus on building skills in a variety of programs. As you are undertaking new tools in this class, please remember: everything can be learned, and in a class like this, learning new skills will open up worlds of possibilities.
While we will spend a good deal of our time learning how to use software, it is learning the principles of graphic journalism — the ability to identify and represent information in a compelling visual way — that will prove more valuable. This is a “hands-on” course, but the computers are only a part of the equation. This class will stress the importance of responsible and intelligent journalism along with the importance of developing your ability to produce high-quality visuals.