infographing?

For my remediation project, I’ve decided to turn my personal statement on vegetarianism into a series/presentation of infographics more geared towards college students. My original piece touched on my own background eating meat up until this summer, the philosophy behind my choices, some conversations with my roommates and my Opa, and the general confusion I’ve had surrounding such a complex topic, one that I hadn’t even thought of as being complex until college. So translating all these big fat ideas into succinct pictures to try to get a similar point across is proving to be a challenge. I’m first trying to collect all my research together and lay out a few different ‘pages,’ I guess, one focusing on the college aspect (i.e. the possible benefits of Meatless Monday in the dining halls), one on my own personal background (which I’m not as sure how to quantify), one a visualization of the ethics, etc.

At the same, though, I’ve been exploring different data visualization tools and those pretty little infographics are a lot uglier behind the scenes than I thought. I started messing around with infogr.am, an online editor to make infographics but there’s hardly any customization offered in terms of layout and apparently publishing privately is a Pro option. They want me to post to social media to save the images (below is a pretty sneaky screenshot I took instead) but I’m not sure how my Facebook friends will feel about this:

Screen shot 2013-10-29 at 3.37.34 PM

 

So I think I’m going to look into some other options. I’m liking the editor for Piktochart a lot more than infogr.am, so I think for now as I’m still storyboarding that’s what I’ll use to create the images. Naomi says that Photoshop and Illustrator are available on UM computers, so I’m considering looking up some tutorials for those but they seem pretty ambitious. If anyone has graphic design experience…hi. Help.

Margot Kriete

Hi! My name's Margot. I study computer science, have super long arms, never skip breakfast, and will probably become a German shepherd lady (as opposed to those "cat ladies") when I grow up. I like to cook, read, run, change my mind, and write.

4 thoughts to “infographing?”

  1. Hi Margot, here are the names of some other platforms mentioned in connection with data visualization on a blog post I came across: Gapminder, Trendanalyzer, Tableau, D3, OpenPaths. These are all indicated to be open source; Tableau looks pretty powerful. Also, Jentery Sayers seemed to like visual.ly a lot, which I know is one you’ve looked at, but might offer more than infogr.am.

  2. Wow this looks really good!
    I’ve done a few infographics for work with some success but it took a LOT of time and effort. Like I spent a week working full time trying to figure out just what my options were and how to customize on the level that I wanted (which seems like what you’re searching for too).
    I’ve tried infogr.am before but I ran into the same problems as you, and I also tried visual.ly but didn’t have much luck because I couldn’t find out how to do it for free?
    Anyways, I wound up doing the entire thing in photoshop with a little help from google and excel for the graphing stuff. It took a lot of time, but if you already have experience with photoshop I would highly recommend it because it gives you full customizability. If not, definitely check out the other data visualization tools Naomi mentioned; they also look good!

  3. Wow, thank you both for all the advice! Lisa, did you have any experience with Photoshop at all before your internship (I think I remember you saying that’s what your infographics were for?)? I think I’ll definitely look into the resources Naomi mentioned and hopefully get a handle on the technology sooner rather than later. Visual.ly seems pretty promising so I think I’ll start from there!

  4. I have no experience with infographics, but I am excited to see how this plays out for you. I think it will be a nice way to get your point across to people that don’t have the chance to read your essays on the topic. Maybe when you publish this, they’ll get picked up and spread to different websites/blogs for use!

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