In this last session we will cover:
First, lets talk about diagrams in regards to concept, design and layout.
Concept dictates complexity. What are you trying to communicate? Can you do it with two circles and some text as in a Venn diagram? Regardless of complexity, strive for simplicity in presentation. Don't add unnecessary ornamentation if it does not help convey your information.
As the complexity increases, much more care needs to be invested in avoiding unnecessary information. Edward Tuft, the author of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, encourages those that will create graphics to avoid unnecessary "ink" in data graphics. His advice, page 105:
Tuft also has a good section in The Visual Display of Quantitative Information discussing the concept of chart junk. Drop shadows, 3D effects, hatching should be avoided. Creative integration of images in charts can be overpowering and can slip into the realm of chart junk, even though they might be supremely creative, well designed and very clever. Not everyone agrees with Tuft's perspective, and editors do obviously send eye-catching busy charts to press.
Here is a presentation at speakerdeck.com that illustrates how you might go through the process of improving the data-ink ratio of your diagram.
For example, if you are trying to create something very dense and complex, like this exploded parts diagram for a model race car, maximize the data-ink ratio.
More info on exploded parts drawing at wikipedia
Below is a diagram that I have created that combines all of the elements we need to cover: Time, Motion and Rules and Randomness. We will discuss this more in class.
For hands on work, we will learn how to download some free svg map graphics and put them in Illustrator and modify them. If you have other graphics that you are interested in developing, then you can work on that after you have downloaded a map and learned how to modify it.
We will also work in InDesign.