In my design, I embraced a clean, uncomplicated, monochromatic language that I feel encompasses both the emotional and intellectual information that I hope to convey regarding the RTS,S vaccine and the future of malaria.
I wanted to set a paradoxical mood of both hope and grim circumstance by inviting the audience into a world of blunt reality with a measured doses of optimistic anticipation.
Color plays a vital role in setting this stage. The background is muddied, yet rich in color. Even though it is dark, the tones are warm and personal. Blurred horizontal lines emphasize the hurried, rather serious note to the subject matter — the audience should understand that there is a sense of urgency in this plea. However, I juxtaposed these dynamic, active elements with blurred orbs, reminiscent of light. These help to soften the message, suspending it in a visual element thatfollows the viewer along their intellectual and emotional journey. The background is built from three transparent layers. I intend to use parallax to alter the scrolling speed of these images, communicating depth and helping to draw the viewer into the piece. This will better suspend the light orbs in space, as they exist on their own separate layers, and will follow the user’s scrolling actions at different speeds.
The graphical approach is clean and straightforward. Typography is a driving force behind much of the data presentation. Since the background is dark, light colors must be applied to the body copy in order to appropriately address legibility concerns. However, I am aware that, for the most part, white type presented on a dark background is generally harder to read. This situation has then forced me to reevaluate my design by including only that copy which is vital to the cause and using different typographic treatments to “call-out” pertinent information.
Highlighting with white has quickly become an effective means of communicating key points and titles throughout the entire project. In the graph above, the three main bits of information are “first reads.” They provide enough detail that the viewer is then forced to work to understand the graph as a whole. In short, this graph would read “Here is some information regarding malaria mortality rate changing over time. There is a decision n 2012. And the outcomes are in 2015.” Now, I can take the next step to define these highlighted elements.
I am not yet happy with the development of the screenshot presented above for several reasons. The typography is competing for dominance; clear hierarchy has not yet been identified. And the use of photography feels a bit out of place and inconsistent with the purely graphical nature of the project. These trials, however, help propel my work in the right direction.
The graphical nature of my project elicits the use of rounded corners, soft greys, clean directional arrows, transparent gradients, and bold splashes of red that call attention to themselves. Illustrations take on two forms — flat and vector in nature or rounded and rendered appropriately to create three dimensional space. While these two are very distinct, I feel that they help to communicate different elements of the information as a whole. The flat, vector icons accompany and define copy, while the rendered illustrations act as an ethereal canvas on which the copy, icons, and ideas merge together.
I believe these two together help define this world of content— a hopeful yet grim space that is brimming with potential and laced with a fervent message.
It feels like an altered reality. I’m not attempting to be crude or present the message in too bloody an approach, but I want it to be memorable and abrupt and jarring enough that the viewer will take notice and act.