The delight of art words…

The delight of art words…

I recently saw a lovely piece of word art – you know where the word itself is illustrated with its own meaning…

Inspired, I thought I’d have a little adventure with that idea. Here’s my wee story.

 

I have been feeling like life has been reallyIMG_6601 (2)

Not that I’ve been feeling in a IMG_6604 (2) … far from it!

 

Life has been really exciting.

I just feel like I’m lacking IMG_6603 (2)

 

All my technology – my computer, my connections are all running so IMG_6589 (2)

And that’s been a great  IMG_6596 (2)for what’s going on, on the inside.

 

 

So it’s time to get back to IMG_6588 (2)

Get some IMG_6598 (2) and a renewed IMG_6603 (2)

 

So, inspired, we are heading off to the Kimberleys for the next couple of months.

 

A chance to make some IMG_6599 (2)

And get some IMG_6600  and perspective on life!

 

Hope you enjoyed my wee word art story. Would love to see your word art – email me with your best to michelle@curiousmindsco.com.au and I’ll post here when I return in September.
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When nostalgia looks soooo good
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I LOVE venn diagrams – another installment

Howdy!

It’s been a while… Life has been tumultuous these past few months.

As a result, I have not had the ‘bandwidth’ to post any stories. Though there’s been plenty of good stuff in amongst all the other to share.

Expect to see a few new stories leaping off the production line over the next couple of weeks, as I find my energy returning for all things visual and graphic and my fingers get a tapping on the keyboard.

As promised back in February when I posted ‘I LOVE Venn diagrams‘ I have drawn a few more to add to the ‘work in progress’ gallery.

WARNING: Some of these deal with the grittier side of life.

Would love to hear your thoughts on these ideas. Send me a note!

signature iconNeed help to get your CREATIVE switched on?

I can help YOU expand your professional backpack with the POWER of VISUAL THINKING so you can make your ideas and solutions clear and communicate these with greater impact and ease. I design and deliver premium training and coaching programs when you’re seeking a guide TO EXPLORE and DEVELOP your creativity.

You can contact me through michelle@curiousmindsco.com.au. – See more at: www.curiousmindsco.com.au   

Infographics in five ‘fearless’ steps!

Infographics in five ‘fearless’ steps!

how to build an infographicWe live daily in an info-blur world. Communicating the complexity of our ideas is often challenging to do well.

Organisations are looking for ways to cut through that blur. The requests to help distil wheelbarrow loads of information onto a single page is on the increase. The resulting graphics are dense with information yet easy to read and understand. Their sexy title of ‘INFOGRAPHICS’ has become common lingo. Whole books are now dedicated to them.

I am not attempting to do a deep dive here on this subject – others have done it better and with more authority – but a recent project has made me reflect on how I go about developing them. It would be fair to say, my ideas have evolved on a long-ish road… with small-ish number of lightbulbs!

The main challenge is often helping people convert their technical thinking and ideas into a clear picture. The complexity – and my clients’ intimate knowledge of it – can be a big stumbling block.

So, how to cut through?

I now use  five design steps to guide the collaborative thinking I do with my clients to build their infographic:

1. Big picture outcomes: I start by asking: what are the overarching goals that you wish to hit with this infographic? If it did everything you could wish for, what would you have achieved? What would you have/not have?… feel/not feel?… think/not think? How will it be used by you and your organisation?

2. Synthesis and visual conversion of main points: After we have identified the big picture outcomes, I request material that will point me to the important concepts that are relevant to the graphic. I then convert these key points into visuals and summarise all the different elements into one graphic. This ‘one page summary’ chart is a starting point for our discussions at the first meeting. I also develop a visual style reference – where examples of style characteristics (e.g. hand-drawn Vs computer rendered, formal Vs relaxed, colourful Vs monochromatic) are represented in a second graphic.

What style graphic copy

3. Meeting 1: At the meeting I cover several critical things – 1) CONTENT: What must be included? what would you like to be included? 2) METAPHOR: is there any image or metaphor that works well with the message e.g. a road journey, a landscape or a tree form? and 3) STYLE: for each of the characteristics, where do you want this graphic to sit on the spectrum?

I make sure that by the end of this meeting there is some clarity about the image I am producing – I don’t end the meeting before that has been agreed.

4. Draft infographic: With the outcomes of the first meeting, I develop a draft (or drafts) of the graphic and send that with notes about the meaning of the elements that I have included as a ‘back story’ for the graphic. I want to check that the images and their meaning resonate with the client. I seek their ideas – this may mean a second meeting to ensure feedback is understood and possible solutions can be discussed and agreed together. Hopefully, if I’ve done a good job in steps 1), 2) and 3) this stage will be straight-forward.

5. Final graphic: With the refinements incorporated, I send a high resolution image/ set of images to the client.

One final hot tip from me – I often find individual graphic components in PowerPoint can allow the client to easily edit text boxes for specific contexts rather than rendering the entire graphic in a design software that can’t be manipulated by the client at their office.

So, there you go! I hope the above gives you some useful ideas about how you would go about distilling complex sets of information into a clear and engaging visual. While there are drawbacks and challenges lurking in every field – e.g. overuse – I think infographics have an important role to play in communicating our complex messages.

I would love to hear your feedback…

I LOVE venn diagrams

I LOVE venn diagrams

I have long been a huge fan of venn diagrams. I don’t know what it is about a couple of circles scratched out on a pad that has the potential to say it all. Maybe it comes from the reflection that my life is a series of experiences where I move towards the overlap of things I enjoyed…

Art–science, the environment–working with groups, people–creative activities…

About a year ago, in my journey into all things graphic, I found ‘Indexed’ by Jessica Hagy – http://thisisindexed.com/ – she has a great wit and decisive way of capturing ideas in a simple diagram.

Inspired by Jessica, I started cataloguing my own thoughts.

The Result – a ‘things I love’ series and a ‘things I’ve learnt’ series. Both are a ‘work in progress’. I will continue to add to as ideas arrive.

In the meantime, here they are. Hope you enjoy…

 

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