For our final project of the year, we had to design an infographic on a subject of our choice, by assembling data and presenting it in an engaging and informative way.
I began by doing some general research on some examples of existing infographics to inspire me. I particularly liked the designs with bright colours, vector style illustrations and ones in a long portrait format so more information can be included. I also watched the LinkedIn course we were linked to on Blackboard to understand more about the process.
I then began thinking about topics I was interested in and that would have good statistics t include in my infographic. Some of my interests I thought could work include, veganism, animal testing, space, 'Zelda', plants, Harry Potter, and mental health.
I eventually decided on researching about animal agriculture, a topic I'm passionate about. I have been following a vegan diet myself for the last five years after discovering many shocking facts about what really goes on in the world of mass animal farming; how cruel it is, and how it effects your health and the environment.
Animal Agriculture Research
79 million vegans in 2021 (population of 7.9 billion)
If the world went plant based:
save 8 million human lives by 2050 (reduction of red meat consumption and increased fruit and vegetable intake)
reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture by two thirds
lead to healthcare-related savings and avoided climate damages of $1.5 trillion (US)
Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 sq ft of forested land, 20 lbs CO2 equivalent, and one animal’s life
If the UK population was killed at the rate farmed animals are killed around the world, it would end in just 11 hours
70 billion farmed animals are reared annually worldwide; more than 6 million animals are killed for food every hour
Over a billion farmed animals in Britain are killed each year in slaughterhouses
Over 10 million pigs, 15 million sheep, 14 million turkeys, 15 million ducks and geese, 982 million broiler chickens, 50 million 'spent hens', 2.6 million cattle, 4.5 billion fish and 2.6 billion shellfish are killed in the UK each year - over 8 billion animals
Since 1970, the collective weight of free living animals has declined 82%. Instead, a small number of farmed animals (mainly cows and pigs) dominate the global biomass. They account for 60% of mammal species by mass, 36% goes to humans, and just 4% are free living animals
Effects of animal agriculture on the environment:
Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation
Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions
Livestock is responsible for 65% of all human-related emissions of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas with 296 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, and which stays in the atmosphere for 150 years
Cows produce 150 billion gallons of methane per day
A farm with 2,500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people
Animal agriculture water consumption ranges from 34-76 trillion gallons annually
2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef
477 gallons of water are required to produce 1lb. of eggs
Almost 900 gallons of water are needed for 1lb. of cheese
1,000 gallons of water are required to produce 1 gallon of milk
3/4 of the world’s fisheries are exploited or depleted
We could see fishless oceans by 2048
As many as 2.7 trillion animals are pulled from the ocean each year
Scientists estimate as many as 650,000 whales, dolphins and seals are killed every year by fishing vessels
40-50 million sharks killed in fishing lines and nets
Livestock or livestock feed occupies 1/3 of the earth’s ice-free land
Livestock itself covers 45% of the earth’s total land
Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction
1-2 acres of rainforest are cleared every second
1,100 land activists have been killed in Brazil in the past 20 years
We are currently growing enough food to feed 10 billion people (7.9 billion in the world currently)
Worldwide, at least 50% of grain is fed to livestock
82% of starving children live in countries where food is fed to animals, and the animals are eaten by western countries
After doing some research, I began sketching some initial ideas to visually show the data I found; using related objects and cutting them up to show percentages and numbers, using illustrations to represent statistics, etc.
I then tried to sketch out some possible layouts/wireframes to explore how the data could be arranged. My idea is to have a section for each sub-topic; animals killed/percentage of meat eaters vs non meat-eaters, water usage, pollution, land usage and possibly also a section on fishing, so its easier to digest. I thought a long portrait format would help organise the sub-topics in an order but I also thought a landscape poster would work well, possibly as a double-page spread in a vegan lifestyle magazine to give it more context. For example, it could have a main illustration (maybe a map) in the centre, then little graphics and graphs surrounding, or the sections in blocks of colour.
I then looked for some inspiration, specifically for the styling of the infographics illustrations. I wanted it to be digitally drawn with a vectorised feel but look slightly more organic with more texture. I was inspired by how some of the images below were just simply hand-drawn style line art, and even the more detailed illustrations being still very minimal.
I then thought about colour combinations that I could experiment with; lots of green, blue and orange to represent the environmental theme. I also looked into typefaces. I really like the more handwritten, organic style shown in some of the above posters, but also thought a more simple, serif font would pair nicely with the illustrations and be more eligible. I wanted the whole design to look friendly so that the theme of the infographic didn't make the viewer feel like they were being made to feel bad or being shouted at for contributing to the issues.
Here I started to experiment a little with the styling, using my original sketches and recreating them digitally, first in a simple flat vector style, then trying to add some texture and shading.
I then began experimenting a little with pairing the initial illustrations with the typography to see how it could be laid out. I thought the more sketchy typeface went pretty well with the more vectorised, flat visuals but I also wanted to flip this around and do the opposite; going back to my original pen and paper sketches and pair those with a simple, sans serif font.
I then began trying to develop the whole layout of the magazine spread. Many of the illustrations I tweaked or drew from scratch as I was going so that they would fit perfectly into the spaces and make the whole page flow properly. After a lot of experimenting with type choice, I settled on 'DIN' and 'Palatino', which both had a good range of different weights for variation. I liked how the styling developed into a sort of newspaper style.
Here are the final illustrations for my infographic data visuals. I tried to keep the hand drawn feel, using a textured digital brush on Procreate and used a friendly looking colour palette.
Here is my final design, all mocked up as well as some close ups. Im actually quite happy with how it turned out; I think I managed to keep the charm of my original sketches with the hand drawn, contemporary vibe, even though its a lot different to how I originally envisioned. I did consider changing the bold type to a colour other than black to make it pop more but I felt like there would either be too many colours or the balance would be off so I kept it black.