[This is a guest post by Tae S. Yang*, walking us through his intercative project ‘Is Print Dying? ‘]
Is print dying? This is a question that has been circulating for some time. In the age of the digital, the print industry is slowly losing its audience, with more people migrating to digital media. For my thesis I intend to show, through an interactive infographics, how the publication industry is slowly shifting towards digital as well as the way that new technologies such as the iPad and other mobile reading devices have changed the face of the industry.
The primary function of any infographics is to tell a story effectively through visuals and statistics. Today most infographics are in a printed, static form. However, as the design industry becomes more web-based, more designers are using ‘interactivity’ as a means of making their storytelling more engaging. I intend to show that interactivity can make storytelling through infographics more effective for viewers. I believe that interactivity can add an additional layer to the delivery of information and data. I think my strength as a designer lies in web-based media so I proposed to create an interactive infographics for my thesis project.
At the beginning of my research, I looked at statistics on the shift from print to digital publication in the book and magazine industry over the past five years. I had to have a set time frame so the information that I would be using was relevant and up-to-date.
I went through lots of interactive infographics sites and also infographics in print for inspiration. All these infographics are successful in that they are able to establish a clean aesthetic using pictograms and simple color palettes and yet are also able to provide immersive and engaging experiences for the viewer through interactive features.
Coming up with the contents involved lots of researching and trimming of information. I limited the time frame to past five years (2007 to 2012) because 2007 was the starting point for rapid decline in print sales in each industry.
Another challenge involved achieving as much interactivity as possible to make it an immersive and engaging experience for the viewers. It was very challenging to ensure that the interactivity would work for each element so that the viewers would be able to click and explore. Also, presenting content in not just a variety of formats, but the right format involved a lot of problem-solving.
The entire process was trial-and-error. It required a lot of different skills to achieve the interactivity that I wanted to have and I have learned a lot by building this page. It took me a while to figure out to implement some of the interactive features, such as JQuery rollover, and making gif animations with Adobe Photoshop.
Since the main goal of this project was to achieve all the interactivity without using Flash, so it could be viewed on mobile devices as well as through larger computers, I had to come up with an alternative solution for creating simple animations such as an animated pie chart.
Another challenge was maintaining a unified style while breaking down various information and content types in a clear and easily digestible way. Simplicity was the main goal in approaching the design.
I limited myself to using only two colors each color representing both print and digital. I used a lot of black in my design to convey a feel of the digital. In terms of the navigation I tried to keep it as simple and standard as possible so people would be able to navigate throughout the pages with ease. While creating this project, writing code has taken up majority of my time. I wish I could have spent more time on the design and making the interaction clear.
Through this project I hoped to pursue an issue that is relevant to what is currently happening in the graphic design industry and it was a great opportunity to explore the possibilities of the newest web technologies.
Visit here for the experience.
*Born and raised in Pusan, South Korea, Tae is a passionate and hard working designer. Although his professional focus is in web design he is also well-rounded in other areas such as typography and print design. Tae believes in clean yet striking visual that successfully conveys a clear message to the intended audience. When he is not designing, on his spare time he enjoying playing bass guitar.
You can see more of his work at behance.net/ssibjay