visualising complex content

Sometimes diagrammatic language is usually associated with static print or digital projects, such as information graphics or diagrammatic maps. However, this language can be also used in 4D projects, such as animations and videos, to visualise complex information. As can be seen in this video, the used of diagrammatic language does not have result in complex images.

The Story of Stuff is a pedagogic video, which combines diagrammatic language and oral explanation to visualise the complex process of where stuff comes from and where it goes when we throw it out. This process is called Materials Economy, and has five stages: extraction, production, distribution, consumption and disposal.
The used of diagrammatic language supports the discourse and facilitates the comprehension of this complex content to a broader audience. To be able to synthesise this content with simple diagrams, it was essential to have an extremely clarity and organisation of it. Annie Leonard explained, at the beginning of the video, she has been investigating and working on environmental problems for more than 10 years. It is worth to notice that even though the diagrammatic language in this project is quite childish, the content is not less important at all.

In terms of information design, the video employs different visual variables, as size, orientation and texture, to emphasised key concepts; while textual elements are used to explore, support and add information (image above).

Colour coded is only applied in strategic elements, denoting key meaning, as can be seen in the image above: yellow arrow and green signal at the end of the last stage.

Beyond the technical visual analysis, the video is worth to be watched. In only 20 minutes you can learn about this process and how to be greener.

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