SUMMARY

Submission

SUMMARY

I chose to illustrate the process of Houdini’s escape from the Water Torture Cell aka Upside Down. Little did I know that there wasn’t any detailed information out there as to how the Water Torture Chamber worked, after studying a million photos and collecting what information was out there, I made a hypothesis of what he did. Resources said that the key that locked the hasps to the contraption (that held the stocks together) were actually trick keys. I concluded that there must be a secret space within the stocks, as in the photos there was a random metal strip running along the stocks. The keys actually connected to a spacer inside of the stocks, that when turned one way, opened up a space to slightly push the stocks apart. Houdini then pulled his feet free, turned around. He then used the pick he had on him to undo the lock and push the stocks out.

I was then left with the conundrum of how to communicate this process, I decided to use ‘cutaways,’ red and circles to focus in on the areas of the tricks (the trick keys, the spacers, the secret air pocket, the pick). I also decided to start with the process of illusion with two pictures–one of Houdini in the tank and the other accompanied by the words ‘Two Minutes’  as he stood in front of the curtain, to demarcate the area of ‘illusion’ appearing to the audience. As a thematic piece I decided to blend it in with the title, which I kept simplistic and used a FUTURA font as it nodded to the Deco movement, but was clean and minimal.

I placed the ‘How Houdini accomplished his trick’ on the left in a circular motion, that connected the arrows of the trick but also the idea of a process being performed. It was important to define direction for the viewer, as diagrammatic vectors decrease detail. I used a vintage colour palette, that was reminiscent of Houdini posters and provided a yesteryear aesthetic that simultaneously looked fresh and modern. I predominantly wanted the graphics to speak for themselves, aided with arrows, but considering the complexity of the process, I accompanied the diagrams with minimal language, again with a FUTURA font.

I abandoned the rule of thirds in places, and designed to an extent the layout around the graphics. Perhaps this unruly look doesn’t fit into a clean aesthetic but I quite like the nod to Saul Bass, that things are asymmetrical. It expresses the psychological asymmetry of an ‘escape artist’ and the strangeness of illusion. I think perhaps I went beyond the ‘iconographic’ process and perhaps should have been a little more conservative in my approach but I feel as though the process of illusion is more complicated than iconography can explain. I still retained a few iconographic things like keys, feet, locks etc. If I had the time I would have put more information in it, as in: water levels, size dimensions, time lapse etc. but then again it may have crowded the piece.

While I looked at photos for references, I didn’t use them to trace anything, all traces are based off my own pictures. The pen tool, grids and guidelines  became my comrades during the process.

As an admirer of diagrams and cutaways to secret dimensions, this process has been incredibly exciting to communicate. Perhaps this isn’t exactly how Houdini accomplished this trick but in my mind it makes sense and hopefully I have communicated it clearly.

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Comments

Submission

kkkkkkkelsey

I love the minimalism of the two-toned icons, grey on cream is a very pleasing combo. I’m just noticing a bit of variance in the icons sizes, and the space around the icons, perhaps this is the look you want but for more consistency perhaps look at the empty space around them. I have no idea what game you are alluding too, but the communication is so clear, I can understand it. Zombies 4EVA.

Alisha Lovrich VisCom

I love the minimal clean aesthetic of your icons, and that when you look closer you can see the subtle complexities of the iconography. I also love how clear they are, like I am not baffled at all and I don’t really know anything about wine. I would suggest maybe playing with different colours for the icons before deciding on something, although perhaps you have already done this.

shanibennett

I love how much information you have put into this infographic. I also like that you kept the background and map as a neutral colour, this allows the information to stand out without clashing. Just wondering about the specific paths, why some of the titles are larger than the others, is this because some are more popular paths? I would try keeping all the titles at a similar size + the Portugese path title is perhaps a little far from the actual path. Looks so good, I love maps.

silasaddington

I think as a framework this works really well, it’s clean, the colours compliment each other and it’s easy to read. Pay close attention to the spacing and the proportions, especially on the vectors in the first column. I think you need to add more dynamism to the piece also, you can achieve this through the typography and detailing of the vectors. Look forward to seeing the final product.

kkkkkkkelsey

Wow, this sounds like an amazing project. I like how you are methodically working through integrating various processes +information into your infographics. In particular I am looking forward to seeing how you visually communicate the evolution of the fungus. Zombie’s are a great topic as there is a surplus of pop-culture out there to inspire color, semiotics, graphics, style etc, that are visually recognizable.

If your infographics are inspired by a game I just wonder what the copyright issues are around it. It could be quite cool to see a comparison between two types of Zombies, and the processes involved in each e.g a 90s game zombie compared to a 00s game zombie or a Haitian folklore zombie compared to a game zombie, so it would also be a process of zombie transformation over time. Ignore what I just said, I suddenly got all excited over Zombies and got carried away 😉 I look forward to seeing your progress.

RETRO GRAIN

Research

1

I have been researching how to create a grainy effect on Illustrator, since my process is a lil bit vintage, I need something that looks a bit dusty, a bit old school cool. I want to be a little restrained in my use of it, because it could start to look a little kitsch, a little hipster cliche but I think perhaps in some of the shading it would be a cool effect. This tutorial was relatively simple, and talked about how to use gradients (I think gradients can be used as an exception here), gradient meshes and blends. It breaks it down to simple steps and then shows the process of these on a particular illustration. Let the fun ensue.

TYPOGRAPHY

Research

 

Looking at todays branding, it seems typography is everything. I even have a friend who chooses where he eats depending on the typography of the signage. As a cinephile I have always been fascinated with how auteurs use a particular typography in their titles, Woody has Windsor and Wes has Futura, it engraves their auteurism in stone. I have been scouring the web for particular fonts that are a pastiche of the past but fit in with the minimal crowd of the modern age. I like simplicity, sans-serif, boldness with a tinge of the theatric, these typographies I feel will represent Houdini e.g Neue Haas Unica, Futura, Normotype.