CARP and it’s roll in Infographics

If you visited previous blog posts of mine, you know that I have discussed CARP before, you can see my explanation on my CARP Blog Post.  I really took to this idea in design and reference it all the time in my career and personal life.  I’m constantly looking for good and bad examples of CARP and looking for ways to improve those that could be better.

This week we spent looking for infographics that interested us.  I recently started rock climbing and realized that there wasn’t a lot of introductory material on the best ways to approach the sport as a new comer.  There are TONS of videos on safety and plenty of paperwork to fill out when you first visit a gym, but it is very common for the front desk employee to hit play on the safety video, hand you a harness and send you on your way.  There really isn’t much out there to educate you on the best practices of a good climber, or the techniques that help climbers move to the next level of climbing, there’s even a deficit of explanation of all the tools available to a climber.  That being said I decided I wanted to create a mini course for my other class (Developing Online Courseware), this video would serve as a short intoduction to all of those things.

I figured the first thing I needed to do was look at what was already out there and created!  So, I went searching…

Google found lots of climbing, hiking and backpacking infographics.  Some were using illustrations, others had photos.  This one in particular jumped out at me.

Image result for infographic bouldering

I thought the color scheme looked good, the idea behind it made sense.  So let’s break this down in terms of CARP.

Contrast: This graphic has opposite colors, blues and oranges to help the eyes delineate between the two parts.  I like that they are muted colors, more of a burnt orange and a dark teal color.  I think it makes the graphic more natural and less Florida Gators.  There are lines to break up each section that are meant to be climbing ropes, so there is a theme and a job behind these.

Alignment: Starting with the title, the words are lined up correctly and look good next to the graphics on the top and sides.  As we move down each topic is designated by the “rope” running across the page and the title of that section sits on top, the alignment here makes sense.  I did find that the visual representations of different gear had captions nearby and the alignment made sense, however the size of the text was an issue.  The description of the item was so small that even at the size you see above it is too small to read, when I tried to zoom in it lost clarity and was impossible to read.

Repetition: The colors, the font and the mountains with climbers acsending are throughout the graphic and make for great repetition.  The designer did a great job of using variations of the color scheme to highlight different information, from yellow through dark brown and light blue to dark teal.

Proximity: This section goes hand and hand with alignment, the iteams need to make sense next to eachother.  As stated above the text and graphics are complimenting eachother, however there are some issues with the descriptions being too small.  The amount of white space inbetween the graphics and sections is well executed and should not be changed.  The infographic itself is on the long side, if the idea is to make it a long poster, I would leave all of the topics, but if this is intended to be a handout I would suggest removing a section.  There are two obvious parts that aren’t necessary to the infographic being successful; first is the where to climb in Colorado.  Assuming that someone who needs information on what each shoe is intended for or the different knots to use, leads me to think they are just beginning.  A beginner should start in a gym in a controlled area with plenty of mats and spotters, thus rendering the “Places to Climb in Colorado” section an easy section to remove.  Another option would be to remove the final section about the rating scale, or simply make the scale on the very bottom of the page as a quick look and lose the descriptions of each.  Taking out either of these sections would allow for the description of each of the graphics to be a larger font size but wouldn’t take up any more space.

CARP is essential in a good design, it must be present throughout in order to create a cohesive and informative infographic.


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