Puree Design is based in a fantastic coworking space called The Skiff, in the North Laine, Brighton. In keeping with The Skiff’s strong community spirit, we offered our services to design an infographic all about The Skiff.
There were two main catalysts that prompted us to do this, firstly members of The Skiff had started to discuss a need for some kind of poster advertisement to go in the window, especially as we see curious people peering in through The Skiff windows all the time, and secondly the fast approaching 5th anniversary of The Skiff seemed an ideal opportunity to promote The Skiff in this way. As with all our projects, we approached the brief by following our ‘S.E.E.D Design Process’ – which starts with us studying the brief, or in this case, building a brief. In this process we identified the following key requirements of the poster:
Effectively deliver the following messages:
Sell the Skiff to possible coworkers;
“We are a coworking space”
“How The Skiff membership works”
“We are a welcoming community – which you might want to join”
Drive business for the Skiff Mates;
“We are a talented bunch of individuals”
“If someone is from The Skiff they are likely to be made of good stuff.”
“Celebrate The Skiff’s growth and success”
– it needed to grab the attention of passers by.
In-keeping with existing Skiff branding.
With the poster needing to contain so many key messages, we started to think a great way to do this would be to create it in the form of an infographic.
Why an infographic?
Infographics have fast become a popular way to deliver information, because they are not only fun, but engaging, they help deliver information in a way that is easily absorbed by the audience – it’s believed that a good quality infographic is 30 times more likely to be read than a text only article.
We felt the graphic would not only work well in the window of The Skiff, but could also have the potential to be shared online, particularly amongst the local CDIT (creative, design and information technology) community.
We put together a survey, with the aim of revealing some of the most interesting statistics about the Skiff Mates, these needed to not only be interesting to the Skiff Mates themselves, but also deliver the key messages we outlined in our ‘Study’ process.
64 Skiffmates responded to the survey, and the results were brilliant. Not only did we manage to get a really clear idea of what kind of businesses are thriving in The Skiff, but we also managed to build a picture of the lifestyle of The Skiff Mates – for example we were really excited to learn that 71% of the Skiffmates who answered the survey either walk or cycle to work. We asked lots of questions, from ‘what is your favourite Skiff lunch’ to ‘who is your biggest client’, and the answers we received were fascinating.
Inevitably we had to whittle the results down to the most interesting and relevant statistics and there were some facts that we were sad to omit. For example 78% of Skiffmates say they socialise with other Skiff Mates, falafel and sandwiches shared first place for the most popular Skiff Mate lunch, and we have Skiff Mates who originate from as far away as Bosnia, Peru and Russia.
Once the results were in we had the challenging task of devising ways to effectively illustrate each statistic. Some of these came easily, but others taxed us for several days. Trying to find the balance between effectively presenting the information and figures, whilst creating a graphic that was beautiful, eye catching, and complimented other existing Skiff marketing material.
One section that was particularly challenging was the ‘What Skiffmates do’ section. There were several outcomes we needed to achieve with the information; We needed to demonstrate the balance of professions and the fact that the three most prevalent professions were Development, Design and IT suggest that The Skiff is it’s very own miniature CDIT cluster. But on the other hand we really wanted to champion the broad spectrum of skills and professions that can be found within The Skiff, and get the message out to the wider community that The Skiff is a great place to look for all manner of business services.
And of course, all of this needed to be explained simply and clearly in one small visually interesting graphic.
On top of all our other considerations, we also wanted the graphic to have a playful personality. We feel that whilst The Skiff is a really quite a formidable centre of business, it is also a fun and welcoming community. A really great way to inject some of that community atmosphere into the infographic was by making sure it featured some characters.
We started the process for creating these characters by looking at the profile pictures of some of the real life Skiff Mates, and whilst none of the characters are supposed to bare an exact resemblance to any particular Skiff Mate, we thought it would be nice to take our inspiration for these characters from them.
The Design Process – sharing the load
One of the most interesting parts of the design process for us was that we felt it was only fair to share the design work equally, seeing as we were both excited to work on it. Whilst Martine and I usually both have some input on most of our projects, one of us usually takes the majority share on each. But in this case we needed to find a way of dividing the work up equally whilst being sure that there was continuity.
With Martine putting together an initial wireframe, and header graphic, I went on to create a style for the characters. We were surprised how organic the design process was after that point, we took a section each and started to weave the graphic together. We regularly evaluated it together, as a whole, often allowing the other to make tweaks to our own sections and referring back to our criteria to make sure we were keeping a clear direction. (You can see a quick animation of the how the infographic evolved at the top of the page).
The final result is something we are both very pleased with and have had a lot of fun working on. We’re looking forward to getting it installed in the front and back windows of The Skiff, and as we sit right by the back window we’ll be able to directly monitor any attention it receives!
So, what do you think? You can view a full sized version of the infographic here. Are there any stats you would like to have seen included? Do you recognise yourself in one of The Skiff characters? We’re hopeful that sharing our infographic will help promote The Skiff to a wider online audience so feel free to share using the buttons for Google+ Facebook and Twitter below.