MOTEL inforgraphic process

in the beginning: I had a couple of good ideas,
 driven by numbers, but alas...

since i chose the type of information i did, i've been struggling with an infograph that is heavy on words. the majority of my information would reside in blocks of text. and how to ground that in some space and make sense of it, i first wondered how i could use a map to integrate the information.

a simple arbitrary location for these cultural "spaces" was my initial idea. i thought they didn't need to be any place certain, that they just existed, in some theoretical MOTEL TOWN, that the information about the motel culture was more important. but i learned that this can be misleading, unless understood completely that it was fabricated, and that by giving purpose to the locations, the infograph would be.. more.. informational!? duh.

Since time or quantity wasn't really important, space would make more sense -to understand the geographical range of american motel popular culture across the states. my initial hope was to have each motel referenced depicted as it really exists in life but this would prove to be impossible. there is no real life saloon that "rocky raccoon" checked into. nor are there any hard facts pertaining to Kerouac's journey, only educated guesses.

The paper prototype formats lose some of their dynamics along the way. the information set so far from the images seems boring and, well, uninviting to read (this is important!!) and there exists no deeper level of "motelness" in this type of form. what is it they say: "information dictates content, content dictates form," or something --i'm sure i'm way off. some influences i would bring in would be older maps, from the route 66 era, possibly kitchy looking or something. i mean, what would you find in a motel room that could be referenced into an infograph? now would be a good time to look back on that scrap book. a theme driven by a pregnancy test, ya? jk.

i started working out some graphic elements that would control the information within the map, being that the map is secondary information (not really the basis of the information). i also got the complaint that some of the information seemed hard to understand (?), and it needed a second level of reading so i incorporated images to lead you into the type, and help the reader learn visually as well as literally.

at this stage in the process so much was going on, and the map was loosing all sense of direction in my mind. i had so many ideas on what a motel was, but none were referencing effectively as a system. i thought of wood grain, a dark color with a map to assume a motel desk, as if you were picking a destination. the cut out mountains and trees i thought were referencing the time period. the lettering was like Las Vegas -this is where editing came in strong. so in the next few stages i tossed the black and white photos (didn't suggest the level of photograph i wanted to incorporate in the article), and tried some new masks for the map and surface. i needed to find units that would work together.

this is one of the last images of rough drafts. some editing that would prove to be crucial would be setting all text in digital faces (the handwriting had to go), and designing a flow of information through images and graphic elements to primary information to secondary and so on. the map was now referencing a postcard without actually being a postcard so towards the final infograph i got rid of some unnecessary signs (the postage stamp, the edges of the card, etc). some typographic refinement created a sense of unity between the article and the information blocks, and by understanding a spread i arrange all this in a means that was dynamic and clear.