Beautiful Systems – The Review

Today was the deadline for our Beautiful Systems project that we have been working on in groups for the past week.

After continuing our stop motion film that we started on Friday, we finished it and had it ready to hand in this morning at 10am. Although the process was quite slow, we still got it completed faster than I had initially expected that we would – my group mate and I worked really well together as a pair and got the job done in good time and to a great standard of quality.

The process involved us moving the laces bit by bit and taking a snapshot after every small movement in order to create the frames which then create the film. The procedure was fiddly at the best of times – it was often a real struggle to get the laces to stay where you wanted them to stay. The pie chart was probably the most difficult piece to create, but from then onwards, we seemed to have gotten the hang of it and we were away on a roll. Apart from laces, the only other objects we used were ripped scraps of white paper in which we wrote the shoe style, the school title and the data percentages on – we felt that these were needed in order to add clarity to our finished piece, enabling viewers to see exactly what each segment of the charts were percentage-wise. We hand wrote them onto torn pieces of paper because we wanted to keep the film fun, informal and playful, with a homemade feel to the whole thing. The final thing we had to add to the film once we had exported it was to add music. We used AfterEffects to do this, and chose a song that we felt would fit perfectly: These Boots Are Made For Walkin’, Nancy Sinatra – the song is fun and lively and of course, it’s about shoes.

Below is the final outcome of our stop motion animation:

The feedback that we got from both David and the class was very positive – they loved how ambitious we had been with the small project, particularly as we were the only other group that had created an animation/film; all of the other outcomes were purely posters. They approved of our use of shoelaces, commenting on the fact that the viewer knows an understands straight away what the data is about: shoes. Finally, we were praised on how colourful and fun the piece was overall. The only minor point that David pointed out was that in the pie chart, the “boots” and the “heel” segments are perhaps too similar in size and don’t show a clear enough percentage difference – fortunately we had the hand written labels which prevents them from becoming completely undistinguishable – but of course, if we were to do the project again, we could certainly make this more clear by repositioning the green lace to make the “heel” segment smaller.

Personally, I was really proud of our final outcome that we handed in today – I really enjoyed the process of making the stop motion and was really pleased with how the finished film turned out. I think the brightness and contrasts of the colours really add to the piece, making the movement even more energetic and fun. Overall, I really feel like we have created an imaginative, adventurous and creative information design – it’s really effective.


Published by

Amber Lloyd

Graphic Communicator

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