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History of the Leafblower

Okay I think I'm finished, let me know what you think!

I know this infographic idea isn't based on MY story per se, but it's something I find interesting and I'd rather start than sitting around waiting for an idea.

I tried and tried to think of something I did that interested me as a timeline, but couldn't think of anything.  Then I got a mass email from my mom with a link to an article entitled "Ban Leafblowers!" and it had all kinds of interesting stats about them, and of course the problems they cause in the name of convenience.

But then I realized it wasn't a timeline infographic that I was concepting anymore, it was just one of those general stats infographics.  Though I think that would make an interesting infographic, I want to stick to the assignment, so I googled, "history of the leafblower," and happened upon this article:

History of the Leafblower

I feel like the Ban Leafblowers article has more interesting content than the History of Leafblowers article, but I'm treating this like it's a client project, and this is what the client wants, so I gotta make it work.

Here is my first set of sketches:

As you can see I got sort of dissatisfied with the rectilinearity of all my ideas, and tried to figure out a way to use some more whimsical shapes, that could be linked thematically to the content.  Still unsure of how to make a timeline out of it at this point, but then started experimenting:

My idea now is to try to hang all the timeline moments off of the swirl shape(s) created by wind from the the leaf blower at the bottom of the composition.  Dunno if it'll work or not, but here goes!

Here is the one I like the best, which I'm going to blow up and take into Illustrator to refine:

So far I've got a vector guy down there with a leafblower, and a very unspecific idea of hanging the timeline events on the swirl shapes:

Now I've got this ridiculously long list of events in the life of the leafblower, but I'm not sure if I can fit them all in.  Some editing will be required, for sure.

I removed several of the dates - and more importantly consolidated significant events into many of them - and strung them all along the swirly dust path. Now I have to think about icons and a color pallete.

Okay I sorta got a color scheme and title treatment going.  Now I want to brainstorm a bunch of fun icons that will bring life to the textual content.

I added a bunch of icons, tried to infuse the background with some color and texture, and tweaked the placement of the textual information.  Just got a comment from Melody suggesting I make all the circle icons into leaves, which is an amazing idea I can't believe I didn't think of - so smart!

Also I was resisting flipping the composition because I thought it made it less conventional or more interesting for it to NOT read from left to right... But now I realize it's just better all around if it does.  Reducing confusion is always a good thing.

So here's where it is right now.  Gonna make these changes and upload the next version for comparison.

Okay I feel like it looks better but I'm sort of losing perspective.  Are the gradients in the leaves too bright, or no?

Here's another revision with all unique leaf shapes for less shape monotony, and credits at the bottom.


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