Building an infographic

with 2 comments

I spend a lot of time building awareness of Library resources, services and facilities. And for the last few weeks I’ve been spending a lot of my time working on building awareness about, well, buildings. Over the last couple of years, all of our libraries have been undergoing redevelopment work and the end is in sight for the current phase of the Main Library development project. After the refurbishment of our entrance level in 2011, a new four storey extension is due to open in April. Offering 500 additional study spaces and increasing the size of the Main Library by 42%, the £11 million East Wing is a big thing to communicate…

At the moment, we’re focusing on trying to raise awareness amongst our internal audiences primarily (University students and staff) about the East Wing opening in April, and what benefits that will bring for their study, research and teaching. As well as telling students about the great new facilities the East Wing will provide, with the backdrop of £9000 tuition fees being charged from the the 2012-2013 academic year, we need to demonstrate value for money. We’re using lots of methods to try and get this information across, including working with student media, writing articles for staff publications, social media, our webpages, digital displays… but I’ve decided to go for a something different in terms of printed materials. The thing I’d really like to post about this week is the infographic I’ve created to try and illustrate to the University community the benefits the East Wing will bring to them…

 East Wing in Numbers

How did I go about building the infographic? Well first, I looked at the facts and figures available about the East Wing. The key information I was aiming to get across was the size of the extension and what it means in terms of study facilities. When you’re talking about floor space, 12,400 square metres is quite hard to visualise. But 3 football pitches really serves to illustrate this. I tried to draw attention to the additional study spaces and the increase in study rooms by making these part of images of study tables and doors, respectively. I also looked at the length of shelving provided by the East Wing and decided to compare this to the most iconic building in the city, Durham Cathedral (the Main Library has fantastic cathedral views!). Then I used a combination of images already created (such as the architects’ floor plan of the extended building) and graphics I created myself using a combination of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop Elements and put these together into an A3 document using Adobe InDesign.

We’ve had some really great feedback from the Vice Chancellor, which is brilliant, because the VC is obviously an important stakeholder. As well as sending this to all colleges and departments, the Librarian wants large versions on the hoardings at the breakthrough areas to the new extension and potentially a pull-up banner as well (one of my jobs for next week!).

I’ll be interested to analyse whether this is successful way of communicating this message more widely to University staff and students. And as for that, I’ll have to wait and see!


Written by missrachelsmith

March 3, 2012 at 20:57

2 Responses

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  1. This is great. At Liverpool Hope we’re about to under-go a major refurbishment and this will be a really visual and positive way to show to new students in particular how much we’ve invested over the summer. Hope you don’t mind if I try something like it although my Adobe In-design skills are no match for yours!


    March 5, 2012 at 09:55

  2. Thanks! And of course not – given the fact that students are highly unlikely to be studying at more than one institution at once, I don’t see any problem with using ideas from other institutions. If you think it might be a way of communicating messages about refurbishment projects to your students then go for it!


    March 5, 2012 at 15:33

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