info graphics

‘Right View Sutta’ diagram poster

current Work

A design for the WisdomMe series of printable poster-format aids to learning concepts in Buddhism, the second I’ve taken on for the organization. (See the previous: 31 Planes of Existence poster.)

This quite different project in the series presents a less demanding typographical challenge than the other, but hangs equally on the problem of an effective approach to handling space.

1 .the diagram outline

The diagram has two separately functioning parts, one minor and the other primary: the kusala/akusala idea at left, minor, and the main idea describing relationships concerned in the Buddhist concept of the Four Noble Truths (suffering or burden, dukka, is real, an aspect of reality; suffering comes about from origin or causes, samudaya; suffering has an end, niroda; and the Eightfold Path leads, magga, to that end) filling out the bulk of the space and dominating the whole. Keeping the two parts distinct while keeping the poster a basically unified design was a principal concern.

2 .initial draft

In this project’s case (unlike that of the previous WisdomMe poster here), the initial draft submission was a design taken to the point of finish, for all intents. This is an unusual way to work, and risky, but I found it difficult to work out the scheme I wanted to propose without addressing many issues at a level of definition approaching potential finality. This had partly to do with what presented itself to me as the problem of balance and order in 2-dimensional space and partly to do with the way I saw that problem in turn constraining options for color and light/dark (‘value’) relationships.

The client was satisfied with the proposal, happily.

3 .current revision

My design proposed a reduction to arguably redundant text — repeated labels — in the diagram outline provided. I aimed to accomplish some of the connections expressed via text repetition through sharpened emphasis on color relationships instead. The client liked this tack, on the whole, but it was decided that we shouldn’t apply it quite so drastically. Additional Pali term equivalents not in the diagram outline were introduced, as well, on review of the initial draft, boosting typographical density just a bit.

The revised draft above is undergoing review now. Once there’s final approval for layout and type, we’ll go to a another round (or two) of color design, optimizing for print methods WisdomMe users are likely to employ.