This year Vectortuts+ is taking part in Blog Action Day to raise awareness about clean water and water conservation. A large part of raising awareness about any issue is clearly communicating the issues. When you need a powerful way to clarify information and make it stand out visually turn to infographics - a great tool in the designer's arsenal. Let's take a look at a couple effective uses of infographics that focus on the importance of clean water and water conservation.
Usage of Infographics on charitywater.org
The charitywater.org website is impressive. Over on our new Tuts+ site Webdesigntuts+ there is an In-Depth Design Review of charitywater.org. There are quite a few design strategies that this company does right, such as their use of infographics.
They use simple pie charts, maps, and classic silhouette icons to clarify concepts, such as how disease prevention is improved dramatically with sanitation and clean water. They show proof of how their projects have made an impact and improved lives. The use of infographics on this site helps to tell their story concisely and memorably, and it adds a simple elegance that fits well with their overall design.
If you're looking for a charity to contribute to today then charitywater.org is one to consider. I find their approach very modern, with the use of images and video to prove where donated money gets spent, tied to Google Maps and GPS coordinates. 100 percent of public donations go to projects, as they use larger private donors to fund their other expenses. Did you know that even a $20 donation to Charity: Water can provide one person with clean drinking water for twenty years? That's remarkable.
Various infographics used on the charitywater.org website.
Virtual Water Project
Freshwater is a precious resource in limited supply. The Virutal Water Project uses simple infographics to show just how much water our everyday consumption uses. This helps clarify how much water goes into the production of food and various goods we consume. It gives us a larger picture of our environmental impact at one glance, while allowing us to analyze individual items we consume.
I know I didn't consider that the last 20oz of chicken I ate took 587 gallons of water to produce. That's hard to imagine. It's a bit abstract to remember that or visualize, but this poster clarifies this and imprints it into the brain. The iconic images, alignment of simple numerical facts with water droplets gives us, at one glance on this poster, an understanding of our larger water usage impact.
Over on Mobiletuts+ there is a Water App Roundup today where you can learn about various conservation apps and the Virtual Water App as well. Here is a description of this app: "Carry the Virtual Water digital companion anywhere and grow more conscious about how much water our everyday food and beverages really consume." There are quite a few more items in the app compared to the poster as well.
This infographic poster from the Virutal Water Project shows how much water is used in the everyday goods we consume.
Bad 2010 and You
There are a ridiculous number of issues facing the world today, and it can feel daunting to imagine what you can do about making a change. Blog Action Day is a moment to pause, focus on one issue, discuss it on the web or with your friends, and take a step in the right direction.
This year we're discussing water, more narrowly: ways we can bring clean water to everyone (especially the poor) and conserve clean water for the future. When looking across the charitywater.org website you'll come across some heart wrenching facts, such as:
Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of diseases and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Children are especially vulnerable, as their bodies aren't strong enough to fight diarrhea, dysentery and other illnesses. 90% of the 42,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are to children under five years old.
I'd like to here what has made an impact on you about water issues, as thousands of bloggers discuss these issues and look for creative ways to fix the world's water problems we face today. Also, if you come across any impressive infographics that really hammer home facts on these issues, then drop a link in the comments, and leave some thoughts on why you feel it was poignant.
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