Information Design: Oil Spill Infographic

oil spill

This infographic about oil spills is a great example of an interesting and efficient information design.  The use of a world map as the background allows the viewer’s eye to move naturally through the design without much thought, as the world map is familiar to most people.  There is a great use of hierarchy of visual elements as well, such as the large black title of the infographic.  Likewise, the black drops representing the magnitude of each oil spill are effective as the viewer’s eye is drawn to the largest one first.  This is a simple way to show which oil spills were the largest and most harmful without making the viewer bored by having to read each statistic individually.  Also, the largest oil spill (the Gulf War Oil Spill) is the focal point of the design not only because of its size but because the oil drop is facing the opposite direction of the others.

Furthermore, the simple color scheme is effective as it does not overcomplicate the design and causes the few elements that are different colors to contrast against the rest of the infographic.  For example, the text describing the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is the only element that is the color red.  This is efficient as that specific oil spill was one of the worst in U.S. history, and is therefore one of the most important pieces of information in the entire design.  Also, the general statistics on the left of the infographic are distinctly set aside from the map and the individual oil spills because of the color yellow that is accented solely in this area of the composition.

Overall, the sizes and colors of the elements in this infographic were well-designed to show the monumental significance of oil spills globally, while also allowing the reader to easily see at a glance which spills were the most harmful.

The designer of this infographic is Gavin Potenza, one of the founders of the company Script and Seal.

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