Tuesday, April 19, 2011

250 days 'til Christmas! (new work)

Meet Super Shopper (for obscene lack of a better name), a Judy-Jetson-meets-Laura-Petrie-meets-Santa-Claus-Conquers-the-Martians creation for MerryStockings.com, an online Christmas decorations shopping site.
Why articulated metal knees and elbows? Why not?
They're tinselanium!
She's the star of an infographic that MerryStockings.com commissioned to whet shoppers' appetites for the coming Christmas deals.

MerryStockings.com hipped me to a demand among the blogosphere and personal Web sites for infographics that fans of online businesses can download and share, and which can link back to the source, reinforcing vendor-customer relationships.

This one below is not strictly an infographic, the kind which employ novel uses of icons to show relationships between numbers and spaces and times. Nigel Holmes pioneered the use of "explanation graphics" for Time Magazine, which spawned the nature of infographics most people see today. Informational graphics (bar charts, pie charts, etc.), though, have existed since creation of the circle. And pie.

This one has a bar chart — about as cliché as one can get, my son informs me — but this infographic is really more of a visually realized consumer blurb about online shopping benefits.

Super Shopper, or whatever her name is, is the visual conceit designed to move viewers down the graphic. (By the way, I agree with Ted Forth: Where were the jet packs we were promised about now? Why is the future about typing with your thumbs on a hockey puck?)

Here's the entire graphic below, easily the most vertical illustration I've ever done:

Forever in search of texture, I created a fake barcode and a QR Code (those square pixelated boxes that look like tiny crossword puzzles; the whippersnappers these days swipe their smart phones over these codes and glean information from products and ads, etc.) and set them to repeat in the background (above).

The numbers in the barcode are simply the date for next Christmas. And since all I ever hope to get out of the QR code is to conjure an image amid the arrayed squares, I decided to make a picture of Santa in mine. When you scan these, you find out I'm worth $1.97 and that you can find more of my work at shawnturner.com.

You can see the barcode in the graphic, too, where Super Shopper is scanning it with her phone.

MerryStockings.com opted for a more straightforward representation of key calendar dates, right, but I originally wanted to make it a 3-D calendar (way below).

My son suggested I give "Cyber Monday" a "Matrix" treatment, which I created with neon-green candy canes and their ghosted images. MerryStockings.com said it made the information hard to read, and I have to concede its point, but … dang! It's a fun look.

First sketch

In the Gift Ideas section, Santa, Mrs. Claus (does she have a first name? Must she go through eternity known only so formally?) and an Elf stand in for men, women and children. They're images MerryStockings.com uses on some of its custom stockings for sale.


  1. thanks, Jake. It was fun to see this graphic on the MerryStockings site. I hope everything's going great.