Storytelling Building Blocks

What story are you telling about your focal topic in your visual design project? In your answer, explain how you are going to incorporate the building blocks of good storytelling through visualsThink about how your story will use these building blocks to make rhetorical appeals to your audience (logos, pathos, ethos, kairos).

Story: The story that I’m trying to tell through my visual design project about my focal topic, divorce, is that it happens commonly and often impacts a child who is torn between these two people. Also, the house that used to be a safe loving place is now dark and full of heartbreaking confusion, in some cases. I also wanted to offer a light of hope, at the end, after this sad story in saying that these couples can seek marital education programs that could help them mend their marriage.
Building blocks to incorporate:
1. Ordered sequence – In my info graphic, looking at it top to bottom leads you through the design. First, having a “sad” house leads to divorce, which leads to additions to the statistics presented in the chart at the bottom. This series of events seems to be logical, making it an appeal to logos.
2.  Evoking wonder – I think my infographic evokes wonder through making the audience ask questions, such as: why are there so many divorces in the United States? How can marriage counseling help? How do we go about helping this child stuck in the middle? Although these may not evoke a “positive” sense of wonder, it is wonder nonetheless (pathos).
3. Reasons to care – The reasons to care about this topic may seem obvious to the reader, clearly divorce impacts many people emotionally and psychological. It may also affect their socioeconomic status. But, my infographic helps to reinforce these ideas by depicting a child (youthful yellow) in between two adults (who are blue for loneliness and isolation). It also shows, through the graph that this is a common problem and therefore deserves significant attention (logos).
4. Making audience work for their meal – In my infographic the audience has to interpret graph (ethos) and infer what a house with cloud and heart break symbol represents (pathos).
Storytelling Building Blocks

Visualize This – Yau Response

Option C: Storytelling plays a vital role in the presentation of information, if done effectively and ethically, according to Yau. As you think about your own visual design project, what story would you like to tell about your focal topic for your audience? How might you design this project? What information may be useful and what is the most effective way to present it? How do you hope to make this story compelling through visuals?

Yau’s Introduction and First Chapter of his book were both informative and fun to read. One aspect of his writing that I found especially intriguing was his point that we need to let our brains find the pattern and trends in data presented to us. This was an important note for me as I begin to think about and plan out my infographic. I want my design to tell an obvious story through the visual designs before one even reads the text. This makes it more pleasing to the viewer and easier to understand. I want to incorporate wedding rings, parents and a child in between them, and a graph about the historical trends of divorce. This, and the colors I choose, will help to represent what my topic is about: divorce. Another thing the author said was that these visuals do not always have to be graphs but can also be art that taps into our emotions. Since my focal topic is divorce, this is definitely pertinent to my topic. My hope is that the parent and child aspect of the design will do this, evoking sympathy. Another point that Yau has is that how it is presented is the determining factor if people are going to remember it or not. Obviously, I want my information to be memorable and therefore I must pay attention to the visual design just as much as the text itself. By incorporating pathos through emotional images I hope to make it impactful. 

Visualize This – Yau Response

Five Sources for Infographic Project


  1. Buchanan, Maccoby, and Dornbusch. “Adolescents after Divorce.” APA PsycNET. N.p., n.d. Web.
    1. Eleanor Maccoby is a psychologist interested in child and family psychology. Her book “Adolescents after Divorce” follows over a thousand children from divorced households to find out what makes the difference in kids thriving or faltering (Buchanan).
  2. By John Gottman, Sybil Carrere, Published on September 1, 2000 – Last Reviewed on June 9, 2016. “Welcome to the Love Lab.” Psychology Today. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Sept. 2016.
    1. John Gottman is in charge of a “Love Lab” and his research deals with what makes marriages thrive or fail (By John Gottman). I read about him in my social psychology class last semester, and he basically invites couples that have been married for a year into his lab and tells them to fight on an issue they have conflict over. Based off of this fight, he is very accurate at determining if these people will stay together or get divorced within the next fifteen years. He looks into several different factors, such as contempt, when coding their behaviors, to see “recipes” for success or failure.
  3. “Marriage & Divorce.” American Psychological Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Sept. 2016.
    1. The APA’s page on Marriage and Divorce offers sources for research on these topics, as well as links to getting help in a personal situation (Marriage). Some of these sources include Marital Education Programs and articles like “These are Peak Times for Divorce.”
  4. Olsen, Randal. “144 Years of Marriage and Divorce in 1 Chart.” Dr Randal S Olson. N.p., 15 June 2015. Web. 16 Sept. 2016.
    1. He created a long-term look at marriage trends in the United States by placing a lot of data all together on one chart. Here it is:marriages_divorces_per_capita.png
  5. Pilossoph, Jackie. “10 Ways To Help Someone Going Through A Divorce.” The Huffington Post., n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2016.
    1. This source simply gives ten ways to help someone who is going through a divorce. Some of the tips include writing a letter of encouragement and not bad-mouthing their ex.
Five Sources for Infographic Project