california drought

California Drought







User Experience


California is experiencing one of the worst droughts on record this year, with both physical and political temperatures rising. So, what’s really going on here? Why is California in its fourth year of drought? 

Over a 6-week period of research, parsing out information, solidifying a suitable illustration style, and drafting consumable kernels of copy, this infographic was created to give readers a general understanding of the current crisis.



For the first two weeks, facts were gleaned and parsed regarding California’s climate, drought history, water usage, and current governmental stances on the crisis.

Commonalities were noted, and information with an obvious political slant was disregarded. A hierarchy and flow of facts were built to serve the infographic.

Overall, a question-and-answer system was decided upon, to help group the information.

Wireframe & Style

Using an agile workflow, icons were sketched and developed in tandem with the wireframe of the infographic. As pieces of information were symbolized, they were added into further iterations using a system of photography and tracing paper.

The challenge was to supply just the right amount of illustration to both depict the facts and entertain the reader.

Additional atmospheric elements were sketched and added as well.

Vector families

Finalized icons were brought into Illustrator, traced with a drawing tablet, and vectorized. Illustrations were held together in either circles or squares to make them stable and distinguishable.

A color story of desaturated tints, shades and tones were used to convey a feeling of a thirsty California desert.

Texturing & Layout

Once the vector families were created, they were brought into Photoshop for a light texturing.

Afterwards they were imported into InDesign, where the parcels of information were added to each section. Using the robust type family Amsi Pro, a type hierarchy was created. All type was tracked out to create an airy feel, with maximum readability.

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