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#1 Rynn

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 02:00 AM

Hey everyone. I'm an illustrator/web designer with a little too much time on my hands. I had an idea for an infographic to visually explain asexuality in light of other views of sexual orientation.

This is the rough I've come up with. The styling is very plain at the moment; i want to solidify it conceptually before i dress it up.

Posted Image



I'm posting it here because it's a presentation of visual information. I need to make sure I am communicating the best ideas I can through the visuals. It's not pretty yet; i figured as soon as I was sure of everything, I'd run through and make it professional. This is more than a simple art piece; I'm intending to use it for visibility purposes.

Based on your view of sexuality, how accurate are the images (particularly the one at the very bottom). What works for you? What doesn't?

Rather than having it be the shape of a circle (which communicates no boundaries, but implies relationships with the juxtaposed colors), would you rather it be presented in a box (may not have the hang-ups of linear color juxtaposition, but does have clear boundaries).

Let me know what you think. I want to make this very good so that I can visually reflect the concept of asexuality as clearly and accurately as possible.

#2 Jillianimal

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 02:21 AM

Hmm, I like it. Makes sense to me. What exactly do you mean by high/median/low sexal attraction though? Is it referring to the frequency, intensity or both?
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#3 Rynn

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 02:31 AM

It's referring to frequency; or at least that's what I intend. Hetero people don't want to sleep with every member of the opposite sex they see. They only want to sleep with some of them. Asexuals don't want to sleep with anyone ever. I don't know if there's a way to measure intensity with any reliability and even if there is, I wouldn't know where to put that information in this infographic.

I should indicate that difference, though. Thanks for asking the question.

#4 Allis

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 03:15 AM

Gonna be a pain in the butt and add that it's not that asexuals don't want to sleep with anyone ever, just that they're not attracted to people sexually and therefore, don't find having sex with people really on the menu so much. However, that's ruling out asexuals who have sex simply because they like the feel of it - because technically those who are asexuals who want to sleep with people, but for their own personal pleasure rather than out of any intrinsic sexual attraction to that person. I think that could also apply to those asexuals who are willing to compromise with their sexual partners on having relations. Or what about asexuals who have sex for the purposes of having children?

I'm just saying that wording is going to be pretty important in this.

My other suggestion (this is now the designer in me rearing its head) would be to play with the format more. There are some fabulous infographics out there that make good use of dynamic space. I think there's a really cool possibility here for some solid use of graphics in a more unique manner than simply going down the center of the page.

Are you sticking with that font or did you have a different choice in mind? I do appreciate the neutrality of the san serif typeface but I do feel like a sans serif with more personality* might make this infographic a bit more fun, especially with the color palette.

I know you said you weren't quite done yet, but keep an eye on your hierarchy and typesetting as well. The way 'Orientation' in the title is below the rest of the header makes the headline a more awkward read than it needs to be.


a;lskjdf Sorry random critique. I know you're not done and this isn't the final version but I just wanted to point out the things I noticed!



*Neutraface is just an example, but there are a ton of fun sans serifs out there that I think would be attactive to use on a project like this!
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#5 Batman's Ace

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 03:39 AM

Pretty.

So, there's an explanation of the column, but what's the logic behind the rainbow circle? What do different points on the sweep mean?
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#6 Rynn

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 04:01 AM

Woo! Thanks for the crit!

I'm just saying that wording is going to be pretty important in this.

Absolutely; I've kept the wording to 'attraction' but I should take things a step further and somehow communicate that attraction and behavior are two very different things.

A agree with not having things centered down the page. The font choice, size, and color is all arbitrary at this point. Pretty much placeholders until I get that final graphic nailed down. After I'm absolutely sure of the graphs, I'll mess with background design, alignment, font design, colors, etc. That font is lovely. :D *steals* You can never have too many fonts! Roughly speaking, i was planning on headers being serif and the content possibly remaining neutral sans serif. I'm not really married to any idea yet, though.

I appreciate the critique a lot! I probably should have polished it up a bit more before posting, but I was pretty excited about the idea and wanted to make sure the graphics themselves were appealing and the idea was accurate enough to pursue.

If anyone else has something to say, I'd love to hear it. Love it/hate it, let me know.

#7 Rynn

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 04:13 AM

So, there's an explanation of the column, but what's the logic behind the rainbow circle? What do different points on the sweep mean?


This is really the question I was waiting for someone to ask. I've heard people refer to sexuality as being a spectrum, so naturally a color spectrum came to mind. I thought about doing a straight linear spectrum, but the idea made things seem too rigid/separate for me.

Color line:
http://tinyurl.com/4yfy7el


I could use a lineup of colors that blend in with each other, but then there would still be the borders of the image itself. There's an edge/end, and I didn't like that idea either. I wanted it to visually reflect fluidity.

So, I came across this image and thought the circle shape was rather brilliant because it loops in on itself; it implies fluidity (to me anyway) and connectedness.
http://blog.darrylep...or-spectrum.jpg

The bad side to presenting things in a circle like this is it implies proximal relationships. Opposite colors suddenly become opposite orientations. Close colors suddenly become closely related orientations. There's so much overlap going on in orientation, and that is sacrificed in this case. I'm not sure what to do about it.

And what do outer rings/inner rings mean? This image may be too complicated to present information clearly. If someone has ideas as to what the different colors could mean and what the rings could mean, I'm all ears. I might need to go with something that is more like this to get rid of the ring problem:

Posted Image

Or, I might even have to use a circle with clearly defined lines. I really want to avoid that, though.
Posted Image

Then I'd just have to label colors. I've been hesitant to label the spectrum graphic itself, though, because of the difficulty in labeling and implying juxtaposed relationships and opposites. That's a big part of why I'm posting this is to make sure it's as good as it can be.

#8 SFX

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 05:40 PM

If someone has ideas as to what the different colors could mean and what the rings could mean, I'm all ears.


It certainly looks interesting, but without determining what the colors and rings mean it's pretty much impossible to explain anything with it. Where would you place someone who is exclusively heterosexual (that would be 0 on the Kinsey scale) on the spectrum (your 4th figure) for example?
I did try to come up with something helpful by the way, but grey-asexuality got the better of me.. Still, I'll give it some more thought, if I can come up with anything, I'll post it (don't hold your breathe..).

#9 SFX

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 08:53 PM

Posted Image

Disclaimer: I can't draw at all, nevermind in 3D, so use your imagination.

So here it is. It isn't pretty, but I'll try to explain.
First of all I changed the shape into an upside down pyramid of some kind, thus the "unneeded" territory. The decrease of width indicates the decrease of frequency, but NOT the decrease of intensity. I know this can be a bit confusing, but my problem with the original shape was that the bottom (black-and-white) circle was meaningless, as if one never feels sexual attraction it makes no sense to talk about the intensity of it.

Our two main axes are "Intensity" (as in intensity of sexual attraction) which explains the rings (the wider the stronger, but this is only true in 2D) and "Frequency" (as in frequency of feeling sexual attraction, which decreases towards the apex of the pyramid). The "asexual axis" (which should be a bit thicker to fill out the smallest circle) indicates those who feel zero sexual attraction. In their case the frequency axis is irrelevant, so they become an axis, or a "constant" if you like.

The K-points represent the Kinsey scale, so in this case the color red (or rather the top half of the axis going from K0 to K6) means exclusively heterosexual (K0), and that light bluish color (or rather the bottom half of the axis going from K0 to K6) at K6 means exclusively homosexual. I don't think I worded that very well, but lets move on. The rest of the K-points should be self-explanatory if one is familiar with the Kinsey-scale. Having two K1, K2, K3 (bisexual), K4 and K5 points is a bit of a weakness at this point, those should be the same color respectively in this case anyway. The colors are totally interchangeable of course.

That shapeless "thing" around the axis called "grey area" represents grey-asexuality (should be imagined in 3D). The basic premise of creating this area is that one might be grey-A because they feel sexual attraction very rarely (those towards the apex), or not as intensely as "normal" sexuals (those towards the top). It can also be a combination of the two of course (feeling it rarely and even then not as strongly as most sexuals). Note that this area should be pretty much shapeless (but always bordering with the "asexual axis"), as it's impossible to tell when one feels sexual attraction strongly and/or frequently enough to qualify as a sexual. Maybe this indefinable border should be indicated with using a broken line as its outline.

So that's it at the moment. It's obviously far from perfect (and I don't mean just the "drawing"), but I guess it's a start.

What do you guys think?

#10 Batman's Ace

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 11:03 PM

So I was wondering, what if we tried using some sort of Venn diagram? I remember this one from school just because I thought it was pretty:

Posted Image

I'm not saying we should use that one specifically (there aren't enough categories), but suppose we labeled different shapes in a Venn for different types of romantic and physical attraction. The idea being that we could account for people having a wide variety of combinations without putting any two as opposites. I'm not sure how aromantic asexuals would fit in, although from my math classes I'm aware the space outside a shape can be as important as the space inside. :)

Here's another, more complex one.
Spoiler


Okay, this one was just funny. I need to get off Google.
Spoiler

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#11 Siggy

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 12:47 AM

My initial reaction to that color spectrum is... you think sexuality is complicated and multidimensional, but can't think of a single example of what's complicated about it. At the same time, I understand that once you start naming specific examples, you have to name them all, which would be impossible and inelegant.

Also, as far as the asexual spectrum goes, I think that also has multiple dimensions to it. I think the minimal model is the Double Storms Model (two dimensions for sexual attraction, two for romantic attraction). But then, I don't think there are sharp lines between the quadrants. And it ignores attraction to non-binary genders. It ignores people who don't use the concept of romantic orientation. It ignores other dimensions, like limerence, aesthetic attraction, sensual attraction, sex drive, sexual desire, sexual repulsion, etc. (not to mention people who do not use these concepts, do not think they are important, or do not distinguish them from other concepts).

Come to think of it, including all of these asexual dimensions would also be impossible and inelegant.

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#12 Rynn

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 04:08 AM

Thank you all so much for your replies. You have all helped me to think and clarify my intent in drawing all of this up.

Objectives:
  • Show the parallel between sexual orientation and romantic orientation (Pie chart; Axis 1)
  • Show degrees in sexual attraction; it is not assumed, nor is it binary, but a spectrum. (Vertical scale; Axis 2)


Explanation:
By separating sexual attraction from romantic attraction and placing them on 2 axis, I am trying to shatter sexual/asexual rhetoric.
---Axis 1 is a pie chart. While there are technically two piecharts stacked, they are completely identical and therefore the same.
---Axis 2 is vertical distance representing degrees of sexual attraction (will have several degrees of measurement)

By presenting sexual attraction in degrees, I am trying to give place to grey-a's & demisexuals. Also, even though the graph only has 2 axis, it's possible to place yourself within it in a 3 dimensional fashion.

Within the first axis (pie chart indicating romantic orientation), I am going to list
  • Aromantic
  • Homo
  • Bi
  • Pan
  • Hetero
  • Poly
  • (any more you suggest to me that fit)

Within the second axis (vertical scale indicating degrees sexual attraction), I am going to list (from top to bottom)
  • Very High
  • High
  • Median
  • Low
  • None


The chart will then focus on the asexual end of the spectrum (bottom visual of pie chart) and clarify ambiguities (i want this to be understood by a general audience, not just those who are familiar with asexual rhetoric/perspectives).

The whole thing does have its limits. I wanted to avoid the idea of clearly defined separations between orientations, but due to responses I've gotten both here and elsewhere, I need to simplify the pie chart itself. There will be no radiating circles; only the one circle, and within it, very clear and distinctly labelled orientations (i will try and include 7 so as to avoid the appearance of opposites).

Other things to clarify:
-This is not a graph about behavior or choice.
-This is not flawless.
-The categories presented are general and non-exhaustive.
-Categories presented are not meant to imply harsh boundaries between orientations.
-Romantic orientation is not absolutely tied to your degree of sexual attraction (ie. gay men have married women and loved them in every way, except sexually).


I've drawn up some notes for you to look at, if you care; before I work any more on conceptualizing this, I'm going to make sure my wording is compatible with the rhetoric of other communities (bi, homo, etc). This is a spectrum that includes them as much as it includes asexuals and it would be very easy for me to visually misrepresent them and that's not my intention.

Posted Image

#13 Jillianimal

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 04:17 AM

  • Aromantic
  • Homo
  • Bi
  • Pan
  • Hetero
  • Poly
  • (any more you suggest to me that fit)


I also heard of sapio. I have no idea how you can fit that in there since the attraction is based on a person's intelligence, not their sex/gender.
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#14 Cirdan

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 10:03 AM

I actually like the initial diagram.

Sexuality, or lack of it is incredibly complex. Trying to diagrammatically show all the intricacies involved seems likely to lead to an end result that is neither clear nor helpful. When you are selecting a model you have to be aware of the constraints imposed by it, in this case if asexual visibility is the key point you are trying to convey then what else should be shown?

In my opinion the 2d colour spectrum you have used is useful in showing that there are a variety of sexual preferences and orientations, but does not lend itself to describing any particular one. Having ssexuals at the bottom of the cylinder, hypersexuals at the top, and most people inbetween gets people thinking "where am I in that". If they can acknowledge that there are people who are more frequently sexually attracted to others, and people who are less frequently sexually attracted then having people who are never sexually attracted to others.

The danger in my opinion of trying to identify sexualities within the spectrum is that a 2d space isn't large enough to accurately depict everyones sexuality. To do this would require as many dimensions as there are variables considered (e.g. gender, sex, race, intelligence....) and missing out one gives the potential to offend. As an example if someone is between "pink/magenta" and "green" does that make them "blue" or "yellow" (substituting the colours for the different sexualities of course)?

#15 Batman's Ace

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 01:37 PM


  • Aromantic
  • Homo
  • Bi
  • Pan
  • Hetero
  • Poly
  • (any more you suggest to me that fit)


I also heard of sapio. I have no idea how you can fit that in there since the attraction is based on a person's intelligence, not their sex/gender.

Maybe we could use inner and outer rings for stuff that bridges genders?
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#16 PiF

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 01:55 PM

as pictures they are pretty

as to explaining what asexuality is and isn't..the confusion just got added too

asexuality is not complex..it's the lack of sexual attraction..not on weekdays, not with that person but with this person, not only if you eat fish..it's the lack of sexual attraction

where it becomes complicated is when people try and bend/change/adapt that one definition ..to make it fit themselves..then declare that as the definition

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#17 Rynn

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 01:51 AM

as to explaining what asexuality is and isn't..the confusion just got added too



Objectives:
Show the parallel between sexual orientation and romantic orientation (Pie chart; Axis 1)
Show degrees in sexual attraction; it is not assumed, nor is it binary, but a spectrum. (Vertical scale; Axis 2)


I'm not explaining asexuality; I'm presenting a myriad of sexual orientations in a model that not only includes asexuality, but explains the degrees of sexual attraction between asexuality and sexuality. I'm tired of people whining about not being included in the LGBTQ community, yet they persist in using binary rhetoric that excludes them (asexuals vs sexuals). It's not a healthy way to view our community, ourselves, or others.

Just like one can view sexual orientation in a binary (gay vs straight), asexuals can view sexual attraction in the same sort of binary. Yes, I want to add visibility to those who've never heard of asexuality, but this is visibility that goes multiple ways. This is a graph which, in theory, has a commentary on sexual orientations in general, not just asexuality.

I appreciate your comments; making the clearest graphic possible requires this sort of feedback and I realize I'm going to have to really streamline this and clarify the data presented. I'll post updates later.




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