In the beginning of 2018, Rosa reached out to us about the upcoming volume of Cereal magazine that they had in the works. Volume 15 would be focused on the topic of sustainability, and one story in particular was about slow travel by trains. We knew Richard Aslan, the writer of this piece, had been travelling first-hand by train over the past months for this article since we were exchanging emails throughout his journey. The article discusses the merits of train travel compared to other modes of transport, such as cars and planes, which have a larger carbon footprint. Richard Aslan’s writing takes us to three major cities (Berlin, New York and Tokyo) with potential train trips for each surrounding area. We were asked to create a graphic to accompany the writing.

Having worked with Cereal on previous projects such as: the Cereal website, These Islands, and Cereal city guides, we were excited to contribute to the magazine that started it all; especially on the topic of sustainability. At Studio Faculty and SORT, we deeply value sustainability and minimizing consumption. It is something we strive towards in both design and in everyday life.

Various concepts and design iterations for infographic

Final design details and page showcase the duration, distance, and location in relation to the main cities

Given free reign over what the infographic could be, we first asked ourselves what would be interesting to a viewer if one was to travel by train in these three cities (Berlin, New York and Tokyo). Through our discovery, we found the aspect of knowing travel time compared to distance quite intriguing and made this our focus. ”How long does it take to go from Tokyo to Hakone?” "What about from New York to the DIA:Beacon?" These were the kinds of questions we would play with when designing the graphic. From here, we researched and prepared our notes for time and distance between each location.

Influenced by our findings, the final design displays the three major cities at point zero while surrounding cities were plotted on a timeline. Places to the West of the cities were to the left, and East locations were to the right (this is indicated in the info graph at bottom right corner). For example, Berlin to Spreewald takes approximately one hour, and it is to the East from the main city. While time was the central focus, we still wanted the graphic to indicate approximate distance. By following the scale at the bottom right corner, the reader can roughly know the distance of each place from the main cities. For example, Berlin to Spreewald is just over 100km.

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    Bath, UK