The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Evolution in Infographic

Project Description

For this project, I was instructed to create an infographic that clearly displays information while being visually appealing. I needed to gather information, organize it in an understandable way, create multiple vector graphics and at least one chart. The finished infographic needed to be optimized for sharing on Pinterest.

Project Details

Assignment Infographic
Date January 30, 2016
Skills Design
Programs Adobe Illustrator, Excel

When Marvel started to release movies through Disney, they started something that had never been done before. They created a shared universe with continuity among multiple films and characters. They called this the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU. As a movie buff and self proclaimed nerd, I couldn’t resist researching and illustrating how a series of comic-based movies became what they are today.

When Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk first came out, no one really knew what Marvel had in mind. In wasn’t until The Avengers was announced that the general public realized what Marvel and Disney were trying to accomplish. The movies up until The Avengers were called Phase 1 and it didn’t take long until they announced the titles of Phase 2 and more recently, Phase 3. Phase 1 hinted at some inter-movie cross-overs which were further developed in Phase 2, whereas Phase 3 will feature titular characters crossing over among films.

By taking advantage of the individual stories to build up to a bigger one, the Marvel Cinematic Universe changed the way films and series are developed. ABC and Netflix have expanded on this with shows such as Marvel’s Agents of Shield, Agent Carter, Dare Devil, and Jessica Jones. DC comics has started developing something similar with their shows, Arrow, The Flash, and recently Legends of Tomorrow. Although those shows are on the CW, CBS’s Supergirl is about to enter that universe as well, which is even more amazing!

Marvel created something so unique and powerful by turning individual pieces into a completed puzzle. I’m obsessed with what they’re already done and I can’t wait to see what comes next!

Problems & Solutions

Prioritizing Information: While gathering information for this project, I collected a lot of facts that I found interesting and would have liked to use, however, I ended up with too much information to realistically show in an infographic. I had to decide what information was most relevant and important to the message I was sharing. An example of this is the release dates of all the Movies. When it came down to it, the exact dates weren’t that important. I cared more about the order and the release year. It would have been nice to include the dates but I found that the graphic as a whole looked better with less text.

Deciding on Graphics: I knew my topic and I generally knew what information I wanted to share, but I didn’t know how to show the information instead oftelling it. I like to have everything mapped out before I start, but in this case, a lot of my design choices and vector graphics were created as I decided on what information I wanted to share. I found it easier to create as I went instead of worrying about having every piece ready in the beginning.

Programs Used

This project was made using 2 different programs. The research and organizational portion was done using Microsoft Excel. I used it to collect the information I might present and organize it in a reasonable way. For the infographic itself, I used Adobe Illustrator. I used it to lay out the information and create appealing graphics that enhanced the information.

I created most of the material for this infographic, however, I did use a paper texture by AlienValley on Graphic Burger. As for the rest, I created them using Adobe Illustrator. I used a few reference photos of the New York skyline for my graph. Many Marvel movies are based in New York so I figured it would be appropriate. I also used comic speech bubbles for the movie titles on the time line. The colors I chose are based from Marvel Comic. The red is the exact color taken from the MCU logo, and the blue and green are inspired by Captain America and The Incredible Hulk comics.

Draft & Refinement

After gathering and organizing all of my information, I quickly put it together and once I had a solid draft, I asked around for some feedback. The main suggestions I received were to separate the title more, clean up the timeline, and doing something to connect everything together a little more.

I switched the colors in the footer (it made more sense for the city skyline to be gray) and I added the gray color to separate the title and the first section of information. I chose gray instead of black because I wanted the colors to be the main contrast. Black and red was a little too strong.

I simplified the timeline by eliminating the black and changing the font. I realized that the old-style serif font was a bit busy and it would be a lot easier to read if I used a sans-serif. I incorporated the main colors into the timeline to help break up the phases a bit more.

To connect the header and footer, I extended the timeline and increased the width at the ends to create a smoother transition. I originally just changed the bottom to create a sky for the cityscape but then I added the top to balance it out.

The way the MCU has developed and continues to progress is so interesting and unique, I couldn’t wait to show a piece of it from start to finish. And that’s what this infographic is about, the beginnings of the development of the MCU and the conclusion it’s leading to. Awesome, right?

If you want to see this infographic on Pinterest, check it out here! And don’t forget to pin it!