Repurposing items into something else. This blog lists a selection of amazing repurposing projects that bring new life into old items. Reusing something for something other than its original purpose.

A lightbulb oil lamp


A piano waterfall


Lampshades made out of cassettes


Floppy disk notebook


Aeroplane turbine bed


Tennis racquet mirror


Suitcase medicine cabinet


Due to time constraints I could only make one infographic, but it’s a culmination of all the useful feedback and advice I received on how an infographic should work. I decided to leave the infographic in the newspaper mock up just to give it some context. Although the style of the infographic doesn’t fit in that much with the Guardian newspaper, it displays potential for being featured in a newspaper. I will print out the newspaper in newsprint and submit that along with the infographic itself as my final outcomes.

FINAL infographic guardian mock FINAL IMG_4359 IMG_4367

For some last minute feedback, I sent over the final outcome to a peer who suggested taking out the dotted lines and making the title smaller and moving it to the left:

final prototype4


Further feedback included the suggestion to change the typeface because it looks dull:

final prototype5


Again, the suggestion was to make the title smaller because it stood out too much. I disagreed so I kept the size and changed the typeface, and mentioned that the infographic could fit into a newspaper like the Guardian. After this, the suggestion was to add colour to the writing because the Guardian uses a lot of bright colours:

final prototype9

And putting it into a mock up of the newspaper revealed the need for a lot of improvements. The graphic just wan’t in the style of what the Guardian does:

guardian mock up


I had to make a few changes, play about with type, colour and layout. The actual visual representation couldn’t be changed at such a late stage so I had to do my best with what I had:

final prototype15 final prototype16 final prototype20

Different versions of the final piece. I decided on representing the office expenses for the 3 main parties (Labour, Conservatives and Lib Dems). For information density, I chose to add a time variant. However I came across a problem: The IPSA publish the data sets of MPs in .csv files that do not state which party an MP is in. They also publish every single expense separately so 1 MP could have 20 different entries in the data set. I’ve relied on the Guardian website for the cleaned up version of the data sets which total the amount of each expense category for every MP and put the MP in his or her party. The Guardian published 2008-2009, 2009-2010 but not 2010-2011. The next one they had was 2011-2012. So I only had 2 options: use these 3 years or sift through about 10,000 entries in the data sets and manually total up all 650 MPs’ expenses.

With only 2 days left, regretfully, I had to pick option number 1 which meant my infographic will not display data for 3 consecutive years.

Regardless, I carried on. No time to book out the flat copy stand in uni so resorted to a ladder, auto flash and Photoshop:


final prototype

At this point I was stuck on ideas. I had 2 days to go and had no idea what I was going to do. I didn’t like my previous prototypes and I didn’t want to submit them as my final pieces. The task of visually representing something was becoming tedious. How do you represent travel? With used train/tube tickets. But I don’t have any used train/tube tickets. Or toy cars. Or white paint and a spare tyre. Even if I did, how would I photograph it? How do you represent staffing costs? Or office expenses?

The only thing I decided on was that although the Monopoly houses and the second homes expenses was an acceptable representation, I didn’t want to use it to represent houses, it was becoming too restrictive and I couldn’t make it work.

As an exercise I picked a category and listed everything that’s classed as an expense under that category so that I could find an object that would represent the category. I picked office expenses. What do you find in an office? Stationery, computer, printer, files, paper, furniture.

That’s when I found my material to work with. There’s so many different kinds of stationery: pens, pencils paperclips, rulers rubber bands etc. I went through my drawers to see what I could use to tell a story and I found a bag of coloured rubber bands, post it notes and pens and pencils. I took a few photos and experimented with different materials:

IMG_4374 IMG_4371 IMG_4321 IMG_4315 IMG_4314

IMG_4302 IMG_4307

And quickly decided to use rubber bands as my representation. The rings made using different sizes are similar to the Illustrator graphs, and after aligning the rubber bands the way I wanted them to be, I could add text and and the information on InDesign.