The Stone Cold Truth

An infographic set that aims to educate consumers about the ethical consequences of the global diamond industry.

Role

Research, Motion Design, Illustration

Tools Used

Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, After Effects

Timeline

September - November 2019 (11 weeks)

Summary

The Stone Cold Truth is a series of infographics created to advocate towards awareness surrounding the global diamond industry. The narrative written in these infographics take the audience member through history. It explores the diamond cartel, the need for transparency in the supply chain, the countries associated with conflict, and proposes solutions to the crisis. Designed as both a pamphlet for audience members to open up and a video to explore, this project aims to reach viewers on both the physical and virtual planes.

Problem

As the democratization of luxury is becoming more apparent, it is necessary for consumers to understand how their purchasing decisions affect the livelihood of the miners, diamond cutters, and polishers involved. While there has been more awareness of issues involving conflict diamonds, it is important to be aware of how some of the conflict in the diamond industry is not always apparent. For example, the working conditions and health risks associated are not always the most ethical. In recent years, it has become a trend for people in their late 20s to early 30s to live more ethical and sustainable lives. This growing trend is a call for jewelry companies to be more transparent with their processes. With better education, consumers can make informed choices and understand the ethical implications behind their decisions.

How can we better educate consumers to make informed and ethical purchasing decisions when shopping for jewelry?

Solution

In order to visualize the information, I decided to create a pamphlet that opened up to present my information in a narrative form. This allowed the user to carefully open and explore the piece at their own pace. The pamphlet was intended to be shown in physical jewellery showrooms or exhibitions.

The front cover of the pamphlet.
The second spread. This outlines the growth of the DeBeers Group and their role in the Diamond Cartel
The third spread. This is a timeline of the supply chain with examples that show how conflict diamonds enter.
The fourth spread. This features a map of the world with the countries that agreed to track their diamond supply chain, as well as the countries that violate that agreement.

When creating the digital infographic, the illustrations from the print piece were brought into After Effects and animated. This video was meant to be presented online, giving the information a chance to be shared and promoted through the internet, therefore reaching a broader audience.

Conclusion

Overall, I felt that the two mediums that I chose were both efficient in communicating my idea and educating consumers about their purchasing decisions. I felt that using these two different mediums helped consumers process the information in different ways. The pamphlet method offered a tactile way for consumers to navigate the information at their own pace, while the animated explainer video quickly went through the information and allows the user to be guided by narration. If given more time to expand on this project, I would definitely be interested in creating versions that explained the processes behind precious metals like gold or silver, as well as exploring other precious gems that are frequently used in the jewelry industry.

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