This infographic tells a story of mental illness and trauma passed down through my family. Whether by environmental factors or DNA, there is research suggesting that mental illness, mental disorders, abuse, poverty, and disenfranchisement are multi-generational.
The story I sought to tell in this design is personal, but also general. Family trees that look like mine are far too common. The ultimate message I want viewers to take away from this poster is that the cycle doesn't have to continue — acknowledging its existence is the first step toward healing.
I initially wanted to indicate the existence of mental illness through the family line in general, but found that naming the specific conditions yielded a more powerful response. My first drafts were also quite clinical, which wasn't my intent.
I also didn't figure out a good way to guide the eye until later iterations. I started with large columns of text, and eventually started using the dotted line as a path for the eye to wander from paragraph to paragraph.
The biggest challenge in this project (besides dredging up difficult family histories) was creating a hierarchy. I had never worked with so much data before, and found the push and pull to be an exciting challenge.