Infographics for the Open Insulin project

Hi everyone!

I’m Pieter, an information designer living and working in Ghent. I’ll design the infographics for the Open Insulin project. Before I can start we need to define the content and the target of the graphics.  

I like the idea from Niek that most of the people in Flanders know diabetes as  “The Sugar” This could be a good start to attract people to the graphics with something they are already familiar with. This could be used in a big title that immediately draws the attention.

A few points I would like discuss:

1. Target public? 

I would make a difference between 2 targets: children (-18) and adults (18+), each with a different mood. Is there a difference between children diabetes and adult diabetes? Does it affect the development of the child?

2. Key questions

I would design 2 infographics (as a start), one for the adults and one for the children. Each infographic should contain 5 key questions with a few lines of info to avoid an information overload. 

3. Format/design

I would use a landcape A4 format so it can be easily shared and read on social media. I will design a small document with the "corporate identity" so the the communication of the project will be internally and externally consistent and clear for everyone.

Any thoughts? What key questions about Diabetes should we address?





Local relevance

WinniePoncelet's picture

I think the points we touched last Wednesday (link) offer a great starting point of what an infographic should look like for the audience in Belgium. Specifically around the need of education around prevention.

For the graphics to be maximally useful, they should be easy to employ in a different context, for the teams in Oakland and Sydney. What are your communication needs, @dfko , the most pressing obstacles that could be resolved if your message reaches the right people?


Some inspiration

WinniePoncelet's picture

I came across this article:

The visual about blame struck me... I wonder how it is in Belgium, maybe something comes out of the discussion here. Can be worth adding as well.



Alberto's picture

That post is heartbreaking, Winnie. And @Scigrades : welcome to Edgeryders! Looking forward to see your infographics. 


Information for the general diabetis infographic

Scigrades's picture


So I gathered some info for the infographic with general diabetes info. Feel free to comment, I would like to start designing this Wednesday, Thursday.

Title: So what do you know about "The Sugar" ?

Intro: The number of people wih diabetes has doubled in the last decennia. Everybody knows someone that is suffering from diabetis but do you know what is really happening inside the body of someone with diabetes? Do you know what to do when someone gets a hypo? In this infographic you will find some basic info about diabetes and how you can prevent it. 

1) What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic condition that increases blood sugar levels. This can have two causes: either the insulin is insufficient or the insulin produced is insufficiently effective. In both cases, the cells can not absorb enough sugar (glucose), which accumulates in the blood. There are two types of diabetis:

Type 1: Occurs usually in children or adolescents and affects less than 10% of all people with diabetes. Body does not produce enough insulin.

Type 2: Over 90% of people with diabetes have diabetes type 2. This occurs especially from the age of 40 years. Body produces insulin but can’t use it well.

2) How many people have diabetes? 

The number of people with diabetes has risen from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. In 2012, an estimated 1.5 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes and another 2.2 million deaths were attributable to high blood glucose. WHO projects that diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death in 2030.

3) What are the complications? How can you prevent them?

Diabetes can lead to complications in many parts of the body and increase the risk of dying prematurely. 

Intestines & stomach problems, heart attack, kiney failure, blindness, hearing loss, stroke, damage of nerves and blood vessels, amputation of feet or leg, fatigue,..

Eat and drink healthy, quit smoking, keep your weight under control, exercise, keep the sugar levels in your blood under control, check your feet, get a check-up on a regular basis, keep learning about diabetes!

4) What is gestational diabetes?

A special form of diabetes is gestational diabetes. This occurs especially in the second half of pregnancy. This calls for further follow-up to minimize risks during pregnancy and at birth. Usually the diabetes disappears after childbirth. The diagnosis of gestational diabetes is an alarm signal. It means that you have a high risk of developing persistent diabetes in the first 5 to 10 years. Pregnancy diabetes occurs in 5 to 20% of pregnancies, usually in the second half of pregnancy.

5) What do you need to do when someone has an attack?

If your blood sugar levels fall below 4 mmol / l, you have a hypo. That's what you notice: 

•    to sweat
• vibrate
•    being dizzy
• suddenly changing mood (suddenly angry, for example) is unconcentrated
•    headache
•    being tired
•    be hungry

A hypo is about eating or drinking something quickly (not light). For example, six to eight tablets of grape sugar.

If your blood sugar exceeds 10 mmol / l, you have hyper. That's what you notice:

• Pee a lot
• Have a lot of thirst and keep it
• are tired
• sudden moodiness, getting angry quickly
• be sick or give up
• Everything feels annoying

The body itself wants to lose too much sugar in the blood, through lots of pee. Many people continue to drink (but nothing sweet!) Helps. Also movement is good, then the blood sugar burns. If you are using insulin, you usually need to inject additional insulin.






What do we want to achieve?

WinniePoncelet's picture

I think the comment of @Nadia in the earlier thread on education is relevant here:

"Is it here? Is it now? Does it affect me? Is there anything I can do about it? More generally what is the behavioral change that you want to achieve with each outreach effort?"

I think this is the starting point: what do we want to achieve with the infographic? The graphics I saw from idf were kind of static. Mainly some facts and figures on diabetes. I think we want something that activates. There are already some concrete things that it could be used for, like education and prevention.

What would be useful for education, @NiekD ?

What is the message you'd like to get across for the project in the US @dfko ?

@Nabeel_p and @CarolineM , from your experience in the field with patients and with visual science communication: what are the criteria in your opinion for such a visual to be useful as a tool for eg. a community worker?


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