Script & Seal Flexes Their Muscles for NikeFuel
The wildly popular NikeFuel program allows users to track their fitness through “Fuel Points,” propriety units that measure movement for all kinds of activities. Nike tracks all Fuel Points earned through social media so that friends can connect, compare, and compete. That means a lot of data on a lot of active users. Far too much for the layman to understand. Nike needed a way to express this data to their consumers, so the trends could inspire greater participation. They launched a campaign, “Summer of NikeFuel,” to give users the mental tools to succeed by showing the success of others. How were they going to put all this info into a consumable format that’s a pleasure to see?
Ten years ago, the word was unknown, but as we’ve become more reliant on consuming information visually, infographics have become more and more prevalent.
The goal is communication. Some information is dense, and spreading it out into an image makes it easier to understand. Not all information is easy to illustrate visually, and squeezing it into the wrong shape can impede understanding, rather than enhancing it. “Infographics are storytelling devices, that can be used to distill a ton of information down into a single, extremely digestible form,” say Liz and Gavin of Script & Seal, the illustrator team behind the campaign. “So we see it as a way to take a large amount of seemingly boring data and create a really interesting or exciting visual story.” By telling the story visually, the information becomes much more digestible, much more fun.
For the past two months, Nike has been releasing Script & Seals infographics once a week. They’re focused on how to maximize Fuel Point earnings. That is to say, the infographics illustrate how athletes have been successful in the past, so that users can adjust and try them out to maximize their own potential.
Script & Seal has been doing this for 10 years. But it’s not old hat for them, because every time is like the first time. They need to keep it fresh. “The idea of never repeating ourselves is really important,” says Liz and Gavin. “So it's a constant challenge but really helps keep us on our game. We never want to disappoint ourselves, and that pushes us forward with every project.”
The trick is how to fit all of the data into elegant images. “You can't manipulate the data to fit the style you want to create, so you have to allow the data to dictate the form,” they say. “Mostly it's just the process of experimenting and handing off the image to each other. It helps to get a fresh pair of eyes on the project every few hours so that the design never gets stale.”
The timeline they worked on for this project is accelerated to a pace much faster than usual. They typically get 2-3 weeks to put together infographics like these, but Nike needed them once a week. “By shortening the timeline, we're in constant data-mode,” they say. “And forcing ourselves to come up with really interesting and new ideas really quickly. We see it as a really good exercise - flexing our design muscles.”
Script & Seal has been flexing their muscles since the beginning of the season, and will continue to roll out weekly infographics for the rest of the season. You'll find them on NikeFuel's Twitter upon release.