TRAGEDY ON RETURN
Research, Design and Production
by Louis Spirito;
Graphic Editing by David Wersinger
Six months after the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy in February of 2003, I began a brief 5-month tenure as a Senior Infographics artist at the Orlando Sentinel. One of my primary missions there was to produce several graphics that explained the highly complicated mechanics of the shuttle program and the series of events that lead to the Columbia disaster. The graphic shown here was created for a special section the Sentinel produced upon release of the final accident report.
Overall, the graphic is essentially a trio of segments that explain the same event in distinctly different ways, both visually and conceptually. This was done deliberately to break down the complexity of the event into an easily understandable visual, relying on overlapping repetition to provide cognitive reinforcement and subtle depth to the narrative.
The dominant image is a combination of 3D modeling (Strata 3D) Photoshop and Illustrator elements. The design goal was to bring the reader inside the wing of the shuttle and emphasize the dynamics of what unfolded in a shockingly brief period of time as the shuttle disintegrated over the Texas sky.
Download a pdf version here.
Strata 3D, Photoshop, Illustrator
© 2003 Orlando Sentinel