Infographic – Where Does Your Food Come From


An infographic of the US food imports showing that food in the US is from all over the world. For the past 10 years, the United States’ volume of food import have grown fast, compared to the export. The trend is telling us that the country is less secured on food supply, especially for some food categories i.e. coffee which are totally dependent on the imports. However, more food imports do not mean more food on a dinner plate. Between 2000-2014, the US has imported more veggies, fruits, meat, and grains, but the food availability per capita has been decreased constantly. Meanwhile, food spending per capita has been tripled. That means an American had to pay more while having fewer food.

Data sources

  • USDA
  • US Inflation Calculator (2016)

Tools used

  • Black ink (Copic Pigma 0.3, 0.6) and Derwent Studio 24 Colored Pencils for all food icon sketches
  • Project Linework – Moriaty Hand for the base map’s linework
  • Arcgis 10.3 and Microsoft Excel for the base map’s data visualization
  • Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop for final retouches

Hand rendering and computer rendering

In this map, hand rendering technique was combined with computer rendering. Food icons were hand-drawn while the base maps are projected in pencil-sketch style to create a friendlier tone for readers. Meanwhile, graphs and tables were created by mixing hand sketches with Illustrator’s linework presets. So to make all components went well together,design techniques to make the whole map looks like hand-drawn were used as the following:

  • Handwritten-style fonts
  • Earth-tone color scheme
  • Brown background with some burnt areas
  • Very small dot patterns over the whole map


The map is a part of University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Graphic Design for Cartography Class, Fall 2016.

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