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TRIUMF Radiation Environments Infographic

I designed infographics for TRIUMF, Canada's Particle Accelerator Centre, which received the prestigious In-House Design Award from RGD, Canada's largest professional association for graphic design.


TRIUMF operates a cluster of radiation testing facilities under the label “PIF & NIF” (for Proton Irradiation Facilities and Neutron Irradiation Facilities). TRIUMF serves commercial clients such as aerospace firms, satellite companies, automotive manufacturers, and electronic parts manufacturers. Testing their parts under radiation conditions is a critical part of the quality assurance process.


The significance of this work needed to be captured in a visually engaging and easy-to-understand information graphic. The design of the infographic needed to incorporate intricate, highly technical information clearly and concisely. The breadth and diversity of the user group and the societal significance of the work done at the facilities also needed to be highlighted by the design.

I worked with Diana Castaneda and Camille Belanger-Champagne to create a visually engaging and easy-to-understand information graphic to be displayed along the Public Tour routes at TRIUMF, as well as for use in all PIF & NIF printed, digital, and online collateral for business communications. 

The Design Process

This project was undertaken through a short-term freelance contract.

During the initial month, I visited TRIUMF for a comprehensive tour and engaged with Diana and Camille to delve into their research. This phase allowed me to grasp the scientific concepts essential for the infographic. The subsequent three months of the design process are detailed below:

Initial Sketches

To kick off the project, I delved into understanding the PIF & NIF department at TRIUMF and pinpointed the key messages for the infographic. As a newcomer to TRIUMF's work, I had a unique perspective that helped me design an infographic accessible to both experts and novices in the scientific community.

I began by sketching initial concepts on paper, exploring various ways to represent radiation levels. These rough drafts allowed me to quickly test and refine ideas. I shared these sketches with a PIF & NIF scientist and TRIUMF’s senior graphic designer to gather their input on the layout and ensure scientific accuracy.

The infographic required distinct layers to illustrate different environments:

  • Deep space: Illustrated with the sun, planets, and the Milky Way galaxy.

  • Geosynchronous orbit: At Camille's request, I included a rover on the moon.

  • Low Earth orbit: Depicted with a space shuttle and satellites.

  • Airplane altitudes: Represented by an airplane.

  • Ground level: This layer allowed for creative flexibility, showing the impact of radiation on various ground-level scenes such as mountains, roads, vehicles, and houses.

These layered illustrations effectively conveyed complex scientific information in a visually engaging and understandable way.

Paper sketches to decide the layout of the infographic

Digital Iterations and Revisions

Camille and Diana preferred option 2, where the radiation level bar transitions from high to low at the center of the infographic. This design choice emphasized radiation levels as the focal point, with supporting visuals in the background.

Over the course of two months, I developed six iterations, progressively refining the details in Adobe Illustrator. Below are some examples showcasing the increasing complexity of these designs.

Further iterations and changes

As I progressed to higher fidelity designs, I incorporated placeholders for text and experimented with the overall layout of the infographic.

The central radiation bar began to feel less scientific, so we opted to redesign it as a vertical bar on the left side, aligning more closely with standard scientific research presentations like the example here.

Image from Tank, Pravinkumar & Kothadia, Hardik & Sridharan, Arunkumar & Prabhu, S.. (2021). Pressure drop, local heat transfer coefficient, and critical heat flux of DNB type for flow boiling in a horizontal straight tube with R-123. Heat and Mass Transfer. 57. 1-28. 10.1007/s00231-020-02935-5. 

Final designs of the infographics

The final mockups of the infographic showcased a polished, cohesive design that effectively communicated the key messages of the PIF & NIF department. The redesigned vertical radiation bar on the left provided a clear and scientific presentation of radiation levels, while the layered illustrations added depth and visual interest. Text elements were thoughtfully integrated into the design, ensuring readability and enhancing the overall narrative. These high-fidelity mockups were created in Adobe Illustrator, blending detailed graphics with accurate scientific information to create an engaging and informative infographic.

Project Reflection

I worked on a project to address a real-world challenge that required a design solution, and I was very satisfied with the outcome. I owe a lot of gratitude to Diana Castaneda and Camille Belanger-Champagne for their assistance. They inspired me with their enthusiasm and commitment. The feedback I received from them throughout the process was very helpful, precise, and enhanced my abilities as a designer, illustrator, and thinker. I appreciate them both for this amazing experience!


In 2022, a team of animators worked on creating a bilingual interactive version of the infographic. You can check it out here:

Diana Castaneda

Senior Brand Designer and Art Director ∙ TRIUMF


Working with Janani has been a joy. Her work ethics, amazing talent, and constant kindness, never cease to impress us.


Her infographic for TRIUMF’s Proton and Neutron Irradiation Facilities, not only fulfilled our expectations, but also considerably raised the bar for visual standards along the route of our Public Tour.

Thank you so much for reading this case study.


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