Cristina Villegas

GMOs in Ghana Infographic

Joeva Rock is an anthropologist and assistant professor in Development Studies at the University of Cambridge. For almost a decade, she’s been researching the complex, global effort to introduce genetically modified crops to Ghana, with a focus on food sovereignty, colonial legacies, and agricultural biotechnology. As one of my first graphic design projects, I translated her qualitative research findings into an infographic that is easy to understand regardless of language barriers, and easy to distribute through social media channels and academic publications.

Infographic tweeted by Joeva (left) and published in African Affairs (right).


Graphic design


Infographic (web-sized JPG and print-ready PDF)


1 month



Knowing nothing about the subject myself, I sat down with Joeva and listened as she walked me through the intricate relationships between the scientists, donors, and companies she has been researching. I started to see how this resembled a familiar network in nature that most people would instantly recognize. From there, mapping out the relationships onto the visual metaphor of a plant system was intuitive. 

The relationships were categorized into three functions. “Project Funding” was the sunlight; “Implementation & Outreach” were the plant stems and leaves; and “Technical Collaboration” was the root system that interacts directly with the land. Icons for each entity visually communicate their role in the system. I used vector graphics for the majority of the infographics because they can be compressed into small file sizes without losing quality, making them ideal for both print and digital platforms. I chose colors that fit the agricultural theme while ensuring they were accessible for color blindness and for black & white printing in academic papers.

Joeva received positive feedback from her community when presenting her research alongside the infographic, and re-used the graphic across several platforms. Working on this project felt very fulfilling and affirmed my desire to design for educational and human service purposes.