This 30-meter timeline illustrates the history of the Earth since its birth about 4.6 billion years ago. This publication is the final step of a one year production that will have mobilized experts, graphic designers and developers


Respect the scales!

4.6 billion years is 2 million times our calendar. It's 1500 times older than Lucy's bones. How to represent such a gigantic duration on a scale?

The International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) publishes a table which is the international reference for the names and dates of geological periods. This list is regularly updated to take into account recent discoveries. It can be consulted at this address.

However, this table, as precise as it is, is not to scale. The fourth column (Precambrian), which appears shorter than the first three, should actually be 20 times larger.

It seemed pedagogically important to consider a representation closer to real durations.

Analysis of the existing:

(1) The project

(2) The spiral of the « geologic timeline » project of graphic designer Benteh

(3) The USGS spiral

(4) The eduMedia geological clock simulation

We chose the horizontal bar:

What is the Parallax effect?

The parallax effect amplifies the feeling of perspective by playing on the scrolling speed of the different shots:

Like any timeline, horizontal scrolling represents the course of time. The parallax effect adds depth to the landscape. It is then possible to see on the sides but also in front or behind. The observer feels like traveling in space and time.

The realization of a scene becomes more complex for the graphic designer who must compose each picture in 5 boards, with strong mathematical constraints (width of the plans and relative positions).

Bestiary and herbarium:

The history of the Earth is also the story of Life. This long story stretches over this 30 meters long timeline which is divided into 5 plans. Even in this dimension, one centimeter in the foreground represents more than a million years.

An important research work was carried out to identify and then filter the markers of each era. The result is a bestiary and a herbarium of more than 300 elements.

We made the original artistic choice to place "Photoshop" Illustrations on a watercolor decor base.