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Vintage InfoPorn No.1

Vintage InfoPorn No.1
My conceit, when I started making infographics, was simple. I believed this was a *new way* of expressing and visualizing information, a thoroughly modern and zeitgeisty fusion of data and design. Oh you muppet David… These infographics were created by students of American African-American activist W.E.Dubois in 1902. They’re so modern looking! Right down to the type. Then there’s ISOTYPE – the International System Of TYpographic Picture Education. There’s a gorgeous small-format book on Isotype by Neurath’s wife Marie and Robin Kinross that’s worth a look. The vibe of ISOTYPE, and its tight visual language, depended heavily on the pictographic work of German artist Gerd Arntz. Nice! Gerd Arntz: Graphic Designer (look inside) is gorgeous book, recently published by 010 Publishers, celebrating his work (Amazon UK | US). So infography has risen and fallen in history.

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Intermental Is tech creating new types of mental and emotional disorders? An increasing number of stories about internet addiction and the effect of constant device use on our minds, lives and relationships. From a culture of distraction and boot-camps for addicted teens to the “electronic apocalypse”. Recently, I finished a long, two-year stretch at a computer creating my book. Feeling the effect of such intense screen use, I took the time to observe and catalogue how it affected my mind, emotions and behaviours.

Bible Design and Binding: Bleeding Through: The Sorry State of Bible Paper Back in June, Iyov posted an excellent photo essay titled "Bible paper bleedthrough," using photos from my review of Cambridge's Pitt Minion NKJV to illustrate just how bad the problem of thin, translucent Bible paper really is. In my review, I described the paper as "relatively opaque," saying the ghosted print image from the reverse of the page was "faint, and not pronounced enough to be distracting." Iyov then used the photos illustrating the review to argue that my assessment shows just how far we've sunk: "…we have become so accustomed to bleedthrough that four layers of text can quality as 'relatively opaque.'"

Black History Charts, 1900 Over 60 charts and maps, along with specially commissioned photographs were prepared for The Georgia Negro Exhibit, which was part of the larger display. Only three of these infographics are available in color from the Library of Congress. Click on them to view them larger. There are black and white reproductions of the entire group (see selection below), at the extensive online archive created by Professor Eugene F. Provenzo, Jr., of the University of Miami. A Graphic Design Primer, Part 3: Basics of Composition Jun 27 2011 In the first two sections of this primer, we covered the basic elements of design, and the basic principles of design. In this section, we’ll cover the basic principles of composition.

Simple Visualizations with D3plus I’ve been using D3, a JavaScript library for data visualizations (the three ‘D’s stand for Data-Driven Documents), for my own projects and with my students for some time. It’s a particularly cool tool for working with dynamic data or information from a database and giving it life in a visual format through charts, graphs, and interactive data displays. Information visualization can be a powerful way to represent complex or otherwise inaccessible data.

David Baron's weblog: What does a blur radius mean? [Note that this blog entry contains a good bit of markup, including script and SVG, and will probably not syndicate very well.] A bunch of Web platform features involve blurring. For example, the CSS text-shadow property lets a shadow be both positioned and blurred. Each shadow is given with three numbers: the first two give the position and the third gives the blur radius. The Exhibit of American Negroes The Exhibit of American Negroes was a sociological display within the Palace of Social Economy at the 1900 World's Fair in Paris. The exhibit was a joint effort between Daniel Murray, the Assistant Librarian of Congress, Thomas Calloway, a lawyer and the primary organizer of the exhibit, and W.E.B. Du Bois with the goal of demonstrating the progress and commemorating the lives of African Americans at the turn of the century.[1] It included a statuette of Frederick Douglass, four bound volumes of nearly 400 official patents by African Americans, photographs from several educational institutions (Fisk University, Howard University, Roger Williams University, Tuskegee Institute, Claflin University, Berea College), an African-American bibliography by the Library of Congress containing 1,400 titles, and W. E.

Little boxes Foto credit Would the field of data vis benefit from a clear line between art and design, as Lisa C. Rost suggests (see also the follow-up post)? This debate has been around for a while (see e.g. Lev Manovich’s Info Aesthetics, The Manifesto debate, the Cargo Cult debate, Jorge Camoe’s attempts, but also helpful papers like “The Role of Design in Information Visualization“ etc) and of course, there is a literally a century of discourse on art and design in other fields as well. Here’s my take:

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map Typography Title pages, headings and letterforms clipped, cropped and isolatedfrom maps and map publications issued between about 1880 and 1920. "D. A. Sanborn, a young surveyor from Somerville, Massachusetts, was engaged in 1866 by the Aetna Insurance Company to prepare insurance maps for several cities in Tennessee. [..] Before working for Aetna, Sanborn conducted surveys and compiled an atlas of the city of Boston titled 'Insurance Map of Boston, Volume 1, 1867'. [..] The atlas includes twenty-nine large plates showing sections of Boston at the scale of 50 feet to an inch. W.E.B. Du Bois, radical visualization, and the transformative power of information « Seeing Complexity These graphics do actually have to do with my conference because at the time, Du Bois was teaching at Atlanta (now Clark Atlanta) University which happens to sit on the same campus as Morehouse (which is very nice, by the way). In fact, I was struck by how similar some of the images looked to hip contemporary visualization methods (see my posts here, here, and here). Of course, none of these are interactive or widely available, but they had in mind a similar goal: the dissemination of information in a compact form that tells a story, carrying meaning or implication beyond the numbers alone. This also got me thinking about the historical development of data visualization, a topic that I have covered before here, here and here. I commented to a friend yesterday that some of these were more reminiscent of the modernist graphic design–especially in advertising–coming out of New York, Los Angeles, or Rome in the 1930-1950’s. Like this:

Announcing the Information is Beautiful Awards Longlist 2015 looks like another vintage year in the world of data visualization and information design. We celebrate and exhibit this awesomeness every year in the Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards. Here’s the long-list. An incredible range of creativity – awaits your brain – across design, code, concepting and styling. Prepare your mind for a gail-force blowing. Boost Your Sales by 80% with a 'Call to Action' One of the most important elements of your web site is the "call to action." Your site may have a compelling headline that grabs your visitors' attention. It may have well-written salescopy, great graphics, awesome navigation, fantastic testimonials, and an unbelievable opt-in offer. But all these things aren't going to mean squat if you don't include a clear call to action!