Category Archives: Information Design

A Redesigned Oscar Winner Card

Redditor ShinyTile points out that poor graphic design may have contributed to Sunday night’s Oscar mixup.

I agree and took 5 minutes to redesign the card.

As ShinyTile points out, the Oscars logo catches the eye first, and in this context is entirely irrelevant to the purpose and usage of the card. I assume the cards are nice keepsakes (in addition to the statues), and so I’m okay with keeping the logo, but minimizing it and making it the last thing the eye might read. In its place at the top center, I would place the category in the same Oscar logo gold. That should be the first place the reader’s eye goes and it should serve to confirm the category winner about to be announced. But immediately after the category is processed by the reader, the next thing is the winner and the first thing announced—big, bold and in all caps.

I’m okay with the title being all caps, but I would make the additional information (in this case the producer names), sentence cap as I think this is easier for the eye to read, especially with longer and more complicated names. The only things read aloud are in black and the other two items are in the less prominent gold.

Just a suggestion…

 

Also, the LA Times points out that the mixup could also partially be due to poor envelope design.

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W. E. B. Du Bois’ Hand-Drawn Data Visualizations of African-American Life

 

Holy cow, look at these incredible hand-drawn data visualizations by W.E.B. Du Bois from 1900.

I admit that I knew and know very little about Du Bois and certainly had no idea that he created such visually unique and careful visualizations. The critic in me wants to say that some of these  do not hold to modern best data viz practices, but damn, sometimes you want to get lost in a careful study of data and spend some time with beautiful meaningful graphic design. And that’s what you certainly do with these visualizations.

Check out all of them at Public Domain Review and as so often is the case, major h/t to Kottke.

 

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Be Like Hans Rosling with PowerPoint Morph

Sadly, the world lost statistician, doctor and TED personality Hans Rosling yesterday. In honor of his endless enthusiasm for and influence on data and data visualization, I put together this little tutorial on how to approximate his Trendalyzer software to create animated bubble charts using PowerPoint’s morph transition.

If you haven’t seen Hans present, take a look at some of my favorites:

The Best Stats you’ve Never Seen • 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes • Global Population Growth, Box by Box • Asia’s Rise: How and When

 

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A Calendar Timeline Slide

 

We’re always looking to create timelines that are more interesting and more easily read. Recently a client kept talking about upcoming events that “were on the calendar,” and so we decided to ditch the normal linear timeline approach and just show an actual calendar.

I like how this literally visualizes the dates rather than putting them abstractly on a horizontal line.

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visual training presentation