Category Archives: Visual Thinking

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.


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.



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.


Better Presentations by Jon Schwabish


My good friend Jon Schwabish spends much of his time advocating for and teaching better data visualization and communications. And he’s rather amazing at it as one might expect of a Phd Economist who used to work for the Congressional Budget Office. But as someone who also presents quite often, he has now turned his attention to creating better presentations with his just released book aptly titled, Better Presentations. I highly recommend it also with Jon’s excellent PolicyViz blog, podcast and training services.

Categories: Visual Thinking.

Pitch Decks: The Presentation Podcast #16

The Presentation Podcast

Episode #16, Pitch Decks is live.

Sandy is back this week and we’re discussing presentation pitch decks, large and small. From individual “resume presentations” to investor startup decks to massive multi-million dollar agency proposals.

Don’t forget to give us a rating on iTunes if you like the Podcast and want to help spread the word!

Subscribe on iTunes and check out the show notes for more info.

Categories: Visual Thinking.
visual training presentation