Explanagraphics’ First Real-World Product!

April Fools!PORTLAND, Oregon April 1 — Thanks to the wonders of 3D printing and our new emotion-sensing software, you can now wear “The Feelings Explainer” on your face.
Pop on these expressive spectacles and show the world what you really feel.
Designer Nancy Wirsig McClure said, “I always wanted that single raised eyebrow, and so did all my friends.… MORE

Posted April 1, 2015 . . . 3

“What the F**k Are Infographics?” (notes on a presentation)

ICON8 Conference logo
“Infographics suck!” proclaimed Jennifer Daniel and Alicia DeSantis, graphics editors for the New York Times. They spoke yesterday at the ICON8 Conference, a national gathering of illustrators. I hung on their every word.

It’s a pretty sassy claim, but they pointed out that “infographics” have become a style and a marketing ploy to get people to click.… MORE

Posted July 12, 2014 . . . 0

Infographics Everywhere! Cake or Pie?

Here’s a clever idea! These are standard cakes on the inside, but the frosting is informative. The appearance indicates the ingredients of the cake in “pie chart” percentages. Idea by Marti Guixe, a designer in Barcelona.

cakes with piechart frosting

Now, if you’re disappointed that the cake is ordinary inside, you can bake your own with custom segments of batter, using this pan from Danklhampl design.… MORE

Posted May 8, 2013 . . . 0

Don’t Forget the Little Data

We’ve seen the topic of Big Data become sizzling hot. But there’s still a place for little data.

Always Check your Arithmetic or “Every Cell Counts”

Spell checkers have taught us that overreliance on automation can make fools of us. It applies to number crunching too…

These guys started with big data — statistics about every national economy.… MORE

Posted April 21, 2013 . . . 0

New work: map enhances icons (or is it vice versa?)

I created this map for a client who wanted a friendly sort of drawn map — the antithesis of Google Maps. She also wanted an icon to go with an accomplishment for each neighborhood. It was my choice to make the icons big and bold.

New work: map + iconsThe map is being used in a print piece for a candidate.… MORE

Posted March 31, 2013 . . . 0

Don’t let your infographics mislead!

When you look at this TIME infographic, do you think that 3/4 million Iran/Afghanistan vets have PTSD? (30% of 2.5 million)

Or did you notice that the caption under the 30% says, “of veterans treated by the VA”?

From TIME magazine March 25 2013, Commentary by Joe Klein, “Ten Years After: A National Disgrace”

TIME infographic that could mislead

In fact, with the information provided, you can’t come up with a number of vets, because we aren’t told how many vets have been treated by the VA.MORE

Posted March 17, 2013 . . . 0

Making an e-book of a richly visual, design-oriented book

Here’s my advice for Stephen Few, who is being urged to create e-books of his great books on information design. [ The urgings appear in comments on his blog post on publishing ]

For e-book creation, an author of design-oriented content has to consider several major issues. (Several of these you’ve already mentioned, but I got into essay mode.)


What should the digital experience be for the reader?

Posted March 15, 2013 . . . 0

Trends in gadget and appliance UI (BBC video)

Check out this BBC video on usability trends in designs of products. Five minute of voiceover, plus sound bites from manufacturers.


I was especially interested in:

“Nikon has added live animation to [the UI of] some of its newer cameras.” (timepoint 1:30)


The Beeb’s text under the video uses extreme phrases to catch attention, such as “why the user manual could be a thing of the past,” but here are some of the real take-aways:

Hardware manufacturers are looking to software for models:

  • Apple for simplicity of UI
  • apps like DropBox that do only one thing but focus on doing it really well.
Posted March 11, 2013 . . . 2

Please help me name this business!

Please use the Comments section below to do virtual brainstorming. Explanagraphics is the temporary name of my repurposed business. I don’t like it much, but it will become the permanent name, unless I can friend-source some creativity.

NOTE: don’t overlook the two pages of comments (if you’d like to see others’ thoughts)!… MORE

Posted February 24, 2013 . . . 42

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