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Info Design


11.05.13: Rob Walker

Seeing The Problem
How a graphic communication campaign could help us address a real electoral map crisis: Gerrymandering 2.0.
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01.30.13: Rob Walker

Branding By Numbers
Emblemetric backs its assessment of the American Airlines logo with "the data." Of course, that's open to interpretation.
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01.18.13: Rob Walker

What Are You Looking At?
The maps of the future will tell you what to look at. Sometimes, you should look elsewhere.
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03.04.12: John Foster

Accidental Mysteries, 03.04.12
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment. This week's focus is charts and diagrams.
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07.06.11: Rick Poynor

The Dictionary as Art Concept
A new Magritte exhibition catalogue is not the first to take the form of a dictionary. How important is originality when it comes to book design?
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05.07.11: Rick Poynor

Paul Stiff, the Reader's Champion
For the late Paul Stiff, design educator, writer, editor and skeptic, typography must never neglect to serve the reader.
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01.20.11: Mark Lamster

Gerd Arntz: Design Icon
Gerd Arntz: A design icon who designed icons.
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12.02.10: Alexandra Lange

Networks Before the Internet
A new exhibit at the Noguchi Museum shows how small and intertwined were the worlds of mid-century art, design and architecture.
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09.14.10: Michael Bierut

Mr. Vignelli's Map
Vignelli Celebration: Massimo Vignelli's 1972 New York City subway map is a beautiful example of information design that was ultimately rejected by its users.
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09.21.09: Alexandra Lange

Nothing Runs Like A...
A note about Deere & Company’s foray into the consumer market.
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09.22.08: Gong Szeto

Interview with Brian Oakes
It’s not often that graphs and numbers take center stage in a popular film, but in the brilliant hands of graphic designer Brian Oakes, information design is not a backdrop but a main character in the recently released documentary I.O.U.S.A. Interview by Gong Szeto.
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05.24.08: KT Meaney

Greening the Grocery Store
It turns out that the "recycling symbol" at the bottom of my yogurt container had nothing to do with its recyclability. So why was it there? My curiosity led to findings around which I built a design class.
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01.13.07: Michael Erard

Word Made Flesh
The forgotten discipline of sentence diagramming forces the structure of language to wear the clothes of images. A sentence diagram is less a map than a portrait, and in this vaudeville language is painted, corsetted and trussed.
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08.14.06: William Drenttel

Threat Advisory Pandemic Alert System (TAPAS)
How do we measure the danger level from the Avian Influenza A (H5N1) virus? What we lack is that one Tom Ridge-like bit of inspiration that would lend clarity to these confusing times. We took our cue from a certain John James Audubon. Herewith, one option for Homeland Security. Yes, we know: it's for the birds.
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04.30.06: Jessica Helfand

Disaster Relief 101: No Door Hanger Left Behind
Door hangers seem the perfect metaphor for FEMA's failure: they're one-dimensional, unnecessarily complicated, and basically useless.
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10.24.05: Michael Bierut

The Great Non-Amber-Colored Hope
A student design for a prescription pill bottle takes a metoric rise to mass production and becomes an instant icon in the world of graphic design.
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07.08.05: Jessica Helfand

New Models for Design Efficiency: Introducing Otto
eniac Link http://www.newyorker.com/ http://www.library.upenn.edu/exhibits/rbm/mauchly/jwm8.html http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0001NBMAS/ref=pd_sxp_f/002-9888674-0621611?v=glance&s=dvd
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05.30.05: William Drenttel

Maps of Cyberspace
It is the internet that has changed our perception of space, precisely because the sheer volume of interconnectivity is beyond our imagination, whether it be language-based, data-based, or community-based. Add black holes and photographs of asteroidal moons around Jupiter, and our world seems increasingly expansive. Yet, if we cannot map it, how can we understand it?
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04.22.05: Michael Bierut

Me and My Pyramid
The redesign of the United States Department of Agriculture's Food Pyramid is neither satisfying nor nourishing from an information design point of view.
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02.18.05: Jessica Helfand

My Friend Flickr
Flickr is a digital photo sharing website and web services suite that was developed by Ludicorp, a Vancouver, Canada company founded in 2002. It's a utopian oddity — a culture enabled by a technology that in turn enables a culture — and it's a brilliant example of socially networked software because it's free, its easy, and it makes sense.
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02.16.05: Jessica Helfand

The New Paper Chase: Cyberspace on The Auction Block
On February 23, Christies in New York will auction more than 1,000 items dating as far back as the early 17th century, all of it tracing the history of cyberspace.
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01.02.05: The Editors

Understanding and Action

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11.03.04: Jessica Helfand

Am I Blue
Bumper stickers and lawn posters aside, Americans showed their concern on election day 2004 by standing in epic lines at polling centers around the nation, but also in certain subtle, discreetly visual ways. From dressing in all blue (or red) to wearing "I voted today" buttons, there has been a kind of silent visual communication effort steadily in play for the last 36 hours.
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06.16.04: Michael Bierut

The Idealistic Corporation
American corporations in the mid-twentieth century, such as IBM, Container Corporation, and General Dynamics, worked with designers like Charles and Ray Eames, Herbert Bayer and Erik Nitsche in the conviction that design was not only a tool for business, but an potent instrument for making the world a better place.
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04.20.04: Jessica Helfand

One Person, One Vote, One MRI?

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02.28.04: Michael Bierut

Information Design and the Placebo Effect
It turns out that New York City is filled with buttons for pedestrians to activitate "Walk" signals at busy intersections that have never worked. Does pressing these useless buttons provide us with a sense that at least we're doing something?
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02.05.04: William Drenttel

Call for Entries: Periodic Table of the Elements
Jessica Helfand and I are building a collection of Periodic Tables and hope to publish a book on their scientific, visual and cultural history.
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02.04.04: William Drenttel

Uut, Uup and Away
What happens when we discover new elements, especially ones on the outer fringes of the periodic table? Where did Uut and Uup come from?
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12.17.03: Michael Bierut

Errol Morris Blows Up Spreadsheet, Thousands Killed
Errol Morris's documentary "The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert McNamara" demonstrates his mastery of information design as a poetic narrative device.
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11.24.03: Michael Bierut

Mark Lombardi and the Ecstasy of Conspiracy
Artist Mark Lombardi's intricate handdrawn diagrams describing the relationships behind contemporary political and financial scandals are both beautiful objects and extraordinary feats of information design.
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11.06.03: William Drenttel

Information Archaeology
Russ Kick is "a self-described 'information archaeologist...'" The revealing of state secrets through deconstructing a PDF.
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11.06.03: William Drenttel

Edward Tufte: The Dispassionate Statistician II
More on Edward Tufte and his critique of PowerPoint.
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