I usually don’t post this stuff, but it’s Friday afternoon, and I like them. Mike Baboon has a great eye for distilling form and creating color palettes.
Lots of books try to convince us that different colors are associated with different emotions and messages, but John Nelson decided to put google image search results to the test. Check out the comments for some good discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the technique.
There really aren’t many differences between the two current proposals, which were designed to incorporate the new Silver Line to Dulles airport. As mentioned in the WashPost comments, the only major flaw I see is using the same color for the background beltway and DC boundary as for the Silver Line.
To be honest, I still prefer a lot of the options that Cameron Booth proposed in his 2010 reworking:
Every once in a while you discover something that is obviously useful, but for some reason, you never even considered it before. That happened to me today in the form of graph digitizing software. Basically, it lets you create a chart in reverse: it starts with an image of an existing chart, and extracts the data. Why is this useful? Well, sometimes you find a great chart and want to use it for a project, but you don’t have access to the original dataset (it’s lost in time, etc). I’ve gotten around this in the past by tracing images in vector software – but obviously, extracting the data provides more precision and flexibility.
There are several digitizing programs out there, but I like Graphclick because it works with multiple chart types and has a simple interface (though it only works on Macs). Un-Scan-It is a nice one that works on PCs and Macs (but is a bit expensive).
How does Google shape its brand through design? Check out their “Visual Assets Guidelines“. It’s all very similar to the flat design movement, but the level of detail is fascinating.
While I generally love flat design concepts, Apple really choked on some of the implementation – particularly the icon designs. Check out photos, newstand, game center, and settings below. Barf. They are the way too cluttered busy and abstract – the exact opposite of what they should be.
A lot of tree maps are gibberish. This one drives home the structural changes in the job market quite clearly. It’s part of Catherine Mulbrandon’s awesome book “An Illustrated Guide to Income in the United States”. I highly recommend her book – whether it’s for the insightful content, or for the 130+ beautiful examples of clean design.
A nice introductory video from PBS with Edward Tufte, Julie Steele, Josh Smith, and Jer Thorp. Every once in a while it’s good to remind yourself of basic principles.
I love symbols and logos. It’s interesting how they change over time to reflect the times, marketing attempts, and mediums.
here are a few more:
I usually don’t post banner infographics anymore (most of them are linkbait), but I liked how this one summarizes the basic concepts of color theory and provides iconic examples. Of course, there is way too much room given to the chakra color nonsense.
The aesthetic aspects of color in design are demonstrated in my friend Mitch’s collage piece of vintage advertisements:
I dabble in VJ’ing, and it’s amazing what you can do with todays tools, like Resolume. But take a look at what Oskar Fischinger did back in 1938 with pieces of paper hanging from wires in his synesthetic interpretation of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody. Amazing. Actually, it’s kind of embarrassing. We are so spoiled.
An addictive collection of beautiful charts, graphs, maps, and interactive data visualization toys -- on topics from around the world.