Graphic Design (bad) Archive:

Artist Julian Oliver recreated the horrible powerpoint templates used in Edward Snowden’s leaked NSA powerpoint presentations. Awesome.




I usually hate these kinds of infographics, but this one does summarize some basic guidelines. Of course, the main reason to learn the rules is so you can break them at the appropriate times. By the way, are these long tall infographics taught in high school or “social media 101” now or something? I get emailed 5-10 of these a day. Bizarre. Anyways, if you have some need for them, there’s a large collection over at Pinfographics.


I like it, but perhaps even the parodies are getting tedious at this point.



Apple finally released a new version of Keynote last week – and it is terrible.

In an effort to make the ios version of Keynote on ipads/iphones work the same as the OSX version, they removed a lot of features and dumbed down others. I call this “iosification”.

What’s worse, they did not bother to make the software backwards compatible. None of my existing presentations play properly in the new version. Font alignments have changed, slide transitions have disappeared, builds no longer build properly, image and movie adjustments have disappeared, smartbuilds have all been removed, build indicators have been removed, alpha layers no longer function the same, and formatting options previously easily accessed from one context sensitive smart toolbar are now buried in multiple menu pages. I could go on, but that was enough for me to close the program and re-open the old version so I could actually get some work done.

If people only used Keynote for 5th grade book reports, this would not be a big deal. I can see that having portability between the desktop and mobile devices would be nice. However, a lot of professionals use Keynote to produce high quality presentations – pulling together outputs from Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects, and data visualization platforms.

I have long suspected that the reason iWork ’09 was not being updated was because they were waiting until the processing capabilities of the mobile platforms were fast enough to run a new unified version. I would have preferred it if they had waited a little longer, instead of lowering the capabilities of the software to the lowest common denominator.

Oh well. There is some hope that Apple will listen to the power user community and restore crippled functionality, like they did after they broke Final Cut Pro back in 2011. In the meantime, I think most experienced users will use the old version, or take a closer look at Powerpoint.

By all accounts, iWork’s word processing software “Pages” has been similarly gelded. (The spreadsheet software “Numbers” has always sucked, so I don’t know if anyone even noticed any changes there.)

If you want to follow the reaction online, check out Apple’s keynote discussion groups:

Update 11/6/13: 
Apple has responded to user discontent with plans to re-introduce some of the missing features in the coming months:

PopChartLab created this compendium of audio recording and playing devices over time. It’s pretty comprehensive. However, I think PopChartLab is on the verge of becoming the Buzzfeed of infocharts: pointless compiled lists of cartoonized objects. Cocktail Chart of Film and Literature?!? Fictional Beers?!? Nebula of NES Games?!  Shark jumped.

Going back to the original topic: am I the only who occasionally calls his iPod a “walkman”?


I receive dozens of these on a daily basis – almost all absent interesting content or useful information. xkcd sums it up:

Tall Infographics

Compiled over at the Guardian with the correct amount of snark:


An apparently beautiful diagram of tide predictions for June 2013 in the SF bay – unfortunately, she didn’t post a big enough version for me to be sure how good it really is. Boo.


With the conference release of iOS 7 yesterday, there is much talk about it’s “flat design”. What is flat design? Designmodo has a nice article explaining the basics.


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.


Either I’m not reading this correctly, or the person who created it has never actually seen a dog on a farm – they are some of the happiest creatures to ever walk the earth.


Ok, maybe I’m just in a bad mood because I’m back at work after a nice long vacation – but I think this visualization sucks. All it does is ordinally identify the top five linked countries for each country. There is no scale. What does the bubble size indicate? No matter what country you click on, the top five all grow to about the same size. Is the 4th relationship really almost as strong as the 2nd? Who knows? The methodology states “Rankings between countries are based on the number of Facebook friendships between countries and the total number of Facebook friendships within each country.” Ummm… how, exactly? Is it a ratio? Is the total number used as a weight?  Thankfully they color coded it based on the continents – because everyone has trouble identifying those, right? Oh, and Seychelles will be happy to know it’s now in Asia. Totally useless.


Four maps (one of them with interactive annotations), a bar chart, and a related article – and none of them explain how “drought” is defined. What is the difference between severe, extreme, and exceptional drought? They all sound terrible.


In search of context, I went to the Drought Monitor site, where I found more cool looking maps and animated gifs…

image 12_week

… and finally a “what is drought” section, and a link to a comparison of major drought indices and indicators (none of which explained how the categories used by the drought monitor are defined), and a link back to monitor site. At which point I gave up.

Ian Lurie provides an entertaining list of reasons why crap link-bait infographics aren’t really infographics at infographic

I looked at this for several minutes before noticing that they never actually say what they’re measuring on the charts. <sigh> ALWAYS LABEL YOUR AXIS!!!

image  image

Some of the data points here are interesting, but I think it throws together too many different data types. Mass fatalities count as “Human Gatherings”?!? The colors are beyond drab, and the spiral just adds to the confusion. In summary: Ick.