information design

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(Re)mapping the Ancient World

Imagine the world as a neat rectangle or oval, flat, with wavy blue water on all four sides. A river runs through it, horizontally. At the center is the Roman emperor, sitting on his throne. If you’re used to zooming in on any spot on the planet via Google Earth, it’s sobering to imagine...

Sutnar's Venus Paintings

Ladislav Sutnar is arguably the forerunner of the information graphics and data visualization upswing in design today. He was also a painter in later life, with the penchant for what he called “Joy Art.” Indeed the colors and themes were joyful. His U.S. Venus series of nudes and semi-nudes fit somewhere into the Pop...

Taking (Some of) the Mystery Out of The East

So my son is getting married. In Bejing. To a charming young Chinese woman. And I’m designing the invitations. The first place I turned to for inspiration was my Longman Chinese-English Visual Dictionary of Chinese Culture, an essential reference tool for anyone visiting the People’s Republic. And it’s possibly one of the greatest pieces...

A New Identity

A few years ago I made the transition from all-purpose graphic designer to information designer. I have no regrets about this decision, and frequently stumble upon signposts from my bookshelf or memory that support this choice. I think that there are amazing things being done in this field every day, but so much of...