• Zachary Petit

James Round’s Cosmic Creativity

You might say James Round is a designer and illustrator with his head in the clouds—or beyond them.


And the world of visual culture is all the better for it.


Case in point: His personal project “A Walk in the Dark,” a data visualization that captures every spacewalk ever undertaken—beginning with the groundbreaking March 1965 Voskhod 2 extravehicular activity (EVA) pulled off by cosmonaut Alexei Leonov.


“Six decades later, EVAs are more commonplace but no less impressive,” as Round writes. Last year, “Jessica Meir became the 232nd person to brave open space—a pioneer in her own right, as part of the first all-female EVA, working alongside Christina Koch to repair batteries on the ISS, and preserve the future of humanity’s first permanent residence off Earth.”


To commemorate the sum toll of years of scientific achievement and human bravery, Round’s data viz mimics the structure of a constellation chart, mapping every person who took those legendary bold steps beyond their vehicles.


“I wanted the design to be in a vintage style, conjuring the timeless majesty of space, and conveying a sense of the ambition and enthusiasm around space travel that existed during the time of the moon landing and Apollo missions,” Round details.










The results are beautiful—and they are by no means the limits of Round’s cosmic explorations.


To wit:


The Most Vertical Person on Earth

“A long-form infographic exploring the inspiring career of astronaut and deep sea explorer Kathryn Sullivan.”


The Falcon and the Dragon

“Celebrating the historic launch of SpaceX Demo-2, an incredible moment for the future of spaceflight.”


Cosmic Calls

“Exploring humanity’s attempts at messaging extraterrestrial civilizations.”


The ISS: The First 50 Expeditions

“Celebrating the brave and inspiring individuals who called the International Space Station home over a period of 16 years.”


The Many Moons of Jupiter

“Mapping all of Jupiter’s 79 known moons, the result of over 400 years of Jovian discovery.”


Here’s to those who walk among the stars—and the designers who help bring such incredible feats into perspective on the page.

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