July 29, 2002
Infographics Info

Back from 10 days at SPPC and the synapses are firing a little slowly today.

Oddly, the classes that made me the most cheerful were those related to magazine design. Not sure why this is, as I am not a magazine designer. It may be that the editorial classes all felt like work, since they were so close to daily life. And the business-side classes (how to create a business plan, etc.) have no pretenses at being anything other than work. But for me, design has always represented infinite possibility--the mysterious step between that final line edit and the first magical transformation of words into type.

One of the highlights was Nigel Holmes, who specializes in "infographics" for some of the glitzier publications. Infographics are hard to do well, but valuable when they are done well. To that end, some links of note:

Visual Journalism.com isn't updated very often, alas, but it's an interesting idea--a site to discuss "infographics." Hottest property on here seems to be a comparison of various ways newspapers and magazines diagrammed the collapse of the WTC towers.

The Poynter Institute's site includes a list of good information design links.

AIGA's Design Forum includes discussion of information design as well. "When I was running a design firm, it was always a useful litmus test for interviewing prospective designers to put a 1040 Income Tax Form on the desk and ask them how they would like to redesign it. If their eyes glazed over or they broke out in a cold sweat, I knew it wasn't likely to be a good fit," says moderator Terry Irwin.

I'm sure there's more than one blog out there on this topic, but EM Design ("thoughts and observations about design, information architecture and design history") has a thoughtful, almost literary, approach that I liked.

Are there other good sites that I've missed? Send them along.

Posted at July 29, 2002 02:31 PM