Archive | March 2014

Note to self

In which I discuss some observations and stuff I learned from the graphics for the March 25 class.

The “How to Walk on Ice” infographic was the impetus for a discussion several weeks ago on a friend’s Facebook page. A few people commented that they walked with a forward lean like the penguin when they were drunk and, therefore, the safest way for humans to walk on ice must be to be drunk. There’s some logic for ya. Obviously, it’s a noteworthy graphic. And who doesn’t want to be compared to a cute little penguin?
Note to self: cute sells.

The brain network made to look like a bus route map was an interesting way to display information. I couldn’t read it onscreen because enlarging made it too pixelated.
Note to self: use vector graphics.

The Heritage Foundation graphic makes their point well. So well, in fact, that few people stop to consider who they are, what their agenda might be, or if their portrayal of national debt is an accurate one. They are a conservative think tank, so clearly will publish things they believe will support of the conservative agenda. There are many who would argue that national debt does not work the way personal debt does, and so this is a spurious comparison.
Note to self: preserve integrity and dependability by avoiding spurious comparisons.

The immigration graphic also makes its point well. It is fairly straightforward in that it does not offer interpretation of the process, only a flowchart demonstrating how complicated it can be and how large or small are the odds of getting a green card for the various paths. As the information comes from the Dept. of State, it is likely to be accurate.
Note to self: straightforward sells AND maintains your integrity/dependability.

The football graphic just pisses me off because no one is asking where Johnny Researcher’s cut is. Why should undergraduate football players be paid any more than undergraduate researchers? Both bring more students to the school. Football gets an inordinate amount of attention and money, as the graphic demonstrates.
Note to self: grrrrrr!

The sexual violence graphic  clearly makes the valid point that only a small percentage of men are perpetrators. A larger percentage are victims, with a small portion of the victims also becoming perpetrators. The largest percentage are bystanders. But bystanders in what way? Are they witnesses who do nothing to stop the crime? Or are they not present when it happens? Are they supportive of the victims they know? Or do they pretend it’s not a big deal and there’s nothing they can do? Fortunately there is a link for more information where I hope these questions will be answered.
Note to self: sparking enough interest to get people to click on a link or use a QR code is a plus.

The graphic I want to use this time came from an Edward Tufte forum ( in which Austin Kleon ( posted this excerpt from Scott McCloud’s book, Making Comics ( It applies not only to comics, but also to design choices when it comes to building any kind of visual narrative.


I also really like this mind-map Kleon did about the connections he sees between comics and information design. So many ideas packed into one illustration! It’s like a page from a Lynda Barry book. 🙂

Kleon mind map