Category Archives: graphic design

The Design of Transport Maps

Photo Credit: vinnivinnivinni

Transport Maps in major cities often represent a simplified diagram of train routes in order to enhance readability. These maps distort the actual geometries of the cities’ geography, compressing the area the trains cover, and simplifying the curves of the paths to improve the aesthetics and comprehensibility. Although the map is geographically inaccurate it seeks to more accurately match the readers perspective of the city’s geography. In the map of Berlin, the center of the city is enlarged for clarity, and the more distant routes are shortened.

Source: The Guardian 

Interview Reveals the Origins of Comic Sans

Image credit: The Guardian

Image credit: The Guardian

Typeface Comic Sans—created in 1994—has generated more controversy than perhaps any other typeface. Vincent Connare, who developed the typeface while working for Microsoft’s typography team, explains the origins of Comic Sans in a new interview. Connare was attempting to develop a typeface suitable for Microsoft Bob, a software meant to help children learn computer skills. Microsoft Bob’s speech was written in Times New Roman, which Connare found inappropriate for a children’s software. Although he has only used Comic Sans once, Connare finds the backlash to the font “…just amazing—and quite frankly funny.” Read the full interview at The Guardian.

Source: The Guardian

Original Peace Symbol Sketches to be Exhibited in London

Original design by Gerald Holtom. Image Credit: Commonweal Collection

Original design by Gerald Holtom.
Image Credit: Commonweal Collection

It’s hard to imagine a time when the peace symbol wasn’t widely recognized as a sign of the counterculture and anti-war movements. The familiar three-pronged glyph was first created in 1958 by artist Gerald Holtom as a symbol for a series of anti-nuclear weapon demonstrations. Holtom used the visual language of flag semaphores for the design, combining the letters “N” and “D” for “nuclear disarmament.” Visitors will be able to view Holtom’s fragile original sketches of the symbol at the Imperial War Museum in London from March 23 to August 28, 2017.

Source: This is Colossal

Practice DSLR Photography With this Interactive Website

Image Credit: Simon Roberts

Image Credit: Simon Roberts

Is your DSLR a mystery to you? Photography-Mapped, an interactive website by designer Simon Roberts, illustrates how the parts of a DSLR camera move together to form an image. By manipulating the controls on the website, users can test out their knowledge of aperture, shutter speed, light, and ISO. When the controls have been set, users press the “take photo” button to check whether or not their exposure is satisfactory. The simple graphic on the site allows new photographers to understand the basic mechanics of their camera.

Source: Visual News

A Billboard That Talks Back

Image credit: Apotek Hjärtat

Image credit: Apotek Hjärtat

A smoker might expect to be shamed into quitting by his doctor but not by a billboard. A new advertisement, located in Odengatan Plaza in Stockholm, provides real-time feedback to nearby smokers. The billboard, which is outfitted with smoke sensors, starts coughing when it detects smoke. Afterward, the billboard advertises a series of smoking-cessation products. A pharmacy chain commissioned creative agency Akestam Holst to create the advertisement in hopes that it would bolster sales and—in the process—improve public health.

Source: CityLab

Trending: Map Coloring Books

Moscow’s Luzhniki Olympic Complex | Gretchen Peterson

Moscow’s Luzhniki Olympic Complex | Gretchen Peterson

A trend that is gaining momentum, adult coloring books are being created by artists, designers, and architects. Now, Gretchen Peterson—a GIS mapmaker paving the way for female cartographers—is helping to bring the art of map design to a larger audience with her graphically intricate project City Maps: A coloring book for adults. The book’s 40+ illustrations depict aerial line drawings of cities the world over satisfying adults’ impulse to color.

Source: City Lab

Land Lighthouse


Seventy large concrete arrows dot the landscape of the United States. These forgotten artifacts are the last reminders of an antiquated US air mail delivery system. Initiated in 1924 by the federal government, these arrows, measuring up to 50 feet, were built every 10 miles on established air routes to guide pilots across the country in bad weather or night flying conditions. Originally, they were painted bright yellow and built next to a 50 foot tall lighthouse-like tower with a rotating light and a small rest house. By the time World War II erupted, radio replaced the need for analog solutions. These stunning moments of immense graphic design are a reminder of the ingenuity required for infrastructure and communication prior to wireless transmission.

Source: Messy Nessy

Double Exposure


Turkish artist, Said Dagdeviron, recently produced a series of animated GIFs called “Double Exposure,”visually placing the weight of detrimental human industry onto the backs of the animals it affects. The juxtaposition of the natural living form and human activity is a somber reminder of the destruction caused, not only to general geographic areas, but also to the lives of individual animals trying to survive on a daily basis.

Source: Visual News

Visualizing the Racial Divide

Jim Vallandingham uses his background in software development and data visualization to create maps of the most segregated cities in the United States. His project, titled Visualizing the Racial Divide, illustrates the fracturing of cities along these deeply entrenched racial boundaries. Through animation, Census tract data is unpacked in a very visceral way—cities appear to shatter apart with increasing force at points of the most drastic racial divisions. Below is a still from Vallandingham’s Chicago map animation.

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Minimal Maps

minimal maps_1

Evergreen Forests of America—Michael Pecirno

Minimal Maps is an ongoing project of London-based designer Michael Pecirno. Using USDA data, Pecirno isolates a single land use or geographic form to create unique maps, beautifully illustrating the United States beyond the typically limited urban and political contexts. Explore Pecirno’s other spatial and visual work on his website.

source: CITYLAB

Old and New Photo Fusion


Blogger Jason King was inspired to reflect upon Portland, Oregon’s history of hidden hydrology through viewing Photography Then and Now’s interactive photos that juxtapose an exact location through a lens of historical events and the present day. King’s images challenge one to not only contemplate urban metamorphosis through the built environment but also ecologically.

Source: Landscape+Urbanism

Timeline of the Far Future

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Planning for our future is an inherently problematic task.  That said, the BBC has put together some of the best guesses of when big events will happen in their graphic: Timeline of the Far Future.  First they created a timeline of the forthcoming year, then the next century, and finally this cool (and humbling) infographic which traces pretty much the end of time.

Source: Timeline of the Far Future