Elizabeth “Inkfish” Preston covers a paper that examines how a simple graph significantly increases the persuasiveness of an argument. And when I say “simple,” I mean very simple:
Another primer on how to get the most out of a conference from Mandi Stewart, which wins points for citing We Bought a Zoo:
My partner and I talk about having “five seconds of professional courage” when networking at conferences. Conferences are a great time to meet people, and unless you put yourself out there and introduce yourself, you could miss out on some great conversations. I love the movie “We Bought A Zoo” which is where having five seconds of professional courage came from. “You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. Just literally 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” Try it. Five seconds of professional courage.
This article on the importance of comics has some analysis of reading flow after my own heart. Hat tip to Siobhan O’Dwyer.
You too can learn the difference between a soft crop, a split crop, and a stickout crop in this post at the different ways you can crop an image by John McWade.
I also like McWade’s short reflection on how design can make life better:
Design is about more than whether something “works.” Lots of things “work.” A theater marquee with chipped paint and missing letters “works.” If the local strip mall has what I need, you could say its ugly plastic sign “works.” Each identifies my destination well enough to get there.
What they don’t provide is delight, inspiration, fulfillment.
Wired has a lovely profile on book cover designer Peter Mendelsund. Book covers have some goals that are similar to conference posters: attracting passers-by, for instance.
On one level, dust jackets are billboards. They’re meant to lure in potential readers. For a certain contingent of the publishing industry, this means playing it safe. “The path of least resistance when you’re designing a jacket is to give that particular demographic exactly what they want,” Mendelsund explains. “It’s a mystery novel, so you just splatter it in blood, and put the shadowy trench coat guy on it, and use the right typography.” Familiarity, the thinking goes, will always sell something.
Mendelsund does not subscribe to this view. He’s said that he prefers an ugly cover to a cliche one(.)
One of Mendelsund’s better known projects is The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Here are some rejected ideas:
I have not seen the movie Idiocracy, but this post on making fake corporate logos is interesting just the same. Hat tip to Alex Jones and Amanda Krauss.
The Current radio show on CBC has been running a series called, “By Design.” It’s going to be running all this season. This series is not about graphic design, but is a wide ranging exploration of how we make things.
I’m months behind in bringing you this blog post on redesigning maps for the modern age.
If you’re finally ready to learn how to use a higher end graphics package than PowerPoint, try Vector Tutorials for Adobe Illustrator. Hat tip to Anthony Salvagno for this resource.
And today in type crimes, or “Someone did not read their directions closely enough”: