Blog

Graphical Maps
Posted by on January 22, 2013
Posted in: graphic design, legal, mapping, projects, tips and tricks

So many exciting things are happening with interactive maps, it’s easy to forget about the potential inherent in good old static graphical maps. Don’t get me wrong: interactive maps are great. They’re a wonderful tool for data visualizations. And, as viewers, we can zoom-in and -out and pan around to our hearts’ content. But as […]

Paper Folding Fun Time!
Posted by on January 16, 2013
Posted in: built projects, graphic design, inspiration

It’s December 2012. The Fat Pencil team gathers around the FPS conference table. Joshua is the first to mention it: we need ideas for this year’s holiday card. We hmm. We haw. We talk about last year’s cards. We get sidetracked on a conversation about biking infrastructure. We hmm and haw some more. Then Joshua […]

Resolutions for the New Year
Posted by on January 2, 2013
Posted in: creative community, imaging, tips and tricks

So maybe I’m a bit of a design geek. Instead of a desktop image of some HDR landscape or pink Apple(R) atmosphere or family photo, I have reference grid of common image resolutions. I made it. It’s super handy when you make as many presentations as we do. And I think it looks cool. Want […]

Bike Parking Study
Posted by on November 21, 2012
Posted in: creative community, graphic design, projects, transportation

We’ve been working in the Ford Building for a few months now, and we love everything about it. Ok, we love almost everything about it. The thing is, all three of us at Fat Pencil Studio commute to work by bike. And now that the rains have come in full force, the scarcity of indoor […]

Timelines
Posted by on November 15, 2012
Posted in: DataViz, graphic design, projects

A timeline is a humble but powerful way of organizing information and representing data. Timelines can range from straightforward sequences of events to animated chronological narratives to rich interactive diagrams that express large quantities of data. Because everyone understands the consecutive nature of time, timelines are very accessible infographics. They have an illustrious history, dating […]

Planting Digital Trees
Posted by on November 15, 2012
Posted in: software, tips and tricks

Trimble Sketchup is an ideal platform for rapidly creating rectlinear 3d models. With practice, Sketchup modelers can construct extremely complex geometric forms. However, Sketchup’s straightforward, stripped down interface offers few “out of the box” tools for creating organic shapes, such as trees and shrubbery. Although it is possible to digitally model every trunk, branch, and […]

3d Diagrams: Good/Bad
Posted by on November 2, 2012
Posted in: construction, DetailViz, graphic design, projects

What makes a good 3d diagram? Well, let’s back up and talk about what exactly a diagram is in the first place. A diagram is a graphic that explains rather than represents. For example, a floor plan is an abstract drawing (diagram) used to explain spatial information about a building, while a photograph is a literal […]

Cambridge Solar Tool
Posted by on October 22, 2012
Posted in: energy, mapping, real estate

One challenge facing the solar power industry is how to deliver accurate feasibility information to thousands of building owners that might want to install modules on their rooftops. Sending technicians to each individual property is expensive and time consuming. Cities and other large groups have tried to address this issue by organizing volume purchasing (ie […]

3d Models: Web Viewing
Posted by on October 5, 2012
Posted in: software, tips and tricks, Uncategorized

One thing we like about SketchUp for 3d modeling is the availability of a free version for clients that want to review model progress. However, this does require installing the software and learning a few basic 3d modeling skills. For many clients these steps are not practical, so we end up sending 2d screen shots […]

A New Home for FPS
Posted by on October 3, 2012
Posted in: built projects, construction

BEFORE: 297 sf of blank slate PROCESS: concept + development AFTER: a new office! Since 2007, Fat Pencil Studio was based in the Burnside Rocket Building as part of a dynamic open office co-op called TENpod. As a charter member, we got to meet and work near a lot of great people doing exciting, creative things. […]