Blog

Google Maps Case Study
Posted by on February 10, 2012
Posted in: mapping

Continuing my infatuation with Google Maps, here is an interesting article about their behind-the-scenes development. An intriguing thought: “Drawing inspiration from nature, we wanted to make the roads feel like the veins on a leaf: clearly visible if you are looking for them, yet intrinsically part of the overall design; adding detail without adding clutter.”

SceneViz for Collaboration
Posted by on February 9, 2012
Posted in: projects, SceneViz

The Seattle Streetcar project team used SceneViz to visualize streetscape plans and discuss design and safety issues with stakeholders.   This SceneViz presentation was designed for use in a courtroom. Witnesses can select a location, zoom to a street-level view, and then use the resulting diagram to better explain their memory of the incident.   […]

Was Van Gogh colorblind?
Posted by on January 27, 2012
Posted in: graphic design, mobile, software

It’s tempting to assume that we all perceive things in the same way: the sounds we hear, the flavors we taste, the colors we see. In an overall general sense, this seems to be the case: we can interpret the same sounds (though maybe not agree on the same music), identify similar tastes, and read […]

iBooks Author
Posted by on January 20, 2012
Posted in: software

The free iBooks Author app was released recently, allowing any Mac-toting pedagogue to create and publish an iBook and sell it for $0-14.99 (-30%) exclusively through iBookstore. The features are pretty much what one would expect for the iWorld of touch and multimedia interactivity: customizable templates, media-rich glossaries, “interactive images,” movies, Keynote presentations and 3D […]

Each map is a unique - and very special - snowflake.
Posted by on January 17, 2012
Posted in: mapping, tips and tricks

We make a lot of maps here in the Fat Pencil Lab. These maps are published in all sorts of different mediums: print, video, web, presentations, white board, dug into sand, etc. And we make maps for all sorts of reasons, highlighting all sorts of different things. That’s why I was thrilled to learn simple […]

Color in Persuasive Graphics
Posted by on January 10, 2012
Posted in: graphic design, legal

Color is a major consideration in any graphics project, but it’s an especially loaded issue when it comes to persuasive graphics, such as those used as trial exhibits. Some people think that color response is purely subjective. It certainly seems that way when I point out a color that I like to my husband, a […]

99% Invisible
Posted by on January 6, 2012
Posted in: architecture, data visualization, inspiration

I just started listening to 99% invisible, a tiny radio show about design, with Roman Mars. The stories are short, fascinating, and an inspiration for my work as a visual designer. One episode in particular, The Blue Yarn, really hit home for me. It tells the story of Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, and their […]

Posted by on October 31, 2011
Posted in: animation, projects

This brief animation highlights one drawback of a right side cycle-track facility. This was one of several options considered for the North Williams Ave Traffic Safety Operations project.   One of twelve animated clips created to help jurors understand an incident that occurred on a light rail train. The colored dots on the floor plan […]

Moving Pictures
Posted by on September 30, 2011
Posted in: animation, construction, projects

A "flipbook" style presentation showing construction phasing of the Park Avenue West tower in Downtown Portland. The project was put on hold in 2009, and has since been redesigned.   Footage for this time-lapse film was captured over a six month period in 2009. The Anvil is a two-story wood framed commercial building in Portland. […]

Visual Explanations
Posted by on August 4, 2011
Posted in: creative community, tips and tricks

(Above: A graphical of history of rock ‘n roll from the third of four classic design texts by Edward Tufte.) Recently, Edward Tufte visited Portland to deliver his highly acclaimed one-day course: Presenting Data and Information.  Reading the news coverage of this event brought me back 14 years to a meeting room at the Grand Hyatt in San […]