Ady Leverette was a designer and a principal at Fat Pencil Studio between 2011 and 2018.
Here at Fat Pencil Studio, we try to have fun in our day-to-day, which is why we’ve always made a point to include what we like to call “Brain Candy” in our newsletters. Over time we’ve amassed an impressive collection of fun but stimulating links that we want to share all over again—because they’re just that good. Here are some of our favorites.
Creating and Simulating Neural Circuitry Through Animated “Choreographies”
A collaboration between a neuroscientist and an applied physicist, this is a supreme example of beautiful data. What I like best is the mathematical modeling based on vectorized hand-drawn neurons. The final results are beautiful and detailed visualizations of neural pathways in the human brain.
The United Swears of America
An informative look at what popular swear-words (and phrases for you over-achievers) are most prevalent in different regions of the United States. It’s pretty funny, too. There’s a sequel!
David Rumsey Map Collection
A collection of hand-drawn maps ranging in date from the 1500’s to modern times. These carefully hand-drawn maps really bring to mind how time-consuming and precious they must have been at the time. (Also how much we might sometimes take Google maps for granted).
Infographics for the People
A wonderful look at how visualizing spaces and objects worked before the digital age. You can view a great collection of old-school hand-drawn graphics meant to make a statement.
How Information Graphics Reveal Your Brain’s Blind Spots
A fascinating article (with great visuals of course) about how our brains’ perceptions of our circumstances can drastically change how we approach them, with no regard to that little thing called logic. You’ll see various examples of how our moods can impact ours and others’ lives (did you know a judge is more likely to give a favorable ruling on a case if they’ve just had lunch?)
Mapping the Shadows of New York City
This highly detailed interactive map shows areas of light and shadow down every alley and street in New York City. The article includes an explanation of how the shadow paths were calculated, and emphasizes the scarcity of open air in a city known for its dense built environment.
Between the Word – Exploring the Punctuation in Literary Classics
These are beautifully created graphic posters that literally reads between the words. Self-described as “an exploration of visual rhythm of punctuation in well-known literary works,” thesew posters are available for purchase on their website and can make any wall look well-punctuated.
This one’s a fun graphic illustrating 10 different comic characters in 10 different styles, set up multiplication table-style. It speaks for itself, but it’s worth it to note that you’d be surprised at how much one character changes from style to style.
The Digitally-Fabricated Version of a Map with Red Pins In It
Another great article from Core77 showcasing the niftiest thing you’ve ever seen. Nicetrails is the name of a company that will 3D print your hike for you—that is, they’ll print out a cube of the terrain where you were plus a red line projected onto the surface using data from your phone. Your new souvenir shows not only the length of your hike but the elevation changes as well. Definitely adds another dimension to bragging rights.