Centring the Reader

Charles-Joseph Minard was a 19th-century civil engineer, who become famous for his early contributions to information design. You've almost certainly seen his map of Napoleon's disastrous 1812 Russia campaign. But his work extends far further, and RJ Andrews has just published a new translation of Minard's 1861 summary of his…

The Organograms of Government

What does your organisation's structure look like? You could draw an org chart, but how about an drawing an organogram instead? These charts were put together by Peter Cook, and show how different parts of the UK government are structured (or were in 2014, anyway). Okay, so maybe they're just…

Food Miles Are Not As Important As You Think

Our World in Data has just published a great article about the source of the emissions associated with different foods. It's a simple stacked bar chart. Each bar represents a food, and the coloured chunks represent where the emisisons come from - the key is at the top. The main…

The Missing Legacy of Marie Neurath

Looking for a weekend read to dig your teeth into? You could do much worse than Jason Forrest's latest dive into the history of data visualization - The Missing Legacy of Marie Neurath. Marie Neurath was the wife of Otto Neurath, inventor of Isotype. But her influence on and work…

Custom Isochrone Maps

Isochrone maps are one of my favourite things. They show far you can travel from a place in a given amount of time. There are lots of classic examples, but this one by Francis Galton is the first-known. It shows travel times in 1881 to different parts of the world.…

Scripter: Sketching with Code

If you love Figma as much as I do, this may excite you. All-round smart dude Rasmus Andersson has built a Figma plugin called Scripter that lets you write simple scripts (in Typescript) to play with the Figma API. That means algorithmically generating rectangles, for example. Or playing with timers…

Atomic Habits & Cadence

For the last few months, I've been trying to cultivate better habits. Much of this was after reading James Clear's Atomic Habits, which is the best self-help book I've read in some time. It's simple, clear, exactly as long as it needs to be, and comes in nice bite-sized chunks…

Beginning

I have a newsletter called Beginning, but today I'd like to share a cartoon by Grant Snider with the same title. New comic! Beginning pic.twitter.com/SfK3VK7ks9 — Grant Snider (@grantdraws) January 3, 2020 Feels appropriate for the new year.…

Girih Tiles

Some interpretations of Islam include a ban of depiction of animate beings, so much of religious Islamic art is geometric in nature instead. A few years back, I picked up the Islamic Design Workbook, by Eric Broug, at the V&A Museum in London. It gives you the underlying…