color

12 posts
Quick example of layering

The New York Times uses layering to place the Alabama tornadoes in context. (link) Today's wide availability of detailed data allows designers to create dense data graphics like this: The graphic shows the starting and ending locations and trajectory of each tornado, as well as the wind speeds (shown in color). Too much data slows down our understanding of the visual message. The remedy is to subtract. Here is a...

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Colors of Tintin

Marian Eerens charted the colors of each Adventures of Tintin book cover. The only thing missing is the actual covers on the mouseover. It’s a straightforward thing, but I find these sort of abstract color charts calming for whatever reason. See also the colors of: campaign logos, LEGO kits, Game of Thrones episodes, Mister Rogers’ cardigans, Western films, Avengers comic book covers, science fiction book covers, and more. Tags: color,...

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Nice example of visual story-telling in the FT

I came across this older chart in the Financial Times, which is a place to find some nice graphics: The key to success here is having a good story to tell. Blackpool is an outlier when it comes to improvement in life expectancy since 1993. Its average life expectancy has improved, but the magnitude of improvement lags other areas by quite a margin. The design then illustrates this story in...

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Not following direction or order, the dieticians complain

At first glance, this graphic's message seems clear: what proportion of Americans are exceeding or lagging guidelines for consumption of different food groups. Blue for exceeding; orange for lagging. The stacked bars are lined up at the central divider - the point of meeting recommended volumes - to make it easy to compare relative proportions. The original chart is here, on the Health.gov website. The little icons illustrating the food...

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Pretty circular things

National Geographic features this graphic illustrating migration into the U.S. from the 1850s to the present.   What to Like It's definitely eye-catching, and some readers will be enticed to spend time figuring out how to read this chart. The inset reveals that the chart is made up of little colored strips that mix together. This produces a pleasing effect of gradual color gradation. The white rings that separate decades...

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Check out the Lifespan of News project

Alberto Cairo introduces another one of his collaborations with Google, visualizing Google search data. We previously looked at other projects here. The latest project, designed by Schema, Axios, and Google News Initiative, tracks the trending of popular news stories over time and space, and it's a great example of making sense of a huge pile of data. The design team produced a sequence of graphics to illustrate the data. The...

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What to make of the historically low unemployment rate

One of the amazing economic stories of the moment is the unemployment rate, which at around 4% has returned to the level last reached during the peak of the tech boom in 2000. The story is much more complex than it seems. I devoted a chapter of Numbersense (link) to explain how the government computes unemployment rates. The most important thing to realize is that an unemployment rate of 4...

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The ebb and flow of an effective dataviz showing the rise and fall of GE

A WSJ chart caught my eye the other day – I spotted someone looking at it in a coffee shop, and immediately got a hold of a copy. The chart plots the ebb and flow of GE’s revenues from the 1980s to the present. What grabbed my attention? The less-used chart form, and the appealing but not too gaudy color scheme. The chart presents a highly digestible view of the...

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NYT hits the trifecta with this market correction chart

Yesterday, in the front page of the Business section, the New York Times published a pair of charts that perfectly captures the story of the ongoing turbulence in the stock market. Here is the first chart: Most market observers are very concerned about the S&P entering "correction" territory, which the industry arbitrarily defines as a drop of 10% or more from a peak. This corresponds to the shortest line on...

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Appreciating population mountains

Tim Harford tweeted about a nice project visualizing of the world's distribution of population, and wondered why he likes it so much.  That's the question we'd love to answer on this blog! Charts make us emotional - some we love, some we hate. We like to think that designers can control those emotions, via design choices. I also happen to like the "Population Mountains" project as well. It fits nicely...

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