This is good! A walkthrough of the thought process that turns a pile of data into an information visualization. From Duke University Libraries: Can’t we just make a Venn diagram?. “When I’m teaching effective visualization principles, one of the most instructive processes is critiquing published visualizations and reviewing reworks done by professionals…. What we don’t usually get to see is the progression of an individual visualization throughout the design process, from data through rough drafts to final product. I thought it might be instructive to walk through an example from one of my recent consults. Some of the details have been changed because the work is unpublished and the jargon doesn’t help the story.”
Motherboard: The Pentagon Has the Worst PowerPoint Slides You’ve Ever Seen. The Pentagon isn’t just America’s military brain—it’s also a vast bureaucracy filled with middle managers and that means it’s churning out lots of presentations. Bureaucratic presentations means PowerPoint, the universally loathed presentation software, and no one gives a [bleepy] PowerPoint quite like the US military. The Internet Archive—the site that catalogs the world’s digital detritus—has scooped up hundreds of publicly available military PowerPoints and preserved them for public consumption.” The original quote was not bleeped.
Creative Boom: Beautifully designed football programmes from 1960s and 1970s. “One Shilling (1/-) is an ongoing showcase of beautifully designed football programmes, mostly from the 1960s and ’70s. The project is inspired by an immaculately kept and comprehensive collection of Aston Villa programmes that have been accumulated by designer Matthew Caldwell’s Dad, dating back to the late 60s, when his addiction (‘and it is an addiction’, notes Matthew) to holding a season ticket at the Villa, began.” This is currently an Instagram archive only, with a small (albeit beautifully annotated and photographed) collection. Mr. Caldwell hopes to open an online museum.)
The Next Web: Need labels for your product? A new logo? A new website? Have AI design them. “As we’re sliding into 2018, it’s safe to say AI-powered machines can do just about anything. They can detect breast cancer. Paint a new Rembrandt. Even tell us if there’s fresh coffee in the kitchen. So it was only a matter of time before artificial intelligence found its way into design.”
Courtesy of Patron and all-around good egg Glenn M, from Priceonomics: Introducing Onomics: Create and Embed Data Tables. “We currently create most of our charts using Excel, but the formatting for tables is inconsistent and a lot of information is lost when you use an image of a chart and instead of an embedded version. In the past we’ve tried custom D3 tables (absolutely beautiful, but hard to maintain over time and require programming knowledge to create) and Google Spreadsheets (not suited to pretty tables or adding your logo). Why is it so hard to make a nice looking data table So, today we launch Onomics, our tool for creating and embedding data tables based on the D3 data visualization library. You can give it a try here and play around with sample data.”
NLM in Focus: Ill-Conceived, Well Drawn-and Powerful: Graphic Medicine Exhibition Debuts at NLM. “Dozens of images are now online in Graphic Medicine: Ill-Conceived and Well-Drawn!, a multi-formatted exhibition which explores this increasingly popular genre and showcases the National Library of Medicine’s growing collection of graphic medicine works. Curated by Seattle cartoonist and educator Ellen Forney, author of the New York Times bestselling graphic novel Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me, the new exhibition introduces the genre, discussing who creates graphic medicine, how it conveys meaning, and its impact on readers and creators.”
New-to-me, and it’s the weekend, so what the heck: a database of Garbage Pail Kids names. Do you remember the Garbage Pail Kids? Trading stickers with garish illustrations and often punny names? “Because there are thousands of different Garbage Pail Kids stickers in existence, it would take quite a long time to flip through the stickers looking for the ones that contain your name…. The ‘Find Your Name’ section contains 3099 total names, and 1141 different first names.”