I grew up in the U.K., and there were a lot of gray days. I guess that’s why I didn’t really need a cyanometer (above), which measures the blueness of the sky. This one is from 1789.
Why not take a Pantone swatch book outside and see which color is currently being used by Mother Nature? Like Andrea Antoni is doing here. He matches Pantone colors to all kinds of scenes. On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stailuan/
Inspired by this, I tried to do a similar thing with the sky over the street where I was born. (On the Isle of Sheppey.)
Image from Google Street View.
Clouds Here’s a handy cloud identification guide. I’ve been using it to sound like a meteorologist: “Oh, look everyone, there’s some altocumulus and cirrostratus around this morning.”
I like looking for shapes in clouds. An unusual hobby, but so is bus-spotting (collecting the registration numbers of public buses), and I used to do that too. Anyway, the United States might come floating past my window…
OpenMoji was started by Interaction and Communication Design students at the The University of Design Schwäbisch Gmünd in Germany. It’s an open-source emoji library created from a designer’s point of view. A welcome move towards a more unified set of icons.
UNUSUAL IDEAS FOR BUILDINGS (SOME OF WHICH WERE BUILT).
OBJECT-DRIVEN Here in Ohio, we have a giant picnic basket building. It was the headquarters of the Longaberger Company until 2016, and is a surprisingly accurate representation of their Medium Market Basket. Last year it was sold to a developer.
Photograph by Derek Jensen.
The National Fisheries Development Board (India) has an interesting regional office. It’s in Hyderabad.
The Piano House in Huainan, China is built in the shape of a piano and violin. It’s currently a showroom for the district of Shannan.
THE ULTIMATE HOME This might look like a cathedral, but it’s a very large house. For one person.
William Beckford’s extravagant Fonthill Abbey was also known as “Beckford’s Folly,” and unlike some of the other examples below, it was actually constructed. Work began in 1796, and was completed in 1813. Beckford lived on his own in the house and only used one bedroom. Guests would have been quite impressed entering through the Great Western Hall.
Unfortunately, the 270-foot tower (82 meters) collapsed in 1807 (shown below). A replacement tower of the same height took six years to build, but it also collapsed. So over the following seven years, another tower (much shorter at 145 feet tall, 44 meters) was built. A footnote: after Beckford sold the house, the third tower collapsed too.
Antilia is a much more recent example of an extravagant private residence. This 27-story, 568-foot tall, house (173 meters) is owned by Mukesh Ambani, and opened in 2010. It’s in Mumbai, which has a lot of poverty, and consequently the house drew considerable criticism. At a cost of around $2 billion, it’s the world’s most expensive residential building. A few items for a real estate listing: Nine elevators. Three helipads. Over 400,000 square feet of space. Parking for 168 cars.
Photograph by A.Savin.
Adolf Hitler had some big ideas for Berlin. His new capital, Welthaupstadt Germania (World Capital Germania), was designed to celebrate his victory in World War II. Albert Speer was the architect of the grand plan, which was (obviously) never realized. The colossal Volkshalle would have been over 656 feet (200 meters) high with room inside for 180,000 people.
The Arch of Triumph, at around 330 feet (100 meters) tall, would have been large enough for the Arc de Triomphe (Paris) to fit inside it’s opening. The structure would have shown the names of the two million Germans who died in World War I.
Étienne-Louis Boullée designed a cenotaph for Isaac Newton in 1784. It was intended to be an impressive 500 feet (150 meters) tall. Holes in the dome would give the illusion of stars in the night sky.
Work on Moscow’s gigantic Palace of the Soviets began in 1937, but was stopped in 1941 because of the German invasion.
It would have surpassed the Empire State Building with a height of 1,624 feet (495 meters).
The stainless steel Gateway Arch in St.Louis is the world’s tallest arch at 630 feet (192 meters).
INFORMATIONAL VECTOR-BASED ILLUSTRATION BY JOSH MCKIBLE.
MCKIBILLO is the professional name of Josh McKible. It’s a combination of McKible and illo (illustration). I’ve always admired Josh’s stylish, and carefully considered line art style. The use of strong color and simple patterns. It’s the graphic language of information. A modern version of the illustration used in the workshop manuals, and all kinds of how-to instructions, that I grew up with in the last century.
Above, the nuclear cycle, from mining uranium to spent fuel. Below, dealing with an aggressive dog…
…and surviving a shark attack.
Illustrations for an article on emerging technologies.
Josh has made workout graphics for several publications.
How to make pulled pork on a barbecue.
A camper van that has features normally found on a full-sized recreational vehicle.
The process of tapping syrup.
A smart home energy system that connects to the grid.
Cat exerciser. (Yes, this is a real approved patent.)
So it’s seems appropriate to feature a book that is in Michael Stoll’s collection of historical infographics. Especially as he is a speaker at the inaugural Chart Day event in Washington, D.C.
Michael gave me a copy of the Graphic-Statistical Atlas of Switzerland (1914) a while ago. It’s a data visualization classic, from an age when data was collected in ledgers.
Here are three spreads. Click on the images for larger versions.
Below, the percentage of productive land use (left), and the population density of the states (right), compared to the nation. The Basel-Stadt number is so large that an unusual method was used to get the bar onto the page.
Causes of death, 1901–1910
Cableways by length and altitude. A red line shows a climb of more than five times the initial height. Blue shows less than five times.
To mark the 125th edition of the Statistical Yearbook, the Federal Statistical Office published an atlas that updated the charts from the early editions with modern data. https://goo.gl/7XAVJG
There was a long period when the books did not contain any information graphics, before a revival of that visual approach in the late 1980s.
Population density 1888 compared to 2016.
Fatalities 1890–94 compared to 2010–14.
Exports 1891–94 compared to 2013–16.
The modern book is supported by an online version: the Interactive Statistical Atlas of Switzerland. https://goo.gl/QeLpbt
These imaginative films by PES (Adam Pesapane) have been viewed on YouTube millions of times. The first three that I’m featuring here are simple recipes. This kind of approach could be applied to many instructional explanations, perhaps with the addition of labels and other graphic elements. My point is (one more time) that engagement of our audience is so important. We have to look for new forms to get our message across.
In 1850, the Great Pyramid of Giza was the tallest structure, as it had been for over three thousand years. By James Reynolds and John Emslie.
Below, by 1884, the Washington Monument (555 feet, 169 meters) had taken over. From Cram’s Unrivaled Family Atlas of the World.
The Eiffel Tower (1,063 feet, 324 meters) had arrived on the scene by 1896, and being nearly twice the height of the Washington Monument, it presented a scale problem. Solved here by cropping off a large piece of it. From Rand, McNally & Co.’s Universal Atlas of The World.
After a number of buildings held the title, the Empire State Building (1,250 feet, 381 meters) became the leader in 1931. This elevation is in the Art Deco lobby, which according to the building’s website, took 18 months to restore in 2009. The whole building took just 13 months to build.
Photograph: Ken Thomas
The World Trade Center (1,368 feet, 417 meters) took the record away from the Empire State Building in 1972. The Tobu World Square theme park in Japan has scale models of 102 buildings from around the world. Their World Trade Center is 65.5 feet (20 meters) tall.
A 2008 gatefold for Condé Nast Traveler that includes the soon-to-be number one, the Burj Khalifa (2,717 feet, 828 meters), a number of previous record holders, some landmark towers in terms of design, and some other towers that were planned back then.
Click on the image for a larger version of the illustration.
Everyone had a tape recorder, and presentations were on slides, in a carousel. Jim Golden made these GIFs.
See more of his bygone technology images here: https://goo.gl/JX1pzT
Early cellphones were bulky.
It was the beginning of the end for the conventional telephone.
William Shatner presents the latest in computers in an early 1980s advertisement.
The Commodore VIC 20 was the best selling model of it’s time.
I was lent a Commodore 64 to illustrate it for a magazine. I even tried to use it. End of story. Below, the airbrushed illustration. The overlay which carries the labels is rolled back.
Email was new and mysterious in 1981.
The Macintosh Portable (1989 to 1991) had a fabulous two megabytes of RAM, and a black and white screen. Weighing in at 16 pounds (7.2 kilograms), it was not exactly lightweight. The cost: $7,300 (more than $14,000 in today’s dollars).