_author archive

Burton + Fudge

11/03/08 :: by brocksteady

My friend Travis Millard just finished an extensive collaboration with Burton for their 2009 product line. They took a playful and bold illustrative approach to their packaging and hang tags, which contrasts well with the techy graphics. Look for some of Travis’ brilliant illustrated details on Burton’s site as well.

Where Fish Sticks Swim Free and Chicken Nuggets Self-Dip

10/09/08 :: by brocksteady

Those of you in New York should definitely check out Banksy’s latest project “The Village Pet Store And Charcoal Grill” in Greenwich Village. The installation is a mock pet supply shop, filled with animatronic creatures like a rabbit applying make up, chicken nuggets feeding at a trough, and would-be creatures like fish sticks swimming in a tank.

More info here.
Photos courtesy of Wooster Collective.

Visualizing 700 billion

09/25/08 :: by brocksteady

Justin Jackson — of one of my staple science podcasts “This Week in Science” — provided a few eye opening ways to visualize exactly how big a number 700,000,000,000 really is.

The 700 billion dollar corporate donation given out by our very generous federal government is, scientifically speaking, approximately equivalent to…

191 dollars for every mile between the Sun and planet formerly known as Pluto.

155 dollars for every year the planet earth has existed.

140 dollars for every year the sun is expected to continue shining.

More than 2 dollars for every star in the milky way galaxy.

2300 dollars for every American alive, regardless of age.

100 dollars for every human being alive anywhere on the planet today.

7 dollars for every human being that has ever lived on the planet at any time ever in the history of homo sapiens.

More than 2 dollars for every penny that has ever been minted by the US treasury.

7 pennies for every cell in the average human body.

If carefully stacked in pennies, the pennies would reach a height of 69 million miles, which would be enough reach the planet mars and continue for another 21 million miles into space. In the other direction the stack would pass both inner planets and reach more than two thirds of the distance to the sun.

Justin’s excellent examples also reminded me of an episode of Science Friday earlier this year with David M. Schwartz who brilliantly provided ways to visualize the number one trillion (1,000,000,000,000). Good times.

Best. Remix. Ever.

09/17/08 :: by brocksteady


How design can save democracy

08/25/08 :: by brocksteady

How design can save democracy is an excellent (yet still flawed in my opinion) demonstration of better ballot design created for the New York Times by AIGA’s Ric Grefé and Jessica Friedman Hewitt.

It’s amazing that after encountering countless issues with voting ballots, even the most basic design fundamentals (like oh, say “clear page design”) still aren’t in the vocabulary of our government officials. The US is full of communication experts and graphic designers who would be more than happy to resolve the problem, yet no one seems able to cut through the politics to address this as a non-partisan design issue.

Somehow, clear communication was addressed for nutrition labels, so why not ballots? It’s not rocket science.

Brand Essence

08/19/08 :: by brocksteady

The 08/09 relaunch by Burton Snowboards shows that engaging the viewer with the brand essence, in this case through high impact photography, is often more effective than bombarding them with as many links as possible above the fold. The near full-screen images are there simply to set the tone for the site, getting you in the mood to ride; while just a small icon at the base of the page draws the user down to the updated content below the fold.


08/11/08 :: by brocksteady

Color is the ultimate tool a designer has at his or her disposal to communicate feeling and mood. Cymbolism is a new website that attempts to quantify the association between colors and words, making it simple for designers to choose the best colors for the desired emotional effect.

Venn-diagram heaven!

08/06/08 :: by brocksteady

How nice of Slate to combine two of my favorite things: data visualization and scandals. Each scandal is represented by a colored circle that encompasses the people who are implicated. Hence, Venn-diagram heaven!

Dan Funderburgh Interview

07/23/08 :: by brocksteady

CPLUV has a must read interview with fellow Jayhawk Dan Funderburgh. Prepare to be inspired.


07/22/08 :: by brocksteady

If Newsmap is too abstract (or broad) for you, then check out Perspctv. The site focuses on visualizing how the “internet” can play a role in and shape a Presidential election. A simple, yet effective idea.