Learning How To Visualize

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Been getting a ton of requests for ‘how to’s and guides for creating decent visualizations and information designs. Made me think: maybe I could do some workshops in this area. I like developing ideas and working with people. Could be fun!

So if you think you’d like to attend a workshop on visualization or organize one for your organisation, please fill in this quick form (30 seconds).

some guides

In the meantime, you might be interested in a section I’ve been building in a far-flung corner of the site. It documents my process for creating infographics.

The most recent one explores the stages we went through creating an infographic for Wired magazine about planets in other solar systems – or “exoplanets”.

(Microscopic, dark and unimaginably far away, these tiny celestial objects should be impossible to spot. But thanks to extreme telescopy, deep data analysis, and ingenuous hacking, astronomers have now detecting over 500 bizarre and exotic alien worlds thousands of lights years away. So cool!)

Here’s how we created it.

some other examples

Timelines: TimeTravel in TV and Film
Yup, we went through 36 drafts of this. Yes, I am a rampant perfectionist. Yes I can be difficult to work with.

Information is Agonizing: Designing The Cover of the book
Creating the UK cover for Information Is Beautiful was an agonizing yet gloriously creative pain in the ass involving over 90 – yes nine-ty – different versions.

Versioning: Because Every Design Is Good For Something
How do you flag and label 142 countries on a single map without choking the result? With great difficulty.

I hope this is helpful. And again if you think you’d like to attend a workshop to learn how to create these kind of images, please fill in this quick form (30 seconds).

Books and Store

Our Beautiful Books - Information is Beautiful Information is Beautiful Store

Show Comments ( )

  • Adrian Jones

    Tried to fill in your form, but fell at the first question.

    Whereabouts does “small, impoverished charity” fit?

    Or for that matter, local government, PCTs, SHAs (while they still exist) schools/colleges?

    All of these would benefit from making their data more visual.

    • http://www.evaluationsupportscotland.org.uk/ Dee

      Hi Adrian,

      I put myself in under small biz though “small impoverished charity” would have fitted us better! If you’re interested in visualisation for charities and want to get in touch I’d love to chat- address on the website. [http://www.evaluationsupportscotland.org.uk/]



    • http://entertainment-lobby.blogspot.com Akif Shamim

      Which version do you suggest to buy?
      Information Is Beautiful or The Visual Miscellaneum ?

  • Cherrie

    Have you guys seen this? http://mta.me/ NY subway apparently.

  • Marieke

    I want to buy one of your books. Which version do you suggest to buy?
    Information Is Beautiful or The Visual Miscellaneum ?

  • http://www.dundas.com Martin E

    When it comes to visualizing data via digital dashboards, the trick is to not only visualize the right type of information, but to also allow for action to be taken upon that displayed data.

  • http://www.dnetzone.in/dhawaldamania Dhawal Damania

    Well rightly said, when you visualize then you materialize.
    Very nice~