01.07.16
Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand | Audio

State of the Chart


The end of 2015 brought a deluge of infographics. Every publication and think tank, it seems, told the story of last year in charts. Michael acknowledges that they can have a “weird and compelling authority,” but Jessica calls most of them “short-attention-span theater,” and ultimately as unsatisfying as listicles. Part of the problem, she says, is that designers aren’t always collaborating with scientists, economists, or others who really understand the data:
The disconnect for me is that design education—which is often stalled in art education—doesn't necessarily make it possible or easy or actionable for students of design to understand that the capacities they need to develop to make these kinds of charts over time will need to be equipped with skill sets other than their own.
Also mentioned:
  • Quartz’s Chart of the Year™ for 2015
  • The Economist data advent calendar
  • Drinking Data
  • Immigration, World Poverty, and Gumballs
  • FiveThirtyEight’s 47 Weirdest Charts from 2015

  • And check out the new Medical Archive and The Volvellery from Design Observer.

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    Posted in: Graphic Design, The Observatory


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    Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer and writer. A former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Eye and Communications Arts magazine, she is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director’s Hall of Fame. Jessica received both her BA and MFA from Yale University where she has taught since 1994. In 2013, she won the AIGA medal.

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