Mapping the brands we love – Store Locator Guides

For Project 2, students created a store locator map for their selected brand. Check out some of the gorgeous specimens originating from our section of Design 4!

Edward Tufte: A Principled Man, A Man With Goals

In his book, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, info design guru Edward Tufte lays out some excellent principles that we are going to follow as we design our own information visualizations in Design 4.  Keep these lists handy and refer to them frequently!


•Graphical excellence is the well-designed presentation of interesting data—a matter of substance, of statistics, and of design.
•Graphical excellence consists of complex ideas communicated with clarity, precision, and efficiency.
•Graphical excellence is what gives to the viewer the greatest number of ideas in the shortest time with the least ink in the smallest space.
•Graphical excellence is nearly always multivariate (involving two or more variables).
•Graphical excellence requires telling the truth about data.


•Above all else – Show the data.
•Induce the viewer to think about the substance rather than about methodology, design, technology of graphic production, or something else.
•Avoid distorting the data story. Be truthful in the representation.
•Present many numbers in a small space.
•Make large data sets coherent.
•Encourage the eye to compare different pieces of data.
•Reveal the data at several levels of detail, from a broad overview to the fine structure.

¹From The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward Tufte, p. 51

²From The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward Tufte, p. 13

Anatomy of an Infographic

While designing infographics over the course of the semester, we must remember that our infographics should always include the following:

  • Headline (Name your infographic)
  • Paragraph of text that explains what the infographic is about
  • References/footnotes giving credit to all sources
  • Pictograms
  • Strong visual hierarchy
  • The Grid System
  • All charts should have titles so it’s clear what data is represented
  • Labeled X and Y axis on all charts and graphs
  • Labeled pies on pie charts
  • Cohesive color palette used throughout
  • Clear typefaces, limited to 2-3 max per infographic composition

London 2012 Olympic Pictograms

Check out the pictograms that will be used during the 2012 Olympics in London.  Can you identify each of the activities?  Are they easy to understand?  Do they meet the criteria required for an Olympic pictogram to be successful (as determined by Keith Bright and Associates, the designers who created the pictograms used at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics)?

Six criteria essential to a successful pictogram:

•Clear communication; pictograms, by themselves, should be recognizable by people of other nations.
•Consistency; the pictograms should be identifiable as a set, through uniform treatment of scale, style and subject.
•Legibility and practicality; they should be highly visible, easy to reproduce in any scale and in positive or negative form.
•Flexibility; the pictograms should not be dependent upon a border and should work equally well in a positive or negative form.
•Design distinction; the pictograms should avoid stylistic fads or a commercial appearance and should imply to a worldwide audience that Los Angeles has a sophisticated, creative culture.
•Compatibility; they should be attractive when used with their Los Angeles Olympic design elements and typestyles.
You can read more about pictograms at the 2012 Olympics here.
Take a look at the beautiful preliminary sketches below:

The Five Hat Racks AKA Wurman’s L.A.T.C.H. System of Organization

Check out this cool video that visualizes Richard Saul Wurman’s LATCH system of organization. Seems this was a student project. Impressive–it’s so well done!