10 Years Ago…

Best practices in visual communications and infographics are something you learn – historically this was often by trial and error – but now, it’s much easier to see what others are doing by reading and following along on social media sites.

I thought it would be useful, both for myself and for others, to see what I was producing 10 years ago, whilst I was Graphics Editor at New Scientist. I will also include my freelance work.

Good, not so good and not to be seen again.

But it is still important to try new things using data, explanations, colour, text and applications.

So enjoy or cringe along with me.

June 2008

Opioid abuse, how a pitcher plant captures its prey, a warmer planet in the past and the food drain. Some good, some bad again this month.

A simple filled line graph using the design of New Scientist at the time.

Still like this graphic showing how a pitcher plant uses various ways to catch its prey. Illustrator, photoshop and a picture used together to explain how it works. We liked catchy headers in 2008!

Not sure I would use a rainbow colour scheme today..divergent or sequential would work just as well if not better.

Three graphics from a feature. Not much to say about the first one. What was I thinking about in the second one! Certainly shouldn’t have used a double axis as the timeline is not consistent!!! The third one is quite interesting but not sure the 3D blocks show the data particularly well. The data should be much more prominent and less made of the ‘lovely’ icons.


May 2008

Climate change, Autism, Mars and the rise of data tagging.

Back in 2008 we were wondering just how high global temperatures would go, with 3-4°C being the most likely. A simple chart that would benefit from no background colour (but had to fit in with magazine style).

We were looking at how to mitigate carbon emissions, looking at carbon sequestration as a viable option. Lots of photoshop as well as illustrator use here. Trying to show the differences using bubble size but really achieving the effect – obviously spending too much time on the 3D image and not so much on the actual data which is interesting. Combining these two elements with data from the subhead would be good.

With NASA’s Mars Pheonix lander about to descend to the surface (it landed on 25 May 2008) I looked at Mars’ ice caps. Illustration using illustrator, photoshop as well as official photographs.

Another timeline, this time comparing Earth history to Mars. Clean and simple. Fitting in text on a timeline is always a compromise.

Interesting use of red and dark red flags! I can see what I was trying to show here, but not really a graphic, more of a fancy list.

Using circles to compare numbers is always problematic. At least in this instance, there is a marked difference. Wonder what the 3 million number would be now – but the web was still in its infancy back in 2008.

April 2008

Timelines, photoshop bevels, 3D work, Global warming, US election and more from April 2008.

Producing timelines for a science magazine is always something that is required frequently. ‘How can you make it look different from the last time?’ I was often asked. Fitting all the information into a small space was always a problem. A very basis timeline here looking at what is known about antimatter. Not my best!

An attempt to show the flow of carbon credits and the emerging carbon market. The arrows were trying to show the amount of the flow by using the width of lines but that 3D chart at the bottom! Wouldn’t do that again.

Not sure how much this would change if done today! Still using drop shadows!

A look at the 2000 US presidential elections and how the voting in Florida helped George W. Bush to victory.

Context and science in a flow chart, showing the methods, and dangers of producing methamphetamine. A clean, easy to follow graphic. Lots of Cinema4D use here!

Not sure about the colours used here. Would have been easier to read without the key at the top – would annotate the lines now! and speaking of the line chart, I’m sure that a histogram would be a better way fo showing it.

March 2008

Sea creatures, nanotubes, quantum theory, the rise of blogging and more from March 2008



February 2008

These from February 2008

02 March 2018