Author Archives: Nigel Hawtin

About Nigel Hawtin

Information designer and visual communications expert with over 30 years experience. Specialising in science communications. Available for freelance, contract work, consultancy and training. Specialising in visual storytelling for media organisation and corporations to improve the clarity and efficiency of their visual communications and can provide hands-on training, seminars and consulting

Icon design

A couple of before and after for icons that I worked on for ‘The Good Ancestor: How to think long term in a short-term world’ by Roman Krznaric, launched this week.

Showing the ideas that were sketched out after discussions and brainstorming between Roman and myself.

icons for tog of war graphic showing long term and short-term thoughts

final icons for tug of war graphic

icon sketches for deep democracy

final graphic icons for deep democracy graphic

Always good to see how things develop and finalise at the final stage. More to come…

25 July 2020

The Sketching Process

My latest infographic for Scientific American has been released and this month they are making the issue free to read. Go to https://lnkd.in/gVMCHtz to see my graphic looking at Planet Hunting. Always a pleasure to work with Jen Christiansen and Meredith MacGregor.

This month I thought I would share the video of the sketching process I went through after I had read the copy, re-read the copy, doodled and taken notes,  finally asking many questions to Jen and Meredith. At that stage I was pretty certain about what we were all trying to achieve in the graphic.

The graphic and video are below. These show my sketching process and build up to the ‘final sketch before committing to the final drawing completed in Illustrator.

03 June 2020

The drug market during the Covid-19 pandemic

New report with EMCDDA and Europol

Last week the EMCDDA and Europol published their latest report on the impact Covid-19 is having on the drug markets. I worked with the agencies on the graphics side of the report. Click on the report cover to download it but here are a couple of the graphics in preview.


03 June 2020

Graphics for upcoming book

Work update…

The past few weeks I have been producing graphics with Roman Krznaric for his forthcoming book The Good Ancestor: How to Think Long-Term in a Short-Term World  It will be published by Penguin in June, but I will keep you updated with its progress. A fascinating and a great read, especially in these times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More updates to come later, in the meantime stay safe, stay home and stay healthy.

Timeline and Icon designs

Timeline and icon design

I have been working remotely with the EMCDDA designing graphics for their 25th anniversary. The latest graphic has just been launched looking at the monitoring capabilities and innovation employed to keep up with their remit. I thought I would be interesting to show some earlier sketches showing some steps in the design process and how the icons have been used in the table that follows on…thanks to all the staff.


the final graphic is below with the icons being reused to help the flow of the table.

link is here http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/news/2020/emcdda-preparedness-and-response-fast-moving-drugs-problem

Infographics and Illustrations: How they used to be done…#2

Following on from some of my black and white gardening illustrations here I thought I would also show some of my colour illustrations first produced for New Scientist in 1990!.

The process was very different and everything was hand drawn, or in this case hand drawn and then painted using watercolours onto watercolour paper…registration marks were placed on the paper…

…we then used an acetate overlay to draw on arrows showing water flow – specified to be 60% Cyan for the printer –  plus a front view drawn in ink – to be black. The text was typed and printed from a computer and stuck on this layer using Cow Gum. Registration marks to align with the layer below…

…another layer of acetate was used to show the water flow arrows (60% Cyan) over the top of the black lines black pointers for the text…

…any other particular instructions for the printer were then included on these layers. Only then was it sent off for proofing and printing, sometimes never to be seen until the magazine arrived in the office!

Here is a very bad image (only one I could find) of the printed version from February 1990 along with a hand drawn graphic showing transport costs.

Another example here, showing the same process just as a comparison…

 

Things seem much easier now…or do they?

05 March 2019

 

 

Infographics and Illustrations: How they used to be done…#1

Just an excuse to show some of my old work before the daily use of a Apple Mac was involved.

I was working as a freelancer when this was done and I was involved with the gardening section of the Sunday Times at the time. It was always good to see my illustrations on the back page of the garden section. My contact and gardening expert at the time was Graham Rose.

This was taken from sketches I made of actual gardens in-situ (mostly London based) and then drawn up to scale and design on CS10 paper and Rotring pens, with lots of scraping out of ink blots!. The numbers were glued on using the wonderful Cow Gum.

 

inset to show some of the detail…

One more…

and again, an inset to show the detail.

More to come in #2 with watercolours, Tomatoes, overlays, CMYK markups, and a Nautilus…

26 February 2019

 

 

From sketch to infographic

I always sketch my ideas to help me to understand the subject matter, to come up with concepts and ideas for the visuals, and to be able to look back and see what my thoughts and ideas were. Here are a few from a recent commission from Scientific American, published in the November 2018 issue on the subject of gravitational lensing.

     

 

  

 

18 December 2018

IIB awards 2018

Just arrived back in the UK from a fantastic few days in chilly and bright New York. I went over for the Information is Beautiful Awards 2018.
See the list of winners here.

The venue was the Angel Orensanz Foundation building in Lower East Side – a Gothic Revival synagogue built in 1849. A fantastic building to have the awards.

Congratulations to all the winners and to all that entered. As I had mentioned in a previous blog post, there were almost 900 entries and getting those down to a reasonable number to be shortlisted was a major job.

It was a pleasure to meet old friends and lots of new, rising stars in the field of visualisation and to enjoy lots of chat, wine and viz biscuits!

Roll on next year