Category Archives: Graphic

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

Cochrane Infographics

An older post from 2017 showing a redesign following a discussion on the website for a Cochrane infographic.
Here is the original posting.

“one part of the graphic showing the number of head-first births and the box under the graphic saying ‘ECV decreased not having a head-first birth…’ was a bit difficult to comprehend at first, being a double negative and so, I have redesigned it a little to show the positive rather than the negative (although that may have been your purpose in this instance), I have also added coloured marking on the text, also to help the reader”

and my de-designed graphics

The comments were taken on-board and the redesigned graphic was produced here.
An improvement but still lots to do looking at other graphics on the page.

 

Flourish

I have been using Flourish.app for a few weeks now and thought I should showcase some of the chart types it has and what you can do with it using a small data set from the NHS, looking at hospital admissions from drug use.

Same data just different ways of using it and showing what is going on using the stories format.

Source: https://digital.nhs.uk/catalogue/PUB30210

Show the data

I see this many times a week when ‘infographics’ are shared on social media.

This was shared on LinkedIn recently..what’s missing?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s missing is the data, in a visual way. Too much time has been spent on producing the nice icons (which are important for context), making them stand out in white on a dark blue background and the text is white as well. The tile of the graphic is ‘Number of years it took for each product to reach 50 million users’ – so where is are the number of years? They are written numerically, which is ok, but are a smaller font size and produce in a lighter blue on a dark blue background.

The graphic is hiding the data, the important piece of the graphic. That data should be seen first, or at least, seen easily. So why hide it.

Infographic = information + graphic

Here’s the data produced in a visual form. IMHO a much neater way of seeing what the graphic is supposed to be showing.

The icons can be added to it to give context if needed, but the graphic should show the information (data) first.

24 January 2018

 

 

 

Recent work

Lots more recent work over on my blog
But here are a couple of things I have had published lately

These are my latest for BBC Future Now looking at methane gas

BBC FutureNow

BBC FutureNow -Methane gas reserves

This from Anthropocene magazine looking at forest land area and carbon emissions

New report by EMCDDA and EUROPOL
“Drugs and the darknet”. The report presents how darknet markets function, the threats they pose to health and security and how Europe can respond.

BBC Storyworks and JaguarUSA Jaguar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a while not being able to show anything, I have a couple of graphics that have recently been published.

These from the latest issue of BTO news

and this from BBC Earth (click the image for a large! version

 

thanks for looking and more to come soon

Global Carbon Budget 2016 – updated infographic

I recently had the opportunity to work again with Corinne Le Quere of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research on updating an important graphic on the global carbon budget.

I worked on this last year and it was proposed to update the graphic to keep with the original style. Updating the data and storytelling between the signing of the Paris agreement last year and the Marrakesh plan of action this year. The graphic was launched at the Marrakesh COP22 conference on climate change.

Here’s 2016 version…

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-10-42-41

plus last years version as a comparison

Global Carbon Budget 2015

Global Carbon Budget 2015

06 Dec 2016

 

Hand-drawn and painted early work

I have just ventured into the loft of our house (not been up there for ages) and discovered a couple of my old portfolios covered in dust, and so decided to have a look…it brings back many great memories.

I trained as a medical, botanical and scientific illustrator and because of my background I often talk about the importance of sketching ideas and thoughts before diving into any infographic and, I suppose, this is one of the reasons that I think this way. 

lifeonearth2

but thought I should back it up with some more very early infographics and illustrations. All hand painted watercolours and pencil work and some using the trusty Rotring pens and CS10 paper.

weeds guide

Poster: A Guide to Lawn Weeds. Watercolour

weedsdetail

Detail of Daisy. Watercolour

dragonfly

Dragonfly nymph. Pencil

dolphin skull

Skull of toothed Whales. Rotring Pen

I may add more as I find them and if I think they are worth posting
Thanks

Latest work for Scientific American

Once again I have just managed to get my hands on the latest SciAm issue for August.

Jen Christensen (Senior Graphics Editor)  commissioned me to produce a couple of charts for the feature ‘Health check for Humanity’ looking at cancer rates and chronic kidney disease int he developing world. Pleased to see them in print and to be amongst other great illustrations and graphics.

IMG_3278

Chronic Kidney Disease Cancer rates in developing world

18 August 2016