May 7, 2013

Ad with secret message for abused children

In an effort to provide abused children with a safe way to reach out for help, a Spanish organization called the Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk Foundation, or ANAR for short, created an ad that displays a different message for adults and children at the same time.

The secret behind the ad's wizardry is a lenticular top layer, which shows different images at varying angles. So when an adult—or anyone taller than four feet, five inches—looks at it they only see the image of a sad child and the message: "sometimes, child abuse is only visible to the child suffering it." But when a child looks at the ad, they see bruises on the boy's face and a different message: "if somebody hurts you, phone us and we’ll help you" alongside the foundation's phone number.


May 2, 2013

Language and Communication

Yesterday, I watched a movie called Waking Life, which happens in a man's dreams, where he meets various people and they talk about the meanings and purposes of life and the universe. This vídeo shows one of those discussions - a monologue, to be exact - where a woman talks about what she thinks about the beginning of language and about the way we understand, or not, each other. Despite the "romantic touch" in the end, I found it quite interesting because it focus a very important point about communication: are you communicating what you want to? Are you reaching people?

"Creation seems to come out of imperfection. It seems to come out of a striving and a frustration. And this is where I think language came from. I mean, it came from our desire to transcend our isolation and have some sort of connection with one another. And it had to be easy when it was just simple survival like, you know, “water.” We came up with a sound for that. Or “saber-toothed tiger right behind you.” We came up with a sound for that. But when it gets really interesting, I think is when we use that same system of symbols to communicate all the abstract and intangible things that we’re experiencing. What is, like frustration? Or what is anger? Or love? When I say “love,” the sound comes out of my mouth and it hits the other person’s ear, travels through this byzantine conduit in their brain through their memories of love or lack of love and they register what I’m saying and say yes, they understand. But how do I know they understand? Because words are inert. They’re just symbols. They’re dead, you know? And so much of our experience is intangible. So much of what we perceive cannot be expressed. It’s unspeakable. And yet, you know, when we communicate with one another and we feel that we have connected and we think that we’re understood, I think we have a feeling of almost spiritual communion. And that feeling might be transient, but I think it’s what we live for."


Apr 22, 2013

Open Switzerland

Interrogating Swiss Identity With Provocative Graphic Design

For a relatively small country, Switzerland packs a lot of symbolic punch. You’ve got the Swiss Alps. You’ve got neutrality. You’ve got cheese and chocolate and banks and those handy little knives. What it all amounts to is a hugely recognizable brand--a national identity known the world over. Of course, as we know, those types of symbols and stereotypes don’t always ring true when you’re one of the people they’re meant to represent. And that’s precisely what a new campaign by a group of Swiss designers is meant to address.

Open Switzerland is a conceptual design project born from the merger of GVA Studio with the international network Base to create BaseGVA in Geneva Switzerland. The initiative, comprising provocative, rethought, iconic Swiss imagery, an interactive website and a custom-made « neutral » typeface, launches a debate about what it means to challenge a country’s identity and, in doing so, its very reason for being.

Here you can explore the website, download the font and also design you own poster! Here's mine (I decided to mix both swiss and portuguese cultures - the swiss knive and the portuguese wine):

Bringing New Hope, Through Branding


Many of us believe that good design can change the world. Hussein Alazaat and Ali Almasri are in that camp, having applying their experience in branding and crafting corporate identities to a unique kind of creative philanthropy. Wajha is their Amman, Jordan-based crusade to improve communities on a hyper-local scale, by offering pro-bono graphic design services to small businesses in need of a bit of polish and a brand new look. “Our belief in the power of design to improve and revolutionize bad conditions is continuously pushing us to make it available for everyone and accessible in every place,” they tell Co.Design.

The pair launched Wajha (meaning facade or interface in Arabic) last year, with an emphasis on transforming small storefronts, thereby helping businesses in less affluent parts of town and stamping out visual pollution. “Transparency and the interaction through lettering and illustrations between the inside and outside is a key pillar of our initiative,” they say. “We have a great passion for typography, with a specific interest in signage, which we think is playing a vital role in shaping the face of the city. One of our main concerns is commercial production where any understanding of design, typography and Arabic calligraphy is completely absent. New technologies are giving dangerous access to outsiders in the field to play--and miss--with signage systems, causing visual pollution to spread everywhere.”

They’ve completed two projects thus far, each personalized to the individual proprietor’s needs, determined after meeting, chatting, and a bit of good old-fashioned getting-to-know-you--a process that, from start to finish, takes anywhere from two to five months. And it all began with Khaled, an “inspiring” tailor in Alazaat’s neighborhood. “Khaled is deaf and mute, with a cool hat and funky outfits, but he was barely managing to earn the rent,” they say. “We wanted to give him some hope to keep going on; we wanted him to feel appreciated; and we wanted to integrate a new visual culture in that poor area, all through an unexpected and unknown way--design.”

To call Khaled’s shop cluttered is an understatement; it’s strewn with fabrics, threads, and tools of the trade that build up after years of dedication to the craft. Alazaat and Almasri created for him a kind of modern coat of arms, complete with a scissors and a dapper line-drawn caricature reminiscent of the man himself. “The community’s interaction has been fantastic,” they say. “The kids were laughing about the black mustache!”

Their second project was a family-owned bookshop in downtown Amman, started over 60 years ago, then passed down from father to son. “We love to work with shops that have some heritage and history,” they say. Here, they wanted to create a cohesive aesthetic, efficiently applied at the lowest possible cost. Their solution was a single stamp that could be used for a mix of collateral, including business cards, letterheads, and envelopes. They also developed an internal wayfinding system to guide customers through the myriad shelves, and the bilingual sign out front has brought in new, non-native customers. The final flourish were handmade bookmarks emblazoned with the custom logo--a nice touch that effortlessly unites function with feeling. “These strengthen the relationship between the shop and its customers,” they say.

Some suppliers and printers have offered discounts due to the nature of the work, but otherwise, Alazaat and Almasri have funded each project from their own pockets in order to maintain the level of integrity they see as imperative. “We don’t want the projects to be affected by any commercial third party in any way.” The pair have plans to expand Wajha’s reach beyond Amman as well. Up next is a barber shop in Almasri’s neighborhood in Zarqua--then, the world awaits. “We’d like to collaborate with other designers and artists from other countries to reach many areas as we can.”

Designers working for a better world, that's it!

Apr 19, 2013

About human-centered design.

Amway is a company that focus on business innovation. Here you can learn more about it! I recommend all the videos!


Mar 8, 2013

Augmented reality

Watch here how Band-aid managed to turn a crying moment into a moment of joy! Amazing!

Augmented reality (AR) is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality. By contrast, virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated one. Augmentation is conventionally in real-time and in semantic context with environmental elements, such as sports scores on TV during a match. With the help of advanced AR technology (e.g. adding computer vision and object recognition) the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally manipulable. Artificial information about the environment and its objects can be overlaid on the real world.


Mar 7, 2013

What is user experience design?

User experience design fully encompasses traditional Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) design and extends it by addressing all aspects of a product or service as perceived by users. HCI design addresses the interaction between a human and a computer. In addition, user experience design addresses the user's initial awareness, discovery, ordering, fulfillment, installation, service, support, upgrades, and end-of-life activities. HCI design constitutes a major portion of the activities performed by a user experience design team, so the following paragraphs provide an overview of HCI design followed by references to additional material about user experience design.

Human-Computer Interaction, or HCI, is the study, planning, and design of what happens when you and a computer work together. As its name implies, HCI consists of three parts: you the user, the computer itself, and the ways in which you work together.

The human perspective
HCI design teams must consider these factors in regard to users: what users expect and need, what physical abilities and limitations they may have, how their perceptual systems work, and what they find attractive and enjoyable when they use computers.

When humans interact with computers, they bring to the encounter a lifetime of experience. Even the first time we touch a computer, expectations learned in other areas of life can affect how we think a computer should work. For instance, because of our experience with other machines, we expect computers to provide immediate feedback when we press the on button. Elevators, automobiles, and other machines provide immediate auditory and visual cues that tell us that the machine is responding, and so we expect the same from computers. Without this feedback, we wonder if the computer is functioning properly.

Since users have various preferences, work environments, and physical capabilities, designers must also provide alternative ways for different users to communicate with their computers. Information can be exchanged by voice, keyboard, mouse, or other means.

Understanding how people's sensory systems (sight, hearing, touch) relay information is essential to designing a good product. For example, display layouts should accommodate the fact that people can be distracted by the smallest movement in the outer (peripheral) part of their visual fields, so only urgent conditions should be indicated by moving or blinking visuals.

And of course people like designs that hold their attention. Designers must decide how to make products attractive without distracting users from their tasks.

The computer's persona
In the natural world, most actions have obvious consequences. When you pick up your clothes from the cleaners', you see the clothes on their hangers, hear the rustling sound of their plastic sheaths, and feel their weight as you carry them. All these experiences serve as feedback confirming that you successfully completed your errand.

A computer carries on its business in a much less obvious way. The information a computer contains and the operations it performs are represented inside the computer in a form that we can't directly observe - binary digits encoded as two levels of electrical charge. What a computer displays or presents does not arise naturally from what it is doing inside. Any feedback the user might need must be explicitly planned out and programmed.

To make matters worse, computers don't even "think" as we do. They can remember amazingly large sets of instructions, but they have to be told every little thing in simple terms of "if this happens, do that" or "as long as this keeps happening, do that." And things we humans do almost automatically, such as jumping to conclusions or neglecting a trivial matter to take care of something more important, require even more extensive instructions to the computer.

So, given all these differences between humans and computers, how are we supposed to get along with them and get our work done? In other words, how can we interact with them effectively?

In order to come up with a product that's easy for people to use, software designers apply what they know about humans and computers, and consult with potential users of their products throughout the design process. When they know what their users want and need the product to do, they collaborate with programmers. Programmers know how to write instructions in languages that computers can understand. They also know what computers are capable of doing. The designers and programmers look for a reasonable balance between what can be programmed (written as computer instructions) within the necessary schedule and budget, and what would be ideal for the users. They have users try out any changes to make sure that the product is still easy, efficient, and pleasant to use.

As you see, designers and programmers play important roles in HCI, but users have the final say about the quality of the interactions.

User experience design
Whereas user experience design includes the human-computer interface, it is about designing the total user experience, which consists of all aspects of a product or service as perceived by users.

Here you can find more information about user experience design.


TED talks about our brains: predictably irrational.

"The 3 pounds of jelly in our skulls allow us to reflect on our own consciousness -- and to make counterintuitive, irrational decisions. These talks explore why."

Watch here.

I watched this 11 talks in a row, some are more related to the blog than others mas I think it is interesting to watch them all.


Jan 3, 2013

Where design is going and how to be there

Cheryl Heller (photo by cj maupin)
Ed. note: This article originally appeared in the November 2012 issue of HOW magazine, a bi-monthly publication dedicated to serving the graphic and web design community. Cheryl Heller is the National Director of the AIGA Social Innovation, Leadership and Entrepreneurship for Designers Program, a learning initiative that augments professional designers’ skills through exposure and insider insights into the best practices in social innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership and change management. 
Design, like almost every industry, has been changed forever by technology, global access and social innovation. It’s time to interpret the evidence around us—there are lessons to be learned, and new types of talent required to thrive.
In the mid ’90s, I was executive creative director at Siegel & Gale when Kodak’s professional products division asked us to help sort out some misguided branding on one of its global film products. They were confident that fixing their marquee brand was the key to fixing their business, but in reality, they were caught in a technological upheaval far more disruptive than any product turnaround could fix. Technology, some of it of their own making, was undermining their entire market, closing the gap between professionals and amateurs and engendering a movement of hobbyists who took over the business of making images.
Average, “amateur” folks replaced professionals because advanced products automatically gave them new abilities. The security and confidence expected by and for professionals was eroding, impacting the entire ecosystem of the imaging world. Today, everyone with a phone is a photographer. The sea change is well underway, and Kodak’s dominance is hardly a memory.
Similar shifts are everywhere. Academic institutions offer curriculum online, experimenting with new platforms for learning, potentially competing with their own traditional offerings. Businesses are transformed by social media and the transparency it brings, shifting power from their own empires to their customers’. Citizen journalists create content more popular than traditional news sources, amateur filmmakers become stars, maker fairs attract multitudes who do their own manufacturing, publishing no longer needs publishers, augmented reality will soon make it possible for everybody to design their own worlds and people who just like to cook are setting up stalls and selling food—professionally. 
Other consequences result from this: With greater freedom to express themselves, citizens declare their values. A multitude of platforms make it seamless to speak, and to act on, beliefs. One outcome is the outpouring of extremists, and the tools and information that become instruments of violence. The greater outcome, though, is the hopeful one. Whether it’s called giving back, social impact, social entrepreneurship, social enterprise or the generically plaintive “change the world,” social innovation has become an unstoppable dynamic, which the visionary writer Paul Hawkins called the “greatest movement on earth.”
And design? It’s smack in the middle, as a practice transformed by technology in much the same way Kodak was, and disrupted by the transformation of every industry it touches. Yet design has deep potential to contribute to society as a way of voicing long-held values that honor nature, equity and justice.
IDEO turned up the volume by marketing Design Thinking—doing a brilliant job of making it synonymous with design. The good news is that more people are thinking about design than ever before. The bad news? Everybody who can think now thinks they can design. Consider the parallel of design thinking with amateurs armed with a snapshot setting on their digital cameras.
For example, TED fellow Juliette LaMontagne recruits a group of 18-to-24-year-olds from various professions, teaches them design thinking and turns them loose to design products for developing communities. “I started a design-led social entrepreneurship program called Breaker. We assemble interdisciplinary teams of young people, issue them a global challenge, introduce them to the design process and expect them to design a commercially viable product or service that will contribute to the solution of that challenge,” says LaMontagne. “In less than one year, we’ve created and launched three products aimed at advancing adolescent literacy and urban agriculture, respectively.”
Economist Daniel Altman plans to teach villagers all over the world to design and manufacture their own products, markets and economies. No professional designers required.
Finally, there’s the explosion of interest in design for impact: AIGA’s Design for Good program, OgilvyEarth, countless blogs, curriculum, workshops and conferences. In an article in 3BL Media about a Gates Foundation grant for communicating social impact, Aaron Koblin wrote: “You only have to look at...the increasing convergence of technology and social good that you see...there’s definitely an upsurge in interest for channeling creativity into socially useful ends.”
This is progress. More people have a voice and access to the tools of design. Our lives are richer, we share more than ever through open-sourced engagement. Everybody has a shot at changing the world. 

The New Face of Design

Progress complicates for some as it simplifies for others. To be a professional designer in this enabled world, we must reinvent what it means to be a professional designer. Otherwise, we will be the frog in the water that reaches the boiling point so slowly that we don’t notice until it’s too late (which I understand is not actually true, but you get the point).
Changes present opportunities. Disruptions create openings that are potentially better, bigger, more relevant. There is an opportunity for design to claim and step into an important place in this new world. 
It requires, though, that we do for ourselves what we do so elegantly for others: create a new identity that imagines, then claims a bigger role in a better future. Designers are born with an identity crisis—it’s the nature of all we desire to be and do. We are strategists, implementers in any media or form and successful entrepreneurs. We want a seat at the CEO’s table when business decisions are made, to hold our own in an argument with the McKinsey consultant, to understand customers better than the client does and to deliver creative breakthroughs at every turn. We want to do different things all the time, and do them in wildly diverging industries and contexts. We get bored if we don’t. We hate being limited by our own experience, and bristle at somebody else’s perception of what we’re equipped to do. Because of this, we struggle to capture in words what a designer is and does across all these disparate silos and roles.
There is a word for someone who refuses to be pigeonholed, happily choosing to be broad instead of deep. The word is generalist.
At the new MFA Design for Social Innovation program at the School of Visual Arts, I am on a quest for young designers interested in social innovation, and one of the inviolate qualifications is that they be generalists—within design, and outside of it. The most effective social innovators are generalists—they see systems that are invisible to experts. For example, it would be easy to think of global development pioneer Paul Polak as an expert in alleviating poverty, but he has been successful at that because he’s also a shrink, an inventor, an entrepreneur, a writer, a researcher and a self-made engineer. Polak is a generalist of the highest order.
A Chinese proverb tells us that “the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right name,” but generalist isn’t such a wise-sounding name for us. It’s a dismissive description denoting a dabbler in a culture that rewards expertise and an economy that rewards hierarchies. We respect the titles, the rank, the power that comes from the top.

What To Do?

In creating a new future, the most important first step is to imagine the desired end state. And then we must be as fluid, creative and adaptive as needed to get there, noticing the inchoate relationships and opportunities as they present themselves, building on them to create a new restorative order.
Traditionally, designers have been regarded as makers of things—translators of strategies and information—rather than creators of transformation and intentional outcomes. But that is changing.
Design has the potential to be the single most powerful, relevant and restorative process for change known to humankind. Design can be the methodology that integrates and scales the millions of initiatives already underway, that aligns diverse communities around a shared vision when they need to work together but don’t know how, making invisible dynamics visible, enabling enlightened businesses to grow and thrive. And not least, design has the capacity to invite, motivate, engage, entertain and delight people, moving them to action, inspiring them to believe that something better is possible. It is a vision in which designers are the leaders we need now.
When photography began, technology was challenging. Making a good photograph was the ability to make a photograph at all. Today, a successful professional photographer requires diverse talent and experience, and technology is only the beginning. How much of photojournalist James Nachtwey’s brilliance can be attributed to his technical skill, and how much depends on the life, perspective, vision, wisdom and bravery that feeds it? It’s time for design to evolve from working on parts, time to put the parts together into something whole.

How to Do It

Refuse to be labeled by design thinking. Acknowledge and take responsibility for the full range of functions that design plays in the process of change and transformation and learn to use them as a system. 
  • Design requires approaching a situation with an open mind, free of preconceived answers, which sounds simple but is not. It includes mapping and modeling—illustrating relationships, making hidden connections explicit. Making things visual enables people with a different ethos to see the same thing; unseen truths and insights are revealed.
  • Design creates the tools required to understand information, to compare and experiment, providing access to learning.
  • Design involves play, putting restrictions aside, imagining, waking up hopeful every day because it is always possible to create something new. Being unreasonable when being reasonable will not suffice; loving the pain and accepting the insecurity of not knowing the answer.
  • Design is prototyping—making things without being attached to them, hearing what’s wrong, building again on what’s right.
  • Design is craft—creating beauty, elegance, refinement that touches and satisfies, and that becomes embedded in people’s daily lives.
  • Design is continually learning and fixing. It’s working iteratively and remaining awake to the evolution that needs to take place.
  • Design is social. It’s public, engaging people in ideas. It works at scales, and with ideas that affect multitudes of people through theater, exhibits, public platforms and programs.
  • Design inspires people, wakes them up, helps them know things about themselves and the world that they had not noticed before.
Be the translator. Because generalists see issues from multiple perspectives, it’s easy to assume that what’s obvious to them is obvious to everyone. Don’t assume that.
Help business to change. A recent study by LRN revealed stunning gulfs between the way C-suite executives perceive the culture within their organizations and the way the rest of the company perceives it. It severely limits the organization’s ability to evolve. That gap in understanding uncovers a need and an opportunity for design. Business is where we work, business executives are who we know. It’s where to begin.
Put all these skills to use in shaping the future. Turn the circle around. Facilitate change in unexpected places. Everything that can be improved upon is an opportunity for design, beginning with conversations. Maggie Breslin, a designer who worked at the Mayo Clinic for years, is a great believer in the design of conversations: “I see enormous opportunity for design in health care to create the spaces for doctors/providers and patients to have difficult conversations. I think those difficult conversations are the key to developing a health care system that is less expensive, of higher quality and more efficient; in short, everything we say we want the health care system to be.”
Create meaning. It’s not the economy, stupid. It’s the stupid economy. Ours is alarmingly one dimensional, which is why it’s so fragile and unrewarding. The value that can be measured by more than money is the purview of design. In fact, MFA Design for Social Innovation faculty member Lee-Sean Huang says that “one definition of a designer is someone who creates meaning.”
David Remnick, editor in chief of the New Yorker, wrote an article sometime in the early aughts—when we had begun to see our current wars and networked downturns emerge. He said that in the decade or so before, we thought we had escaped history; thought we had learned from the past and evolved to the point where we could avoid the old, devastating mistakes. But of course we didn’t. We evolve, it seems, and still we keep forgetting the lessons that would help us achieve a state of existence good for everyone rather than only a few.
And David Abrams, in The Spell of the Sensuous reminds us that indigenous people without written language see time in circles, instead of in a line. It is our written history—the recording of one event after another, fixed on a date that will never return—that creates an experience of time as something linear, with a linear expectation of progress, appropriate for a mechanistic view of the world but missing the cyclical rhythms of living nature. The design process is more like the indigenous experience of time: one circle of learning, seeing, creating, making and learning again, always with the potential to conceive a fresh new beginning around the bend—one more aspect of what design can bring to our world. 

Now Why

In a review of an architectural project he called a “Social Cathedral,” Michael Kimmelman wrote, “Sculpture is always closer than architecture to pure form, being mostly liberated from all the obvious constraints (environmental, economic, technological and political) that shape any building’s design. Architecture is a contaminated art in this sense, but that is also a virtue. It is social art.”
Design, like architecture, is a contaminated art—contaminated by the restraints of its inescapable role in our society. Those restraints are its potential, and its calling to be more than its parts. 
In 1990, I turned down a partnership at Pentagram because I felt it constricted me to be labeled a designer. I saw design at the time as making a pretty much prescribed set of artifacts that one could improve upon but not easily redefine. Either I was dead wrong at the time, or design has finally become big enough to hold the ambitions of all of us malcontents and generalists. But, what’s clear is that the time has come to snatch design out of the mouths of those who have defined it for us, to seize this moment and make it all that we know it can be.
To fulfill design’s promise, the most important shift we need to make is letting go of the entrenched mental model of design as the point of itself; as the end product rather than as a means to something greater. Makers are justifiably proud of what they make, and can come to view the artifact as the answer. There is a tendency to view the site, the poster, the logo or the product as the purpose of design when it is not. We will only make design a force in creating the future if we see it not as an end in itself, but as a tool, a medium, a lever in a process of ongoing transformation—and if we take full responsibility for the transformation we engender. “What will we accomplish with this?” is the question we must never forget ask, and to honestly answer. That will be the work of the designer of the future.
About the Author:
Cheryl Heller is a communication designer and business strategist. She has helped grow businesses from small regional enterprises to multi-billion global market leaders, launched category-redefining divisions and products, reinvigorated moribund cultures, and designed strategies for dozens of successful entrepreneurs. Cheryl is founder of CommonWise, founding Chair of MFA Design for Social Innovation at SVA, board chair of PopTech. She is the National Director of the AIGA Social Innovation, Leadership and Entrepreneurship for Designers Program (SLED), a learning initiative that augments professional designers' skills through exposure and insider insights into the best practices in social innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership and change management.  

The best infographics of 2012

Here you can find a selection of the best infographics of 2012. Above, you will find some of my favorites. Hope you enjoy as much as I did.

A Rig That Turns Guitar Licks Into Light Constellations, In Real Time
Rock concert light shows certainly add to the ambience, but wouldn’t it be cool if they were controlled by what the musicians were actually playing? That’s the idea behind Mesh Experience, a project by three German ID students that uses an infrared camera and pair of projectors to turn a guitarist’s licks into constellations of light, in real time. Light jamming results in a groovy disco-ball smattering of light where intense solos produce dense spiderwebs of it.

Stamen Turns Facebook Sharing Into Intricate Digital Art
Earlier this year, Facebook gave the data viz specialists at Stamen a host of data related to three posts by Enterprise crew-member-cum-meme-master George Takei. These colorful, flower-like creations are what they came up with, showing social media sharing at its most beautiful and far-reaching (sorry, your status updates wouldn’t be quite as spectacular).

Cinema, as a medium, is complexly interrelated, with directors influencing other directors, films inspiring other films and genres occasionally giving birth to entirely new ones. But those relationships are far from being straightforward enough to fit in a standard family tree. Instead, HistoryShots put together this massive, sloping map of the 2,000 “most important films” of all tim, arranged by genre and release date.


How did we get from the simplest primordial bacteria to the sophisticated race of Reality TV-inventing bipeds we are today? And how do we relate to everything that popped up in-between? That’s what this graphic shows--3.5 billion years of evolution in one gorgeous rainbow swirl.


Swimming’s Most Exciting Race, Re-Created In Pure Data
My exposure to top-level swimming is limited to the summer Olympics every four years, but even a neophyte like me can appreciate the intensity of the 50-meter freestyle sprint. No laps, no pacing, no turning--just one length down the pool as fast as your body can manage. This infographic turns that over-before-you-know-it madness into an elegant series of swooping lines, visualizing the 50-meter freestyle event in Barcelona, 2003, where Russia’s Alexander Popov beat Great Britain’s Mark Foster by 0.28 seconds to win the race.

Oh, you thought infographics were invented, like, last year? Hardly. In September, Susan Schulten previewed her latest book, Mapping the Nation, which traces the explosion of graphic knowledge in the 19th Century. Here she picks out 11 of her favorite old-school data viz projects.

2012: The Year in Graphics

"Graphics and interactives from a year that included an election, the Olympics and a devastating hurricane. A selection of the graphics presented here include information about how they were created."

in New York Times

Link here.

Oct 22, 2012

The creative world of Hans Donner

Time Dimension clock

Last week I attended a lecture by Hans Donner ("The creative world of Hans Donner"), who designed the logos for TV Globo and SIC (TV channels from Brasil and Portugal, respectively), thinking I would hear about the creative process of branding design. I was very disapointed because, instead, Hans Donner almost talked about his personal and professional life path, adding no further knowledge about creative processes.

However, Donner talked a lot about a creation of his one: "Time Dimension", a watch different from any other - a watch with discs instead of pointers. It's not that I loved it (it's too "high tech" for me) but, as I'm currently reading a book that talks about the impact of beauty and design on our relation with objects, I found it interesting because, as the author claims, this watch give us a softer and more peaceful perception about time, there's no tic-tac or agressive pointers, only a super natural design, making time pass by as smoothly as the earth spins, in a game of shadows that reminds of sunset and dawn.

Wouldn't be interesting if the color scheme could change according to the time of the day? I'd like to see a sunset on my fist, everyday!

"These and related findings suggest the role of aesthetics in product design: attractive things make people feel good, which in turn makes them think more creatively." Donald A. Norman in Emotional design.

Learn more about Hans Donner here.

See you soon,

Oct 9, 2012



I'm not writing today, just sharing a very interesting article! Here it goes...

So, telling as story....

"It's the reason Steve Jobs sold millions of iPods by skipping the technical specifications and simply stating that one thousand songs could now fit in your pocket. It's the reason trial lawyers appeal to a jury's humanity as much as the letter of the law. It's the reason political candidates fight to define each other's narrative. When human beings need to persuade people about ideas, we tell stories. 

In 2007, the American Association of Advertising Agencies published the results of a two-and-a-half year study that charted the effectiveness of two types of ads: ads that told a story and ads that appealed to rational reasoning. The result?

"For the most part, ads that tell stories and engage and involve consumers create stronger emotional relevance than product-centric ads," the study concluded.

We all remember the "Wassup" ad from Budweiser that told the story of a group of close friends with their own inside jokes. But do you remember the Miller Lite ad that touted the brand's low-carb recipe? Probably not.

"Wassup" ad from Budweiser

In his book The Storytelling Animal, Jonathan Gottschall points to research by Italian neuroscientists as evidence for the effectiveness of stories. By implanting electrodes in a monkey's brain, researchers discovered that certain parts of the brain were activated both when the monkeys performed an action and when they witnessed other monkeys performing that same action.

In other words, we live vicariously through the actions and stories of others. It's the reason we wince when we hear a disgusting story or feel our heart race while watching an action movie. It's also the reason that ideas that evoke a specific narrative are more memorable -- they invite empathy, which increases the likelihood that they will be accepted and adopted.

"If you don't know how a principle came to exist you'll never adopt it as your own," says Jonathan Harris, an artist and co-founder of the online storytelling repositoryCowbird. Without a good story to back it up, ideas are easily dislodged and replaced in our memories.

Click here to read more!

PS: empathy is a powerful thing; use it for good!

INFOGRAPHICS: A Case Study in Social Media Demographics

A Case Study in Social Media Demographics
Via: Online MBA Resource


There is more than one reason why I decided to post this case study:

- I love infographics (and hope to post a lot more in the future);

- I am amazed with the amount of active users on social media (we are 7 billion on earth by now, but the most part without internet acces - and I mean less than a half);

- Social media are a huge part of our dayly life: we use it both for personal and professional reasons (mostly to stay in touch with friends, as you can read on the last diagram). So, I find it interesting to get to know a little more about who is connecting, where and why. Also, this kind of information might be usefull, for instance, if you are wondering about the best social media to spread the word about a product or a service or even if you're looking for a job!

- It is very surprising that the average age on Facebook is 45 years old (allways thought the younger would "win");

- I couldn't finish without talking a bit about the design: although the color legend is a little hard to follow (unless you have a good memory, which is not my case), I think the parallel between social media and planets was well achieved; the main subject are virtual Worlds, with all of us orbiting like satellites around them.

PS: don't forget to connect with real life!

Oct 7, 2012


I'm not the biggest fan of David Carson's work, however, I decided to publish this video in order to introduce a theme I'm willing to develop: the power of emotion in communication.

We, as human beings with a highly refined sensory system, are constantly exposed to all kind all stimulus, yet, just because something communicates (or, as Carson says, just because something is legible) it doesn't mean it communicates the right idea. I suggest you go forward to minute 16:43 and take a look at the example of People magazine and the lack of vision in the way they arranged the article about September 11th.

How distracted did you feel from the main theme? Does it look like a light topic about some people who died, or what?

I intend to publish some more examples in the future, both good or not so good ones.

David Carson's page:

See you soon,

Jul 8, 2012

Hi there!

I'm a portuguese graphic designer, with great passion and curiosity about graphic and visual arts, communication and creativity! Throughout this blog, I hope to explore, increase knowledge in communication fields and get the best out of the virtual world.

See you soon,