Friday, April 22, 2011

The Beauty of Diagrams

BBC documentary spotlighting key diagrams through history. But this show about graphic representation isn't narrated by an artist or a designer, but the mathematician Marcus du Sautoy.

In this programme he looks at the visualisation of mathematical data, and in this case how something which may be seen as quite theoretical can give rise to an iconic diagram which fired the imagination of the public. It's not that the science behind the DNA was uninteresting but, as du Sautoy claims, the visualisation of the double helix has immediate appeal ("an attractive, marketable shape"). It was Crick's classically trained artist wife who translated the original diagram into the now famous diagram which first appeared in Nature magazine in 1953 and unwittingly led to a globally recognised and also commercialised diagram. In this process du Sautoy asks: does it enhance the understanding or, with its iconic status does it leave a vague idea of the 'essence' of life on us. Do we know what it really means? Or do we not even see past the structure...this DNA diagram illustrates 'life'. Is it overused? Is it over sold?

Programme was first shown on BBC Four, 8:30PM Thu, 16 Dec 2010.

It's also worth checking out du Sautoy's visually engaging (if annoyingly noisy) website too:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Corporate identity designs: portfolio

Peter Florjancic

Interesting article here describing some of the hits and misses of this prolific, if little known, inventor: "Peter Florjancic: Slovenian inventor extraordinaire"

But if you think the profession of inventor is an easy one of sitting in your shed waiting for ideas to pop into your head, think again. Florjancic says "The profession of inventor forced me to spend 25 years in hotels, four years in cars, three years on trains, a year and a half on airplanes and a year on board of ships"...

Friday, April 01, 2011