Archive for the 're:sources' Category

the earth observatory

Funny thing happens when one begins wandering around the world wide web…one becomes distracted, lost and forgets what she might have been looking for in the first place. Today I stumbled upon a NASA website that took my breath away, http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov. I’ve known that NASA was a resource for space visuals, but I’ve never explored past the moon pictures. I dare you to go in there and find your way out within an hour.

Seeing the forest for the trees (mapping the world’s forests in three dimensions)

The World Of Change (The Antarctic Ozone Layer from 1979-2011)

Global Temperatures (click through this one and then tell me you aren’t frightened just a little bit).

Winter Storm in the Pacific Northwest (image of the day)

You can subscribe here (which I did, of course). But I recommend once a week, rather than daily, if you value the concept of productive and billable time.

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re:sources | artisanal pencil sharpening

Looking for that perfect back-to-school gift? The one you never knew you needed? The one that honors craft, writing and thoughtfulness? I have just the thing….artisanal pencil sharpening.

You can’t deny the beauty of a freshly groomed pencil. Back to school, while painful when done pre-Labor Day, is made just little more bearable by fragrant shavings, perfect points and a neat row of yellow sticks. If you feel the same way, check out Artisanal Pencil Sharpening.

From their website: REACQUAINT YOURSELF WITH THE PLEASURES OF A HAND-SHARPENED PENCIL. In New York’s Hudson River Valley, craftsman David Rees still practices the age-old art of manual pencil sharpening. His artisanal service is perfect for artists, writers, and standardized test takers. Shipped with their shavings and a “certificate of sharpening,” these extra-sharp pencils make wonderful gifts.

Even the LA Times says this is the NBT (next big thing…I just made that up…if I had an artisanally sharpened pencil, I’ll bet I could be even more clever).

I love this quote:

“With an electric pencil sharpener, a pencil is meat,” Rees said. “It’s this thoughtless, Brutalist aesthetic. For me, it’s almost a point of pride that I would be slower than an electric pencil sharpener.”

And this one:

“Nobody else is doing what I do,” he said. “I guarantee an authentic interaction with your pencil. What mechanical pencil sharpener can say that? The X-ACTO XLR 1818? The Royal 16959T?  Don’t make me laugh.”

“I’m going to have this nice, authentic, considered reaction with your pencil,” Rees said. “I just want to treat it with respect. And get it really freaking sharp.”

You gotta love it.  I think I will make do with my electric sharpener for now. But I can dream…

Thanks to Design Mom for the find.

color in culture

Everyone sees (and feels) color differently. Beautiful chart, intriguing info and some generalizations that might be true (and even helpful).

From David McCandless. Check out Information is Beautiful for a better view and more info on how this was created.

quick reference color theory

Paper Leaf Design in Edmonton designed this quick reference poster, to be printed out, or even used as a screen saver, with the whats and whys of color theory. Clever, practical and free. The trifecta of good design.

Via Design Crush.

design + coffee | an extra shot, please

From my new favorite blog, Dear Coffee, I love you. This spot on art was done by Brian W. Jones. Just to give credit (where it’s so clearly due), his studio website is Welcome Design. While you’re there, check out Pie Lab. And hold the cream, just the coffee please, with an extra shot. (first scouted at BB Blog)

Update: Poster credit goes to Adam Brackney at Workerman. T shirts available, too.

re:sources | feeding your inner-infographic geek

If you were raised on Edward Tufte, then your heart races when you see a great infographic. Perhaps even a small adrenaline rush when narrative, color, shapes and understanding all collide (or is that just me?).  And of course, one hit leads to another, and you want more. Pretty soon, every day you are seeking unexpected information presented in unexpected ways. Ah, the life of an infographic geek.

I’ve been doing some recognizance to feed my own habit, but also to help nourish yours. A daily dose, along with your coffee, extra strong please:

Chart Porn is compiled  by Dustin Smith, an economist in Washington DC. Visit for treats like this:

Chart Porn’s caption: An entertaining compendium of visualizations about the upcoming year, created for Chronogram Magazine. The magazine write-up included a wonderful self-denigrating statement from designer Jason Cring: “Cring believes infographic purists like information design guru Edward Tufte would be appalled. ‘Tufte’s very opinionated about the right and wrong ways to present information. He would not approve of any of this, I’m quite sure.’”

Chart Porn also brought us the Evolution of Crayola Color Chart (credited to weathersealed.com)

Randy Krum powers Cool Infographics. He collects graphics, sells posters and serves as a resource for those who love information. Clearly, he knows how much I love coffee.

One of my favorite sources is Good Magazine. Some of their most popular infographics of 2009 are here.

This season produce chart is interactive. Click on the chart to visit their site and play vegetable roulette.

And then, there is some stuff that’s just fun to know. Like the Chocolate Pie Chart from Mary and Matt.

And the very best seem to be the very simple:

(can’t identify the original source of this, though I’ve traced it through Swiss Miss, Design Crush, DSharp and fffound. It looks like it could have come from thisisindexed.com.)