A couple days ago I stopped into the Com Arts building at Michigan State University to meet a new professor in the journalism program named Karl Gude. [Karl’s blog]
I heard about Karl from my friend and colleague Liz Weber who handed me a clipping from the MSU News Bulletin which explained that Karl had been the Director of Information Graphics at Newsweek, had brought together a conference on information architecture (or info graphics), and was now teaching at MSU.
Regardless, I was excited at the news that someone with such great experience in the information graphics field was so close to home!
I found Karl to be enthusiastic about his work and the field, and he shared with me a couple names and examples of work.
- Ben Fry (data visualization)
- Roger Black (extremely accomplished graphic designer)
- The VizThink—Are you a visual thinker? conference (Karl is presenting a one-day workshop there)
Alright, so why am I hyped about this?
Till now, I think it’s been a gut-level feeling that this a good thing. If I put words to it, it’s because as I’m leading this Web Design Team in ACNS at MSU, I realize more and more that we rely too heavily on words and numbers to communicate important information. So often, that textual information can come alive and communicate so much more effectively if we lay it down as an information graphic. Right now, frankly, we suck at this, but I am determined that we will get better at it.