Author Archive: Michael

Infographic: An Illustrated Guide To The Galaxy Of Women’s Shoes

New from Pop Chart, the Charted Collection of Contemporary Footwear is a handy cheat sheet for any shoe closet.

Can’t tell the difference between a slingback espadrille wedge and a peep-toe ankle strap platform wedge? The prolific infographic design studio Pop Chart Lab has you covered. The Charted Collection of Contemporary Footwear is a handy, color-coded cheat sheet of the many shoes the modern woman might go sauntering—or, in some cases, teetering—out of the house wearing.

[Click on image to enlarge]



Not to be confused with Pop Chart’s previous attempt to catalog all of Carrie Bradshaw’s shoes, the new chart breaks down all contemporary footwear into color-coded categories: gladiators, loafers, sneakers, high heels, sandals, lace-ups, T-straps, Mary Janes, and so on. Each of these categories is then, appropriately enough, arranged in boxes, which are connected to one another genealogically by dotted lines.

The Charted Collection of Contemporary Footwear catalogs more than 90 pairs of shoes, the combined price tag of which would doubtlessly stagger even Mr. Big. Luckily, the poster itself is much cheaper: in honor of New York Fashion Week, which gets underway today, the Charted Collection of Contemporary Footwear is available as an 18″ x 24″ print for just $23. Shoe collectors have something to aspire to.


Source: John Brownlee, An Illustrated Guide To The Galaxy Of Women’s Shoes, Co.DESIGN, Fast Company, September 4, 2014,

Infographic: Here’s to 2014 (Beutler Ink)


Simon Owens of Beautler Ink remembered earlier this year when I published the Beutler Ink Oscar’s best picture graphic: Well, Simon and the Beutler Ink team have been busy and just released their “Here’s to 2014″ illustration. It references every single major pop culture and news event in 2014, from Too Many Cooks to the death of Robin Williams.

Thanks, Simon for sending this to me. It is has been fun to search and find key events.

NOTE: If you have an interesting data visualization or infographic, please tell me about it and send me a full size image of it. I would be glad to blog about it.

Best regards and happy holidays,


Here’s to 2014!

Congratulations! We’ve made it through another spin around the sun,
What a ride it’s been; we sure had fun.
You were there for all the highs and lows,
The “Fancy” music and “basic” clothes.
The Lego Movie made it hip to be square,
and Matthew McConaughey was everywhere.
We made some new friends and lost some old,
We dumped ice on our heads and Malala was bold.
And because you were good, here’s a little treat,
An exciting, exclusive pop culture feat!
A gift to you, from Beutler Ink:
Here’s to 2014, see what you think!

A heartfelt thanks from all of us at Beutler Ink, and here’s looking forward to a great 2015!

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Behind the Scenes: The Making of Here’s to 2014!

We began preparation for our annual end-of-year pop-culture-and-news mashup in early October with a teamwide brainstorm. We collaborated in a shared Google doc where we listed all of the pop culture moments that defined the year. With a list in place, we started to imagine how we should depict these events. For instance, how do you visualize the polar vortex?

Screenshot 2014-12-16 09.31.48
Next, we decided on a setting. Last year’s Time Square scene provided a colorful and vibrant backdrop for a new year’s celebration, but rather than duplicate that space again this year we decided to try a different approach. After much deliberation, we settled on The Grand Budapest Hotel. Our team is full of Wes Anderson fans, and the hotel provided ample opportunities to bring together disparate scenes and events into one cohesive visual.

With a list of ideas complete and a setting established, the illustration could finally begin! This year, we enlisted the talents of Noah Smith, a longtime collaborator and friend, to bring our ideas to life. His process began with sketches: first a general layout based on themes and then a more robust sketch with every idea visualized.

Screenshot 2014-12-16 09.33.13

Screenshot 2014-12-16 09.36.46

Once the sketches were finished, it was time to color the image. Noah explored a few possible treatments before landing on the style seen in the final graphic.

Screenshot 2014-12-16 11.08.20

Here is a full list of items included in the collage. How many can you identify?

The Guardians of the Galaxy
The LEGO Movie
Gone Girl
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Fault In Our Stars
South Park mocks Lorde’s ubiquity
Ellen’s Oscar selfie
Lupita Nyong’o wins Oscar
Taylor Swift has first platinum album of the year
Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX [“Fancy”]
Pharrell Williams
New U2 album goes to 500 million iTunes accounts
Meghan Trainor [“All About That Bass”]
Sam Smith
Nicki Minaj [“Anaconda”]
Radiohead’s Thom Yorke releases $6 album on BitTorrent
Health Goth style
Basic Bitch style
Normcore style
The Simpsons turns 25
True Detective
The Walking Dead
How I Met Your Mother series finale
Pretty Little Liars 100th episode
True Blood series finale
Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon
Last Week Tonight
Laverne Cox becomes the first transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy and to appear on the cover of Time Magazine
Game of Thrones Season Five
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey with Neil Degrasse Tyson
Gilmore Girls released on Netflix
Germany wins World Cup
Seahawks win the Super Bowl
LeBron James goes home to Cleveland
Spurs win the NBA championship
Winter Olympics in Sochi
Derek Jeter retires
Steve Ballmer becomes owner of the Los Angeles Clippers franchise
Roger Goodell is criticized; Bill Simmons is censored
Madison Bumgarner leads the San Francisco Giants to World Series victory
LA Kings win the Stanley Cup
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Kim Kardashian’s Paper Magazine cover
Jaden and Willow Smith transcend reality
Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin “consciously uncouple”
Hacked celebrity nudes leak on Reddit
Ariana Grande is a diva
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie wed in secret ceremony
Jay-Z is involved in elevator altercation with Solange
George Clooney marries Amal Alamuddin
Scottish independence referendum
Two Supreme Court rulings bolster marriage equality
GOP owns the midterms
Nik Wallenda’s blindfold tightrope walk
Polar vortex
MH370 goes missing
Ebola outbreak
Ferguson and Eric Garner protests
Bring Back Our Girls
Hong Kong protests
Putin ferments unrest in Crimea
iPhone 6
Emojis are everywhere
Verizon vs. FCC
Uber vs. Lyft
Google glass
Apple Watch
Newsweek’s “The Face Behind Bitcoin” story
HBO Go slated to be released to the masses
Alex from Target
Apparently Kid
Slender Man
Too Many Cooks
Big Hero 6
The Broad City girls
Sarah Koenig from Serial Podcast
RIP Robin Williams
RIP Maya Angelou
RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman
RIP Joan Rivers
RIP Shirley Temple
RIP Harold Ramis
RIP Casey Kasem
RIP James Garner
RIP Flappy Bird
Bonus easter egg: Bill Beutler, founder of Beutler Ink

Infographic: What is Chanukah?

Source: Terry Boyd, Terry Boyd: Chanukah, Thanksgiving, Rabbi Horovitz and the concept of ‘mitzvah’, Insider Louisville, November 24, 2013,


Infographic: Fox’s ‘Bones’ 200th Episode By the Numbers



My wife, Harriet, is a big Fox Bones TV show fan (affectionately know as Boneheads) and watches it religiously, so I had to post this infographic for her.

In celebration of the recent 200th episode of Bones, an army of fans teamed up with Fox to create a by-the-numbers tribute to the show in a way only a true Bonehead could. In the infographic, exclusive to Mashable, this is particularly evident in section 5, “the relations for the shippers.”

As fans know, Booth and Brennan’s road to martial bliss and baby has been a long and rocky one, filled with, apparently, 44 hugs, 36 kisses and 41 declarations of love. There’s also a highly entertaining look at the trajectory of their relationship.

Almost more impressive, though, is the sheer amount of information included. Every murder, suspect and even murder weapon is accounted for (to the best of the fans’ abilities, based on information presented in every Bones episode.)

Check out the infographic, below; then someone get these number-crunchers a job at the Jeffersonian.

I hope you love this as much as my “Bonehead” wife (hmmm, somehow that does not sound good in print).



Source: Sandra Gonzalez, Fan-made ‘Bones’ infographic gives by-the-numbers breakdown of the show,, December 4, 2014,


Jacob Gube: 6 Ways to Increase the Visual Weight of Something


Jason GubeWhile purusing through Zite, I came across this blog post on the Design Instruct web site by Jacob Gube. Jacob is the co-founder and a managing editor of Design Instruct. He’s a web developer, and also the owner of Six Revisions. Follow Jacob on Twitter: @sixrevisions.

Best Regards,


6 Ways to Increase the Visual Weight of Something

In a design composition, the visual weight of an object refers to how well it draws attention to itself compared to other components of the composition. The “heavier” the object is, the more eye-grabbing it is.

When creating a design, it’s a good idea to prioritize key elements in the visual space by giving them heavier visual weights. For example, things you might consider giving heavier visual weights to — so that they’re more easily seen by the viewer — are call-to-action buttons in a web design, or the subject of a photograph.

I’ll talk about a few tricks for increasing the visual weight of an object.

1. Give It a Different Color

When the color-contrast between an object and its surroundings (including its background) is high, the more able it is to garner our attention.

In the example above, notice how, even though the size, shape and margins of the stars are identical, the red star is able to get your attention simply because of how distinctive its color is compared to other elements in the composition.

2. Move It Away from Other Objects

One easy trick for increasing the visual weight of an object is distancing it from other objects. Adding plenty of negative space around the object separates it from other objects, which in turn makes the object stand out.

In the example above, look at how our eyes interpret the composition as two groups of rabbits: A big group of 12 rabbits and a small group consisting of only one rabbit. By being farther away from the others, the estranged rabbit is able to command our attention more than any other rabbit in the composition.

3. Make It Look Different

When things look alike, it’s naturally hard for us to differentiate them. So, quite simply, we can make the visual weight of an object heavier by making it look different from other objects.

Even a slight change in the style properties of an object can heavily influence its visual weight if objects in the composition look similar. In the above example, notice how the circle at the center of the first row is able to get our eyes’ attention compared to the other circles.

4. Point to It

A simple trick for increasing the visual weight of something is to direct the viewer’s eyes to it using visual queues such as arrows.

In the above example, check out how the visual weight of the house is increased because it’s surrounded by arrows that point to its location. No matter where our attention goes, we’re redirected to look at the house because of the arrows.

5. Make It Look Visually Complex

An ornate object attracts our eyes more when it’s set among simple and unadorned objects. We can make the appearance of an object complex by giving it textures, drop shadows, changing its shape, adding more color to it, and so forth.

In the example above, the multi-colored circle has the heaviest visual weight because the surrounding objects are styled plainly.

6. Make It Bigger

Making an object larger than the other objects around it will increase its visual weight. It’s a reasonable proposition: The more visual space an object takes up, the more visible it is.

In the example above, notice how our eyes are quickly drawn to the biggest heart . The only thing different with it is its size.

Visual weight is a simple but incredibly powerful design tool for strategically arranging elements so that more important elements are readily seen by our viewers.

What tricks do you use to increase the visual weight of an object? Share your advice in the comments.

Infographic: Remembering John Lennon


For my generation, today was the day the music died with the senseless murder of John Lennon, one of the former Beatles.

I found this infographic by Ivan Ciro Palomino Huamaní, an infographic designer from Lima, Peru, with more than 10 years of experience and currently the Head of Infographics of the Epensa Group. Check out other work by Ivan here.

Best regards,



10 Vintage Advertisements That Would be Banned Today

1. This 1973 lingerie store catalogue tells it like it is.

This 1973 lingerie store catalogue tells it like it is.

2. These Asthma Cigarettes are not recommended for children under six.

These Asthma Cigarettes are not recommended for children under six.

3. This ad, from Life magazine, 1956, promotes clothes for “chubby girls”.

This ad, from Life magazine, 1956, promotes clothes for "chubby girls".


4. This extreme vision of a bad hair day is from Charles Antell, a hair products manufacturer.

This extreme vision of a bad hair day is from Charles Antell, a hair products manufacturer.

5. This anti-malaria medicine which also makes you fat hails from late 19th-century America.

This anti-malaria medicine which also makes you fat hails from late 19th-century America.

 6. This 1970s men’s clothing brand offered 23 ways to avoid getting married.

This 1970s men's clothing brand offered 23 ways to avoid getting married .

7. Cocaine for children? What could possibly go wrong?

Cocaine for children? What could possibly go wrong?

8. This Marlboro ad uses cute babies to advertise cigarettes, because why not?

This Marlboro ad uses cute babies to advertise cigarettes, because why not?

9. Having trouble parenting? TRY SOME BEER.

Having trouble parenting? TRY SOME BEER.

And my favorite:

10. If you’re Lucky Strike though, you go for Santa Claus.

If you're Lucky Strike though, you go for Santa Claus.

Source: Patrick Smith, 22 Vintage Adverts That Would Be Banned Today, BuzzFeed, October 27, 2014,

DataViz as Music: Pianogram

Pianogram - Flight of the Bumble Bee

When I played mallet percussion back in high school, I played Flight of the Bumble Bee on our Xylophone for a regional competition and won a second place finish. It was a tricky piece of music to play and took a lot of hand-key coordination. The data visualization above is the Flight of the Bumble Bee when you cross a histogram and piano keys to show note distribution of songs. It’s the Pianogram by JoeyCloud.Net. View examples such as Alla Turca or the classic Chopsticks, or punch in your own MIDI-formatted song for a taste of the distribution ivories.

Here’s the distribution for everyone’s favorite, Chopsticks.

Pianogram - Chopsticks

Infographic: Thanksgiving – Food, Fun and Facts

Thanksgiving Infographic

Source: Jessi Hargett, Photohistory: Thanksgiving Food, Fun & Facts, The Collegian, Bob Jones University, November 15, 2012,

Introducing Adobe Brackets 1.0 and Extract for Brackets (Preview)


We had a Technology Discovery Day the other day at work. I worked my way over to the folks from Adobe to try to get some questions answered. I have been an Adobe Flex and Flash user and wanted to know what my alternatives were going to be going forward with custom mobile report development for Apple products since they do not support Flash (actually, they really do, but don’t want us to know that).

I talked to one of the reps from Adobe and he told me to look at Adobe Brackets. I have downloaded and installed the Brackets editor and have been getting familiar with it.

Here is a brief overview of Adobe Brackets from their Creative Cloud Team. Once I become more proficient, I will blog more about it.

MicroStrategy, Tableau, Qlikview: Are you listening?

Best Regards,



What is Brackets?

Brackets is a modern, open source text editor that understands web design. It was built for web designers and front-end developers working with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Adobe not only created Brackets, but were also a key contributor to the project. When Adobe first started Brackets, they wanted to release early and often. They have done both. This will mark the 45th release of Brackets in 3 years; it’s a pace of innovation that our teams are able to maintain now that we’ve moved to Creative Cloud.


Introducing Extract for Brackets (preview)

This release also includes a preview of Extract for Brackets, a new Creative Cloud service that lets you view and get information and assets out of a PSD right from your text editor. Extract for Brackets lets you pull things like colors, fonts, measurement, gradients, and more from a PSD in the form of contextual code hints in CSS and HTML files. You can also extract layers as images, use information from the PSD to define preprocessor variables, and easily get dimensions between objects. Adobe is really excited about how it will improve the process of moving from design to development and speed workflows.


If you haven’t looked at Brackets in a while or are brand new to it, now is a great time to see the awesome stuff Adobe has been working on.

Brackets blends visual tools right into the editor so you get the right amount of help when you want it. In more recent releases, Adobe has added multiple cursors, split view, theme support, and many more fixes and enhancements.

Extract for Brackets (preview) can be downloaded as a standalone extension from the Brackets Extension Registry or included with Brackets 1.0 in a bundle that’s immediately available as a free download from



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