Blog

Making of the Colors of World Flags poster
May 25, 2015

During the few weeks it took to create my Colors of World Flags poster, I went through several iterations and ideas before settling on the final product. Experimenting with these ideas was as much fun as working on the end result and I thought others would enjoy seeing the path I took.

Making of the National Parks of the United States poster
November 23, 2013

I've been overwhelmed by the positive reaction to my National Parks of the United States poster. I want to thank everyone for such kind words. I also want to thank everyone who shared it with others. Several people have asked how I made it so I'll outline process, list my sources and show a few early prototypes as an extra bonus.

Transit charts: fun with public data
September 4, 2012

Continuing my latest obsession with data visualization, I had some fun with public transportation data. In an attempt to play around with a new color palette and put a different face on old data, I wound up creating what I call Transit Charts.

Visualizing Metra
August 14, 2011

When I heard that Metra was planning to cut 46 trains from its service in 2012 to make up for high operating costs, I wanted to see just how much of an impact that would have on their schedules—using a technique from 1885. How the final result came about was a mixture of curiosity and fun with a pinch of obsession.

Why I block ads
August 18, 2010

Ever since I found out I could block ads, I have. I've even gone out of my way to download Firefox extensions like Stylish to let me write my own styles that block ads not caught by AdBlock. I popped over to NBC Chicago's weather page to see the forecast for tonight and was painfully reminded that I had forgotten to re-enable AdBlock after disabling it for another project.

TV cheat sheet: a design exercise
July 5, 2010

After some recent back-and-forth with Comcast, I upgraded my TV subscription and with it came a raft of new channels with numbers far higher than I ever imagined as a kid. I don't watch TV a lot but I watch it enough to know my favorite channels but with these new options, I needed a cheat sheet. During a recent visit with my parents, my father presented me with a cheat sheet of his own and inspired me to take up the challenge myself.

Designing Obama arrives
June 23, 2010

Arriving home from a long vacation is usually met with bills, messages, and piles of emails but this time, an extra surprise was waiting: my copy of Designing Obama.

Time-lapse video of Iceland volcano
May 15, 2010

Stunning time-lapse imagery of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland.

Mandelbrot fractal art competition exhibitions
May 4, 2010

Anyone going to be in San Sebastián, Bilbao, Buenos Aires, or Hyderabad? If you are and enjoy fractal art, take some time to check out the exhibit of 2009 Benoit Mandelbrot Fractal Art Competition winners—including a piece from me.

Fast Flip? Fast Flop.
September 14, 2009

Google's new Fast Flip, released Monday, is a way to visually browse the news in a new zippy way. Sure, it may be speedy but useful? Not quite.

Metra's new site: a review
September 10, 2009

Metra launched a new website this week and since I'm a commuter, designer, and collector, I felt compelled to share my reaction. Any change would have been an improvement to their old site, but while there were welcomed enhancements, not everything lived up to the hype.

Personas: What do you look like online?
August 18, 2009

Personas, an online component of an exibit at the MIT Museum, shows you how the Internet sees you by scanning the web and categorizing you with predefined labels. It's a fun experiment, but needs some tweaking to keep people engaged.

Who uses fly-up menus?
August 9, 2009

The Weather Channel apparently does. I've only seen "fly-up" menus used on one other site that would have easily qualified for Worst Website Ever years ago and was amazed when I discovered they're now being used for the navigation on The Weather Channel's site.

Bi-Level gold
June 5, 2009

I love On the Bi-Level. It's a bi-monthly newsletter from Metra written for and distributed only on the trains throughout the fleet since the 1980s. It's one of the tiny gems that I discovered when I started riding.

Apple's clever counter
April 11, 2009

Apple's counting down to it's one billionth app downloaded and while that's amazing, what intrigued me wasn't the milestone but how they did that neat flipping effect with the counter. It's surprisingly simple.

Obama's online evolution
January 20, 2009

Barack Obama has had an amazing politcal ride and being a web designer, I thought it would be interesting to take stock of how his online presence has evolved as he has from a hopeful junior senator to our new president—with screenshots of course.

Hunting the Hidden Dimension
October 29, 2008

Just yesterday, PBS aired their latest NOVA show—Hunting the Hidden Dimension—about fractals and how they play a role in all our lives. It offers a nice overview of fractals for those who aren't familiar with the concept.

Fractals for any date
October 26, 2008

Fall's here and that means it's time for calendars. This year is a little different. Along with a brand new calendar, I've updated all my old calendars to work with any year. Now you can get any calendar at any time.

Google's Chrome needs polishing but is off to a good start
September 2, 2008

In case you haven't already heard, Google released Chrome today—its new browser built based on how the web is used today compared to several years ago. Considering its been in development for two years, it's amazing that knowledge about it has been limited to rumors until yesterday. After using it as my primary browser for an afternoon, I found several awesome and not-so-awesome parts.

Metra ticket: June 2008
July 2, 2008

First-grader Christopher won the honor of having his design grace June's Metra ticket. It's a cute drawing of Chicago and its various modes of transportation.

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