Monday, June 24, 2013

I use the word "pedagogy" in this post. Also the word "purty".

There wasn't a comic for last week (don't worry: There's definitely probably going to be one this week about the ghastly effect of the FOMC speech on the markets).  I was also crazy busy, which meant no posts of any other work, either.

Allow me to make it up to you with a big fatty post of Decagon work.  The good folks over there have been keeping me pretty busy as of late, which is great good fun as always.  Here's what I've been doing:

Quick start illustrations for the VP3, an instrument which measures water activity in building materials:

Two graphs dealing with Spectral Reflectance data (I didn't make these up, I just re-drew existing graphs to make them a bit more aesthetically appealing):

And two illustrations showing the different Field of View options for Decagon's SRS line (Spectral Reflectance Sensors):

I had a thought while I was drawing these: As an illustrator, my job is to draw pictures (doy).  But I sometimes function as a kind of translator as well.  Allow me to explain: Most of the work they do over at Decagon is complex.  Fortunately, they're pretty good at explaining difficult concepts in straightforward, understandable ways.

But sometimes it's just too difficult to relate a concept in words alone, particularly if that concept involves a process or if it's something abstract (or invisible).  That's where I can help.  Illustration can be a kind of understanding conduit.  I think this has something to do with accessibility (illustration tends to be approachable, even when it represents complex technical or scientific concepts).  I think it also has something to do with our ability to understand things more intuitively when we're looking at them.  I'm no neuroscientist, but I'm sure it uses a different part of the brain when we're looking at illustrations as opposed to reading text.

Ideally, these two delivery vehicles can be combined to get across the really technical stuff.  These projects are illustration, but they're also information design and a kind pedagogy.  That complexity is just one of the reasons I love this kind of work so much.  It keeps me on my toes.

Also, I get to draw purty pictures.


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