Tools of the Trade: 8 Creators and the Pens, Pencils and Markers They Love

Being creative doesn’t take any specific tool, but after years of work and exploration we all develop our favorites. Maybe the ink from that pen flows just right or makes the perfect tiny dots. Maybe that marker has the color with the most punch. You know what’s best and so do these artists using pens, pencils or markers. We rounded up 8 from past features to learn which tool they like to keep close, and what kind of work they’ve used them for.

Hollywood Street Characters Captured At Home

Just take a walk down Hollywood Boulevard and you’ll quickly figure out why the area is often dubbed ‘Hollyweird’. Part of what makes the place so strange and special are the many colorful street performers that dot the street. Some lookalikes impersonate famous movie stars, others don masks and become iconic cartoon characters, but what fascinated photographer Ken Hermann was their private, personal lives. Who were these people at home?

A True Picture of Population Density

Look up a city’s urban density on Wikipedia, and you know you’re only getting a small slice of the story. There’s no way exactly 27,857.9 people live in every square mile of New York City – some areas are far more packed, some are relatively empty (at least when it comes to living space). Perhaps the best way to get a true picture of where people live is to check out the residential density per square kilometer. That’s what these 3D maps from LSECities visualize, giving us a unique look at 9 world cities and their distribution of people. Each map here looks at a 100 x 100 kilometer square, and quickly reveals how factors like topography and the location of public transport have influenced the growth of these places.

30 Critically Endangered Species, 1 Beautiful Geometric Interactive

No matter how you put it together, we are in the midst of a huge extinction event. Almost as fast as we can categorize them, species are disappearing around the world… but there is some hope. Species In Pieces is a striking interactive visualization by Bryan James which assembles 30 critically endangered species out of CSS polygons, then shares the hopeful data on how groups are working to bring them back from the brink.

We’re About to Visit Pluto For The First Time. Here’s an Incredible Video to Celebrate

Right now, a great milestone in human exploration is taking place. NASA’s New Horizons, the fastest spacecraft ever created, is speeding towards Pluto for a rendezvous on July 14, 2015. The visit will beam back images of the dwarf planet for the first time in over half a century of space exploration.

Data Visualization 101: Bubble Charts

In our Data Visualization 101 series, we cover each chart type to help you sharpen your data visualization skills.

So far in our series, we’ve dealt with tools for clearly displaying two dimensions of data, but what happens when you have a third or fourth? Do you use a bar chart and stack bars with different variables next to one another? Do you use multiple graphs and compare the results?

Welcome to the bubble chart. This incredibly versatile chart form can be used to visualize a data set with two to four dimensions, all in one elegant and easy to interpret chart.

One Size Does NOT Fit All: How Tom Burrell Changed the World of Advertising

Before Tom Burrell, the advertising world was a very different place. But in the age of Mad Men, he was something different, too: an African-American man in advertising.

The Easy Way (and the Hard Way) to Make a GIF from a Video

Animated GIFs have been around since CompuServe introduced them in 1987. Since then they’ve been used for everything from MySpace glitter graphics (uggg…), to sweet dance clips, and some really refined cinemagraphs like the one above. While GIFs are everywhere, it’s only a small section of the internet that makes them – so let’s look at two ways you can make a GIF.

Western Films Are Brown and Dusty, Right? This Color Analysis Says We’re Wrong.

A little while ago Kevin Ferguson went on a western film viewing binge. When he was done he’d seen 50 of the classic cowboy movies, a whole lot of John Wayne and a lot of riding off into the sunset. His western obsession didn’t end there. Intrigued by the color in each film, he compressed its imagery into a single frame – an analysis of its form and light. Each of his ‘summed images’ reveal the color palette, mood and dominant framing technique that make a film’s running length.