FEMA’s New Data Viz Tool Helps Communities Understand the Risk and Impact of Disasters

FEMA just launched a new data visualization tool aimed at help communities better understand the risk and impact of disasters. The tool charts historical disaster declaration data reaching back to 1953, giving a clear, county-specific picture of the type of disasters that have struck and how much FEMA spent on assistance. With this knowledge, communities can be better prepared for the unexpected and put their focus where it matters most.

Why Good Designs Starts in a Word Processor

Scope creep is something that plagues many industries, but creative work takes the cake for being the most ambiguous when it comes to expectations. In the design phase, client feedback (you know, words like “clean” or “modern” and phrases like “make it pop more” or “that is not at all what I explained to you”) can turn a great contract into a money pit for your firm. Managing expectations is tough when you start in the wrong place.

360 Music Videos Are Here: Google Tech Puts You in Control

What if while watching a video you could look anywhere you wanted? We’ve all imagined it… and now that dream is here. Google recently introduced 360° video playback. Just move your phone around (or use arrows on your browser) and you’ll get a virtual reality panoramic view of the filmed world. It’s super trippy and we think it’s going to be a big deal.

Ira Glass Gives You All the Motivation You Need to Be Creative

The creative struggle is, in a word, miserable—especially when you’re first starting out. It doesn’t matter if you’re entering a new field or just trying to master a new skill; the urge to create, to try something new, is too easily overshadowed by fear of failure. Although you know you have talent, you’re too afraid that what you make will suck. Next time you find yourself struggling with feeling stuck and frustrated by what you’re creating, take a look at this video. (And bookmark it while you’re at it.) 

Gamechangers: Honoring Content Creators Breaking Away from the Norm

I have no memories of the days of giant ad agencies, martini lunches, and art departments that actually used sketch books to create ads. I never had anyone like Don Draper as a boss. I wasn’t even alive in those golden days of huge budgets and captive audiences. Times have changed—dramatically—since the advent of instant communications, online video, Google analytics, and follower counts. Things are more efficient than ever but somehow often more ineffective than ever.

#BrandCrush: Wilton Cakes Has a Super Sweet Social Presence

Although it’s been around for 85 years, Wilton Cakes is not your grandma’s baking company. The cake-decorating company is known for its baking supplies and cake inspiration, but in the era of Pinterest, food porn, and a billion baking blogs, it’s hard to keep ahead of the flock. Still, this brand has been in the baking game for a long time, and they know how to keep it sweet.

From their vibrant Instagram to Pinterest tutorials, Wilton has created a community for baking experts and newbies alike—no matter where they are on social. For a brand that is all about creativity, they are definitely eating their own cake. Here’s why they’re killing it on social. 

These 3 Trends are Killing Your Creativity

After nearly two decades working various jobs throughout the creative world, I’ve noticed a recent phenomenon in our industry’s culture. Creatives now are focusing more on insignificant things—like fashion trends and lifestyle accessories, while quality work is becoming the sideshow. Right-brainers have always done a knockout job of differentiating themselves from the rest of the pack, but I think these 3 distractions  may actually be hindering the creativity we for which we strive.

TBT: Beautiful Victorian Data Visualizations

We love it when we come across great visual content from back in the day—it’s inspiring to see creativity evolve over centuries. While it may seem like infographics and data visualization are new trends triggered by the advent of technology, information design has been around for millennia. Take a look these great Victorian-era visualizations, compiled by BibliOdyssey, created between 1830 and 1890. 

A Q&A Conversation with the Creator of Metrico, The Infographic-Inspired Video Game

Infographics are more than mainstream; they’re moving into the immersive entertainment world. The new video game Metrico (great name, even better tagline: A Game About Infographics and Free Will), was inspired by—of all things—infographics.

Mirroring the minimalist infographic design aesthetic and gamifying users’ data input, Metrico combines all our favorite things: design, data, and interactivity.

Want to Make Beautiful Charts and Graphics? Use Visage

It’s an exciting week. Our sister company, Visage, is officially open for business. It’s a new platform that lets you make beautiful charts and graphics for publishing. We’re excited that everyone—data scientists, designers, and anyone in between—can give Visage a try now.