We live in a world where access to information is virtually unlimited. Almost anyone with a little technological savvy can tap in to data streams about people, places and things. But without some form of visual representation the data is meaningless, leaves no mark in our minds and tells no stories. It is the job of the designer and map-maker to pull the stories out of the data, to translate the numbers into drawings that we can read and understand.
The role – and responsibility – of the designer is important. Not only do they select and translate the information, by doing so impact the way we will go on to use that information to shape the world around us. Mind, Maps and Infographics, a new book by Moleskine Books, takes a unique peek at the notebooks of today's graphic designers to understand how they transform reality into visual language.
From infographic designer Nicholas Felton, to graphic designer Paula Scher, to atlas designer and urban space planner Joost Grootens, each chapter explores the language of maps from a different perspective, starting from humanity's need to explore its surroundings by sharing information to its need to plan and shape the reality in which it is immersed. And by looking into the notebooks of creators, we can seize the magical moment that exists between thought and design, observation and abstraction and vice versa.
"Learning how to see is essential to learning how to design", says Giorgia Lupi, an information designer, founder of design studio Accurate, co-author of the book Dear Data as well as author of one of the chapters in the book. "A data visualization designer must find ways to attract people's attention through new languages and new visual forms that, besides being functional, accurate and appropriate for the context are also magnetic and surprising".
With over one hundred color illustrations, Mind, Maps and Infographics, curated by Pietro Corraini, is part of The Naked Notebook series, a publishing project by Moleskine Books that delves into the travel notes, off-the-cuff sketches and ideas behind the projects of well and lesser known graphic designers. Few words, many pictures illustrate these travels inside creative gestures and processes.
Visit the full range of publications by Moleskine Books here.