More About the Style, Less About How

Posted to The Times  |  Nathan Yau

It’s six days in, and I’m starting to get used to Adobe Illustrator. It’s one honker of a program, so I’m picking up things as I go along, but on the upside, I’m really glad I went through some of Illustrator lessons to at least familiarize myself with layers, etc.

I think I’m getting closer to the point where it’s less about “How do I do this?” and more about “What am I going to show?” Don’t get me wrong. There’s A LOT I still don’t know how to do, but at least I know enough to figure out a good amount on my own. Just a lot to figure out about The Times graphics style — font, sizes, color, etc.

The administrative stuff is the hardest part of all though. While I’m working on a graphic I have to keep all the necessary people updated i.e. the reporter of the story of whom I am making the graphic for. I got scolded today, because a reporter didn’t know that her story was put on hold. I didn’t know that I was her only contact link. Lesson learned. I’m just going to contact everyone from now on. Better to provide too much information than too little (in this case, at least).

Once a graphic is completed, I have to print out five copies or so and hand them out to all of the necessary people. Next, update the graphic schedule, and then place it in the active list. It’s strange that even though we’re all equipped with these super awesome computers that I still have to walk upstairs and hand-deliver copies of a graphic. I guess nothing can replace human contact.

Favorites

Top Brewery Road Trip, Routed Algorithmically

There are a lot of great craft breweries in the United States, but there is only so much time. This is the computed best way to get to the top rated breweries and how to maximize the beer tasting experience. Every journey begins with a single sip.

Pizza Place Geography

Most of the major pizza chains are within a 5-mile radius of where I live, so I have my pick, …

A Day in the Life of Americans

I wanted to see how daily patterns emerge at the individual level and how a person’s entire day plays out. So I simulated 1,000 of them.

Reviving the Statistical Atlas of the United States with New Data

Due to budget cuts, there is no plan for an updated atlas. So I recreated the original 1870 Atlas using today’s publicly available data.