Nigel Holmes at the Presentation Summit 2011
The opening keynote at the Presentation Summit 2011 was kick-started by Nigel Holmes. Nigel came from England 30 years ago, and is an amazing graphic designer. He showed his information art from the times when digital graphic design was not the norm.
Nigel spoke about the difference between "simplify" and "clarify". As an example, he showed the subway map of Tokyo. Apparently, there exists a complicated looking detailed map for the city residents. On the other hand, there is a much simpler map for tourists created by Richard Saul Wurman. This map only encompasses what travelers need to know. Look at these maps in the slide figures below -- you can click on all these slides to view larger representations.
Nigel also talked about the power of a smile. He gave examples of the redesign of US currency, and a fantasy party arranged by the folks at National Geographic for the world population. Apparently, humor was not the norm in both these examples! Nigel said that it was easier to connect with your audience when you smile. And he made us all smile with an anecdote about a person who could tie 14 cherry knots using just his tongue.
His next topic was hot dogs, and he mentioned eating competitions. Participants gobble huge amounts of every type of food from asparagus to sausages. One of these "eaters" weighs only 105 pounds. Fame came to a Japanese eater who consumed 53 and a half hot dogs in just 12 minutes! So how did he accomplish this feat? He actually trains people on how you can eat faster than you can count! Apparently, some day the Olympics may have an eating competition.
Nigel then discussed helium, and the rift between balloon artists, also known as twisters. He then said how he was more impressed with the lifting power of helium rather than its presentation prowess.
Nigel Holmes moved to America in 1978 to work for Time Magazine. He became graphics director and stayed there for 16 years. Despite academic criticism, he remains committed to the power of pictures and humor to help people understand otherwise abstract numbers and difficult scientific concepts, whether in print or in presentations.
Categories: powerpoint, presentationsummit
Note that Wurman's map isn't a subway map at all, and doesn't actually abstract anything aside from making the shapes nicely geometric.
It's actually a map showing the two most important Tokyo city-center surface rail lines—the Yamanote line and the Chuo line—which have roughly the same physical layout as his map, and have exactly the stations he shows.
The actual Tokyo subway lines (and many other surface rail lines) are simply omitted, and there's no indication of any attempt to incorporate them.
I've seen this map in various places on the internet, always with the same claim that it somehow represents an intense abstraction of the Tokyo subway network. Dunno where that idea came from, as it appears to be simply untrue...
[This map isn't even very good for tourists, as it leaves off a huge number of most important tourist destinations. It is pretty though...]
April 2003 | May 2003 | December 2003 | January 2004 | February 2004 | March 2004 | April 2004 | May 2004 | June 2004 | July 2004 | August 2004 | September 2004 | October 2004 | November 2004 | December 2004 | January 2005 | February 2005 | March 2005 | April 2005 | May 2005 | June 2005 | July 2005 | August 2005 | September 2005 | October 2005 | November 2005 | December 2005 | January 2006 | February 2006 | March 2006 | April 2006 | May 2006 | June 2006 | July 2006 | August 2006 | September 2006 | October 2006 | November 2006 | December 2006 | January 2007 | February 2007 | March 2007 | April 2007 | May 2007 | June 2007 | July 2007 | August 2007 | September 2007 | October 2007 | November 2007 | December 2007 | January 2008 | February 2008 | March 2008 | April 2008 | May 2008 | June 2008 | July 2008 | August 2008 | September 2008 | October 2008 | November 2008 | December 2008 | January 2009 | February 2009 | March 2009 | April 2009 | May 2009 | June 2009 | July 2009 | August 2009 | September 2009 | October 2009 | November 2009 | December 2009 | January 2010 | February 2010 | March 2010 | April 2010 | May 2010 | June 2010 | July 2010 | August 2010 | September 2010 | October 2010 | November 2010 | December 2010 | January 2011 | February 2011 | March 2011 | April 2011 | May 2011 | June 2011 | July 2011 | August 2011 | September 2011 | October 2011 | November 2011 | December 2011 | January 2012 | February 2012 | March 2012 | April 2012 | May 2012 | June 2012 | July 2012 | August 2012 | September 2012 | October 2012 | November 2012 | December 2012 | January 2013 | February 2013 | March 2013 | April 2013 | May 2013 | June 2013 | July 2013 | August 2013 | September 2013 | October 2013 | November 2013 | December 2013 | January 2014 | February 2014 | March 2014 | April 2014 | May 2014 | June 2014 | July 2014 | August 2014 | September 2014 | October 2014 | November 2014 | December 2014 | January 2015 | February 2015 | March 2015 |