Eye #101

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The grids and graphs of Covid-19 graphics are familiar to nearly everyone, even those who have little idea of what information design might be. As the Financial Times’s John Burn-Murdoch recalls, there was a moment in spring 2020 when the news media realised that data visualisation was ‘the language of the pandemic’, and metaphors such as ‘flattening the curve’ dominated headlines, becoming part of everyone’s vocabulary. Designers and journalists with an understanding of epidemiology, coding, map-making, data science and animation have taken on the challenge of visualising the invisible – from virus variants to vaccine hesitancy – and we know that communicating information can be a matter of life and death. The visual interpretation of science lies at the heart of Jacqueline Casey’s work for MIT, as charted in Elizabeth Resnick’s article. Richard Hollis’s vivid memoir of David King similarly recalls both the person and their methods. And the stories framing work by Anette Lenz and Studio Sutherl& emphasise the simple humanity of graphic design in the way these small studios work with clients and communities, whether brands, gardens, venues or festivals. The Reputations interview with Mario Eskenazi, whose client relationships often span decades, implies that design is also about friendship. This warm and lively interview is sadly the last piece filed by our dear friend, Eye’s assistant editor Sarah Snaith, who died suddenly and unexpectedly last August. We all miss her in ways that words cannot express.