Via Boingboing, another interesting new project from the chaps at Penguin UK — easily the most classy and innovative big-money publisher that I know of, full of great designs (Fairey on Orwell! Why did no one think of this earlier!?) and new ideas (sometimes combining both at once).
It’s We Tell Stories, a project in which “six authors are telling six stories in ways that are completely original to the web.” To formalist readers like me, this stuff is like candy. Unfortunately, the latest story — “Hard Times” by Matt Mason and Nicholas Felton — is not nearly as impressive as it could be. Mason’s layout seems pretty clearly derivative of Chris Ware, which would be fine except that it’s a dozen times more confusing than anything Ware’s ever done. At least once per page I found myself uncertain whether I was supposed to go down or across, and sometimes I finished the page still uncertain.
More fundamentally, there are much more interesting ways of presenting statistics visually. Especially if you’re trying to be all formalist and groundbreaking. H5’s video for “Remind Me” by Röyksopp remains my favorite piece of infographics-gone-wild. Imagine if all those graphs in the video actually meant something.
“Hard Times” still has some compelling things to say, as in the screen shot above. 86 percent?!