The visual credit crisis

Earlier this week I posted the following in my Facebook status:

    Paul Nielsen :: Realizing I have an eye (and degree) for design, but just don’t fit into the graphic designer’s culture.

Basically, I’ve realized this year, again, that I just don’t share the interests and passions of most serious graphic designers. I don’t look forward to new software; I don’t rant passionately against spec work like a lot of professional graphics people seem to. I have more of a marketing mind now (for good or ill) and realize that the job of a logo isn’t so much to grab attention — and professional accolades — as it is to create a brand. And, like two friends who commented on the Facebook status, I’d rather be getting my hands dirty than sitting in front of a computer all day (although half a day is OK).

That said, however, I’m still acutely aware of the surrounding visual environment, and appreciate good design when I see it. FlowingData posted a significant montage of good graphics related to the current economic crisis earlier this week, 27 visualizations to be exact. The one I appreciated most was the only video in the group.


The video, created by graduate student Jonathan Jarvis, above is the first of two parts posted on YouTube. See the full-length video on Vimeo here (YouTube limits videos to less than 10 minutes, and I can’t embed the Vimeo video because I don’t yet self-host The Aesthetic Elevator.). I also quite liked the following poster, if it can be called that, by Jess Bachman.


Click on the image to see the entire visualization. Bachman’s own website is called WallStats.


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

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