"Well-designed figures can illustrate complex concepts and patterns that may be
difficult to express concisely in words. Figures that are clear, concise and attractive are effective–they form a strong connection with the reader and communicate with immediacy. These qualities can be achieved by employing principles of graphic design, which are based on our understanding of how we perceive, interpret and organize visual information.
Do images and graphics possess the same qualities as the spoken or written word? Can they be concise and articulate? Are there rules and guidelines for visual vocabulary and grammar? How can we focus the viewer’s attention to emphasize a point? Can we modulate the tone and volume of visual communication? These and other questions are broadly addressed through design, which is the conscious application of visual and organizational principles to communication. All of us have already been schooled in ‘written design’ (grammar) and most of us have had some experience with ‘verbal design’ (public speaking) but relatively few have had training in ‘visual design’ (information design and visualization).
This talk distills core concepts of information design into practical guidelines for
creating scientific figures. Using works submitted by students and colleagues, I will show you my process of designing and redesigning figures to help you with visualizing and communication information for your posters and publications."
Dr. Martin Krzywinski
Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4S6, Canada