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Catherine Mulbrandon
Founder Catherine Mulbrandon seeks to expand her's website and create Illustrated Guides that contain infographic explainers using economic data that help journalists, teachers, students, financial bloggers and citizens understand economic numbers and policy. The NMWE award supplements $14,000 raised on Kickstarter.

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Project Blog: Visualizing Economics

Symbolia, headed by Erin Polgreen, strives to be the ideal place to foster the growth of comics journalism, engaging a new generation of news consumers in a way that is exciting and accessible. Symbolia will mesh first-person reports, infographics and comics by pairing reporters and comics artists. Regular alerts via Twitter and e-newsletters will keep Symbolia on a bi-monthly schedule.

Small Steps Forward

Thursday, August 02, 2012

There were many small steps forward with one step back this month. With this project, I have also taken on the role of designer as author, which means the design of the physical presentation is in my hands as well as the content that goes into it. So, I am working on the parts of the Illustrated Guide to Income that help place the data graphics in context, i.e. the cover, table of contents, bibliography, and finally the commentary.

I have tried to write the commentary several times but keep stopping as I struggled to find the right voice. While I never intended to write essays for this project, I was certain that I needed to "talk" to the reader as they browsed though the Guide about what I found interesting. I also thought I needed to provide definitions and background information that would work like guide posts helping people from getting lost but not getting in the way if they explore on their own. What was especially helpful for me as I tried to figure out what was working in the Guide was to sit down with a friend for an afternoon and get her feedback as she looked at it with fresh eyes for the first time. Since she is an information designer too, she gave me feedback on design of the book itself.

As for the setback, I planned to tackle the redesign of my blog by switching to Squarespace to leverage its well-designed templates and flexibility. But I need to import the old posts from WordPress, and I have "found" a bug in their import system. It remains to be seen if I can come up with a fix that is not too painful for me to implement. However, I still hope to have the site up this fall to support the public launch of the Income Guide.

   • Posted by Catherine Mulbrandon on 08/02 at 12:21 PM

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