Friday, January 27, 2006

Competing With My Students

In his dual roles as a college arts professor and a graphic design professional, Cloudjammer principal J.D. Jordan often finds himself in the unenviable position of competing with his students for work – defending himself against neighborhood kids who market themselves for $35 and a six-pack. This Newsweek editorial takes a personal look at both sides of a problem in artistic education: the lack of creative business preparation in art colleges and the impact it has on working professionals.

Read "I'm an Artist, But Not the Starving Kind" online at Newsweek's website...

An editorial column by Cloudjammer Studio principal J.D. Jordan was selected from over six-hundred monthly entrants to appear in the September 19, 2005 issue of Newsweek magazine. The editorial, “I'm an Artist, But Not the Starving Kind,” appeared in the MyTurn column and takes a personal look at both sides of a problem in artistic education: the lack of creative business preparation in art colleges and the impact it has on working professionals.

This is the first time any of J.D. Jordan's non-fiction writing has appeared in print on a national level. He has previously been published as the first-place winner in Creative Loafing Atlanta's third annual fiction contest for the short story, “Hope Under My Fingernails.”

“I'm an Artist, But Not the Starving Kind” was written in March of 2005 while J.D. Jordan was teaching freshman-level electronic design and a senior-level web design courses at the Atlanta College of Art. Of his editorial inspiration, J.D. Jordan says, "In my dual roles as a college arts professor and a graphic design professional, I often find myself in the unenviable position of competing with my students for work – defending myself against neighborhood kids who market themselves for $35 and a six-pack. This editorial is an attempt to articulate this crisis of creativity and hopefully to stimulate discussion toward a remedy."

Newsweek is a national and international newsweekly with a worldwide circulation of more than 4 million and a total readership of more than 21 million. Newsweek offers comprehensive coverage of world events with a global network of correspondents, reporters and editors covering national and international affairs, business, science and technology, society, and arts and entertainment and features such notable commentators as Allan Sloan, Anna Quindlen, George Will, and Fareed Zakaria. Newsweek holds more prestigious National Magazine Awards, given by the American Society of Magazine Editors, than any other newsweekly. fb

Thursday, January 5, 2006

Cloudjammer's 2006 Playlist

At Cloudjammer Studio, we keep the music playing all day long – you've probably heard the rhythms behind each phone call to our offices. We beat away the silence with a wide variety of the best music available – from classic tunes by Old Blue Eyes and the great Band Leaders to classic rock and the newest indie, brit rock, and hip hop on the market.

Sample some of the music on the studio's playlist – from perennial favorites to this season's newest additions. If you like what you hear, jump off to iTunes or Amazon and flesh out your own library. Also, don't forget to check out our favorite tracks from last year.

Listen to samples from this issue's playlist

Happy listening! fb

Ben Folds Five "Underground"
from the album "Ben Folds Five"
Buy this song on iTunes | Listen...
A fun musical romp, reminiscent of ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky," that manages to poke fun at indie music while delivering a slick performance.

Caribou "Barnowl"
from the album "The Milk of Human Kindness"
Buy this song on iTunes | Listen...
Dan Snaith, formerly Manitoba, now rebranded as Caribou, delivers a climatic piece that builds from humming to a crescendo of sound.

Gorillaz "Dare"
from the album "Demon Days"
Buy this song on iTunes | Listen...
The animated band is back, blending more hip-hop and brit-pop with this fun track, complete with falsetto vocals and strong beat.

The Go! Team "Huddle Formation (live)
from the album "Thunder, Lighting, Strike"
Buy this song on iTunes | Listen...
This British group's blend of rock, hip-hop, and cheerleading produces a high-energy track guaranteed to get you bangin' on the floor.

Hard-Fi "Cash Machine
from the single for "Cash Machine"
Buy this song on iTunes | Listen...
A weekly iTunes free-download that is sweeping the radiowaves and tearing out our car stereo speakers.

Colin Hay "Overkill"
from the album "Man @ Work"
Buy this song on iTunes | Listen...
The original Men At Work lead man crones beautifully in this acoustic track first encountered on NBC's Scrubs.

Jackson and His Computer Band "Fast Life"
from the album "Smash"
Buy this song on iTunes | Listen...
A layered electronic mixture of female vocals, piano, strong beats and Jackson's computer.

My Morning Jacket "Gideon"
from the album "Z"
Buy this song on iTunes | Listen...
A ghostly, haunting vocal dominates this mesmerizing track by Louisville's latest indie ensemble.

David Newman "Rebuilding Serenity
from the soundtrack to "Serenity"
Buy this song on iTunes | Listen...
The Big Damn Soundtrack isn't just for browncoats – Newman masterfully combines space opera symphonies with wild west flavor.

Shel Silverstein "Front Row Seat to Hear Ole Johnny Sing
from the album "The Best of Shel Silverstein"
Buy this song on iTunes | Listen...
Everyone's favorite child poet and erotic illustrator joins forces with Johnny Cash to perform this surprising bluegrass track.

A Little Light Reading

Truth be told, we do occasionally put down our keyboards and enjoy one of those most ancient of all guilty pleasures: a good book. As we plow through our libraries, we filter out the chafe and bring you the very best titles to curl up with.

So grab a good book, turn on some good music, and enjoy the best form of entertainment available. fb

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
Michael Chabon
Buy this book at

One of the best books we've read in years – Michael Chabon (Wonderboys, McSweeny's) provides us with a refreshing break from the pseudo-screenplays lining up on the best-seller shelves. Set during the golden age of comic books, this thoroughly enjoyable epic follows a pair of Jewish cousins (Sam, a struggling New York storyteller, and Joseph, a Czech refugee / artist) and their comic book creations. Chabon's brilliant prose delightfully illustrates both the cousin's comic book creations and their turbulent mid-century lives. From the smuggling of Joseph out of Nazi occupied Europe with the Golem of Prague to Sam's frantic campaign to make his comic book dreams a reality with the Escapist, the novel's narrative is as well illuminated as the comics the protagonists create. In a most unusual turn of publishing fate, no less, the novel has since spawned a series of comic books based on the character's creations.

The Keys of Egypt
Lesley Adkins, Roy Adkins
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The Adkins' biography of Jean-François Champollion, the 18th century french linguist who cracked the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic language, reads at times like a novel, at times like a proper history. The biography ranges from Champollion's personal obsession with Egyptian language to the encompassing multi-national race to translation, Napoleonic wars, revolutionary regimes, and academic intrigues. In one of the more curious twists of the hieroglyphic quest, this biography follows Champollion as he begins his ancient studies in an effort to prove biblical chronology and, by the success of decipherment, reveals the history of a civilization predating Judeo/Christian history. The climax of the biography is a narrative of Champollion's cathartic trip to Egypt where he became the first man, of any nationality or faith, to read the record of the ancient Egyptians in thousands of years. The Adkins' work is an interesting biography of the man who fundamentally created the discipline of Egyptology and the modern understanding of hieroglyphs.

Land O'Goshen
Charles McNair
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Charles McNair delivers an energetic first novel that walks the fine line between classic southern literature, science fiction allegory, and classic horror monster fantasy. This Pulitzer Prize-nominated novel is set in a vaguely futuristic Alabama rent by theocratic civil war. McNair's lively prose beautifully describes the exploits of 14-year-old orphan Buddy and his primeval cohort, the costume Sack, as they terrorize the countryside and the town of Goshen in their aggregate alter-ego "Wild Thang." Buddy's world is sometimes hopelessly cruel and bleak but a hopeful streak persists and Buddy's adolescent relationship with another young castaway, Cissy, evolves. In his wonderful use of voice and dialect to illustrate Buddy's shattered world, we were oft reminded of Faulkner and Twain; in his use of real-world and believable settings with a subtle, futuristic bent, we were oft reminded of Bradbury.

Gregory Maguire
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Gregory Maguire delivers a colorful and fun telling of the life and times of L. Frank Baum's classic Ozian, the Wicked Witch of the West. Born with green skin and huge teeth, like a dragon, the free-spirited Elphaba grows up to be an anti-totalitarian agitator, an animal-rights activist, a nun, a nurse, and, ultimately, the headstrong Wicked Witch of the West in the land of Oz. Maguire's Oz is something of a perversion of Baum's classic world (at least as depicted in Richard Thorpe's 1939 film). The corrupt and cruel Wizard, an import by hot air balloon from our world, is an autocrat bent on genocide against the talking animals. Meanwhile, the Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, and an unknown species called a "Dorothy" make only brief sorties into a story otherwise dominated by the green-skinned witch – a character much more complicated and interesting that suspected from our film-familiarity. A great book for satire, an even livelier fantasy.

"I'll Never Go Fishing Again!"

Take a closer look at Amy, the thresher shark, and the party that caught herI recently found myself in a most unexpected situation. I stood under a dockside crane, my shoes gripping the concrete quay through pooled blood, posing with four college friends under the scrutiny of half-a-dozen cameras and three massive game wardens. I was sweaty, tired, hungry, plastered with sunblock, and, most of all, elated. To the sound of camera clicks, diesel outboards, and the snapping kill-flag flying off the docked boat’s yardarm I hung my arm over the dorsal fin of a shark almost twice my size and smiled.

I had never participated in the death of any sizable creature before. As a kid I had once taken a pot shot at a squirrel with a bb gun, and, of course I’ve doomed my fair share of insects and arachnids. Despite four prior fishing trips, I had caught neither fish nor crustacean. The closest I’d ever come to a successful hunt was when I witnessed a friend of mine catch crabs in a trap (a scant few crabs, in fact, compared to the cost of the chicken used to lure them).

So when I was recently invited to go deep-sea fishing as part of a college friend’s bachelor weekend in Delaware, I was skeptical that I’d see anything caught except for a hangover.

We set out from the Indian River inlet around six in the morning aboard the #1 Hooker, the five of us led out to sea by a middle-aged captain and his senior first mate. For six hours we motored and dragged lines through the captain’s favored fishing areas. We passed over and around shipwrecks, undersea hilltops, and deep trenches. But nothing disturbed our lines. Once a line snapped, pulled free of its pins on the portside and we jumped to attention. Kelp was our disappointing prey.

Then, about thirty minutes before it was time to turn back – silent and empty-handed – a line snapped. I was watching the sonar at the time, looking for the infrequent green, yellow, and red reflections of fish beneath the boat. Not a single blip showed for 100 feet down on the small back screen,

But the line had snapped. I feared a repeat of our earlier false alarm – a fear quickly abated. We amateur fishermen jumped out of our torpor as quickly as the line had snapped off the yardarm. The celebrated weekend’s bachelor was pushed into the reelman’s chair while the first mate pulled the fishing rod from its mount, ramming it into the waiting cradle mounted between the bachelor’s thighs.

The captain was immediately relived, suggesting we had finally caught the bluefish we’d come out hunting for. But the line was pulling fast, the bachelor struggling to keep it taut – struggling even more to reel it in, foot by difficult foot. The first mate nodded at the captain and us, smiling through yellow teeth. “It’s no bluefish,” he said. “It’s a thresher.”

The level of excitement on board the small boat flared. We’d hooked a shark. The first mate coached the bachelor, showing him how to reel the fish in as the boat chased it backwards and how to pull the rod before letting it fall, reeling in the meager slack. He reeled and pulled, straining his arms but unwilling to give up the chair. The fishing line we were using was too weak to haul the shark in by brute force, and several times the shark gained the upper hand, overwhelming the tension in the reel and dragging line outward to gain distance.

It was twenty minutes into the fight before the fish showed itself. Its blue and silver iridescent back showed through the crest of a nearby wave, the dorsal fin barley breaking the surface. The captain yelled down from the bridge, warning us the watch of for its tail – the thresher shark’s primary weapon. But in another instant that fear, too, was abated. Our lure, an eight-inch metal fish coated in barbs, was hooked through the shark’s long and dangerous tail.

I’d never seen a shark outside of an aquarium. Nor had I ever been out of sight of land before. The first mate took one look at that shark and sent me below deck to do something else I’d never done. I returned from the bow compartment with the shotgun.

Another fifteen minutes went by before the exhausted shark was brought against the stern boards. Several times we thought we’d lost the fish, as it dove straight down, forcing the bachelor out of his chair and against the stern rails. But now, as the shark rolled onto its back, motionless within arm’s reach of the outboards, the first mate, one of my friends, and I reached out with long barbed gaffs and hooked the fish’s shinning, heavy body.

With three hooks plunged into its flesh, the first mate shot the shark in the head. But twenty minutes later, as we prepared to pull the fish on board, the tail began to move. Another shot from the first mate, this time inside the shark’s mouth, insured us its death. While the victorious bachelor massaged his throbbing arm – tight from the prolonged fight – I helped haul the shark over the side of the boat and onto the deck. The entire process, from capture on the line to tie-down onboard, lasted slightly more than one hour.

For some time, we sat around the long fish, blood slipping out its open mouth and down fiberglass channels into the ocean. Its head was nearly pressed into a corner of the open aft, the tail so long it curled menacingly toward the reelman’s chair that had helped the bachelor defeat it. We toasted the shark, and ourselves, and joked about how exaggerated this tale of amateur maritime adventure would become before we returned to our disparate homes. 10 feet? It would be 20 by the time we met again for the wedding.

We would later discover that the thresher shark we caught that afternoon, 28 miles off Ocean City, Maryland – whom we lovingly named Amy, in honor of the bride-to-be – measured 10’5” from nose to tail and weighed 166.2 pounds. Upon our return to the marina, the cleaning crew was able to recover over 70 pounds of 3/4 inch shark steak and an impressive jaw from its body.

Why do I relate this story through such an open medium? To make a practical point about the value of game hunting and male bonding over bloodshed? To make a metaphysical point about the nature of manhood and the existential quality of the hunt? Hardly. That hot mid-Atlantic afternoon, hunkered down with suntan lotion and Dramamine we were prepared to go home empty handed. We were prepared for a return to the marina with an empty boat – with no flag of victory flying from the yardarm.

Some of us, myself and the bachelor included, had never caught a fish before. None of our ensemble had ever caught one this large, or impressive. It was a first for all of us. The bachelor alone at the reel could never have defeated the shark, nor could the others and I alone have wrestled it into the boat. Whatever the individual task – reeling, gaffing, piloting, shooting, tying, photographing – for an hour on the open sea five friends, who saw each other less and less as the years went by, had acted as one organism. Despite the measures of distance and time that have separated us – despite the clumsy silences and infrequent communications that remind us of this distance – we quickly gelled again and worked together as seamlessly as if we’d never missed a beat in each other’s company.

The bachelor and I joked about never fishing again – with such a fortuitous catch at the outset of our fishing careers, our next catch could only bring disappointment.

We are older. We live in different cities. We have wives and careers and separate groups of friends. But we have shared memories that keep us together – old and new.

Thanks to Amy. fb

Cursing Like A Sailor In Primetime

Leave it to two science fiction outlets to break down another barrier – profanity in primetime.

Four decades ago, Star Trek broke the race barrier with TV's first interracial kiss, in brazen defiance of network censors. Now SciFi Channel's original series Battlestar Galactica (a re-imagining of the campy 1970's cult phenomenon) and Joss Whedon's feature film, Serenity (the resurrection of the short-lived Fox series Firefly) have ever so discretely pushed past draconian FCC censors by cursing like sailors, openly and frequently – unintelligibly.

Both franchises feature prolific vulgarity disguised cleverly through the use of alien colloquialisms and Chinese dialects.

Battlestar Galactica's intense, embattled Colonials use a number of amusing alien swear words as substitute for the harsher curses employed by their real-world military analogues. The original 1970's version of the Battlestar franchise preferred the gratuitously syllabic "feldercarb." But the modern series makes much more profitable use of the simple alien expletive "frak."

And despite the replacement, there can be no misunderstanding of the word's intended meaning. Like it's English counterpart, "frak" has a variety of different meanings and uses. It has been used in series dialogue to describe sexual relations, "You know what? I don't care who or what he fraks"; as a pejorative, "Frak you"; as a component of various compound words, "Talk to me, you motherfrakker!"; as an adjective, "Does anybody else think that this plan is frakking nuts?"; to express agreement, "Frakkin' Eh"; and, of course, to express shock or surprise, "Oh, frak me!"

Despite the current series' love affair with "frak", it was only used once on Galactica's maiden voyage in 1978 –filthy "feldercarb" was uttered twice.

Joss Whedon's Serenity and Firefly , each incarnations of the same science fiction concept (henceforth simply referred to as Firefly), dodge the same vulgar bullet without devolving into alien etymology. With rare exception, Firefly's pirate crew take advantage of the multi-cultural nature of the universe and curse, sometimes in lengthy fashion, in Mandarin Chinese.

Firefly's uses of Chinese are many and varied, ranging from words or phrases that closely approximate English language vulgarity – such as "Ta ma duh!" which means "Frack me blind!"* – to those with no such analogue – "gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se" meaning, "engage in a feces hurling contest with a monkey." And while the Firefly actors's pronunciation is, according to Fight.Boredom's resident Mandarin linguist, passable but not precise, the meaning of these Chinese replacements is rarely unclear.

Firefly's most frequent expletive, "gorram" (as in, "Did the Primary Buffer Panel just fall off my gorram ship for no apparent reason?") is the exception to this Mandarin trend. "Gorram" has no Chinese meaning but is used to approximate the English expletive, "god damn," expressing extreme displeasure, anger, or surprise.

What is the lesson here? It's not that primetime programming can, or should, use frequent cursing to liven up their dialogue. It is, rather, that a little bit of imagination and wit can alleviate the need. That it is two science fiction shows that have pressed the envelope of primetime vulgarity in such an inventive way is not surprising – their medium allows greater leeway in regards to the acceptable use of language, real or imaginary.

And if you remain unconvinced, that this kind of linguistic replacement can achieve the desired expletive affect, then queue up Battlestar Galactica on your TiVo and rent Serenity – you'll be surprised, as we were, what a little creative cursing can do.

"DONG-luh-MAH?" Ni cho lyen, yo mei yo?"
** I frakkin' hope so. fb

*Like this clever tie-in? We like being clever.
**"Are we clear here?" Redux

There is something cool going on at

In November of 2005, Delta Airlines launched a redesigned interface and services package for, the primary Web portal for Delta ticketing and other customer services. This new site, the first major Web update since 2000, has streamlined features, including a closer focus on core consumer services such as booking trips, checking flight information, viewing itineraries, and monitoring frequent-flier miles. The site is also backed by an extensive ad campaign that includes print, outdoor, television, and online components.

According to Delta, the redesign is part of CEO Gerald Grinstein's strategy plan to bring the airline back from the brink of bankruptcy. The troubled airline hopes to cut costs by luring more travelers to its website and away from its telephone reservation lines. The phone reservation process typically costs US air carriers $8 to $10 reservation – online bookings usually cost less than a dollar.

"There are significant savings associated with getting people on It is a core part of our transformation strategy," chief marketing officer Paul Matsen said. "We're investing money today because long term there is a savings associated with customers booking online."

But what we at Fight.Boredom found so striking was not Delta's revised booking strategy, nor their new and streamlined features – admittedly, an improvement long overdue in light of Orbitz and Expedia's interface superiority. Indeed, it's's ambitious and, for a corporate design outlet, brave use of imagery and limited content real estate.

The homepage's employment of a single large square image to frame the entire layout, combined with a stylized and conscientious use of limited text and an interactive booking interface is reminiscent of a recent trend on online design which takes advantage of higher user bandwidth speeds to create richer online experiences. The result is a design that looks and feels more like a print design – and, subsequently, ties in more easily with printed media – while still taking advantage of web-specific interactivity.

And if recent usability studies are accurate – indicating that users prefer simpler, more stylized and user-friendly web designs, especially on website homepages – then perhaps can make a difference in converting phone-customers into online-customers.

As of the new website's launch, 24% of Delta's customers purchased tickets on By the end of 2005, Atlanta-based Delta expected that percentage to grow to 28% – slightly more than 10 million tickets. The company's goal is to sell 45% of its tickets online through by 2007.

The new site launches as more customers migrate online for their travel needs. In 2005, $38.5 billion in leisure tickets were bought online, rising to $43.8 billion in 2006. An estimate 53% of American travelers make travel-related purchases online. fb

Historical Information Design

View Minard's classic map of Napoleon's disaterous invasion of RussiaView Minard's companion map, of Hannibal's Alpine crossingView Quennevat's map and compare it to Minard's more sophisticated thematic maps.A Thematic Map is not a general map; a general map locates geographic features – mountains, rivers, towns – regardless of their function, for the purpose of observing their relative spatial relationships. The thematic map concentrates on showing geographic phenomena in the context of a narrative theme or themes – the number of possible themes being virtually unlimited, encompassing nearly every possible discipline from the social and economic worlds, geology and religion, population and disease. This genre of information graphic, which first appeared in geological maps in the 1770’s, enhances the effectiveness of the time-series graphic by adding spatial proportions, either in two or three dimensions.

Charles Joseph Minard provides us with the classic model of a thematic map used to describe historical scenarios. His 1869 maps of Napoleon’s 1812AD Russian campaign and Hannibal’s 218BC crossing of the Alps not only dramatically depict their relative subjects visually, but also introduce a variety of graphic methods for future authors of visual texts.

With his Napoleon map, Figurative map of the successive losses in men of the French Army in the Russian Campaign 1812-1813, Minard attempted to graphically demonstrate the devastating loss of life suffered by Napoleon’s Grand Army during its Russian Campaign of 1812, a human catastrophe that he felt was poorly communicated textually. Indeed, as the Franco-Prussian war loomed over 1860’s France, it should be considered that Minard’s message was not just one of historical import, but a contemporary humanistic, anti-war message as well.

The graphic methods Minard employs to portray Napoleon’s Russian campaign are simple, elegant, and descriptive. In the Napoleon map six levels of historical information are being described in one powerful design – geography, time, temperature, the course and direction of the army’s movement, and the quantity of troops remaining with Napoleon’s force. The method Minard uses to demonstrate the diminishing human quantity – gold and black paths, their widths relative to the size of the army at a rate of one millimeter to every 10,000 men – is shown in direct relationship to flanking movements, the crossing of rivers, battles for particular cities and, on the return course, a time series graph of the plummeting temperatures of the Russian winter. This combination of multivariate data creates a visual narrative describing how the 422,000-man French force set out from Poland in 1812, crossing the Polish-Russian border near the Niemen River, dwindled to 100,000 men by the time it arrived at a deserted Moscow. Through battle, attrition, natural frontier, and the harsh calamity of the Russia winter, Napoleon’s Grand Army was so rapidly and completely decimated that by the time it returned in 1813 only 10,000 men remained.

Certainly, the loss of life Minard depicts was not unknown to his contemporaries. But it may have been underappreciated. A look at Minard’s sources for this map reveals numerous sources that, while quantitative and honest, are comparatively ineffective in stressing the totality of the disaster. Minard’s visual text, on the other hand, was appreciated for its visual and humanistic effectiveness both by contemporary and modern critics: Étienne-Jules Marey said that Minard’s Napoleon map “def[ied] the pen of the historian by its brutal eloquence” and Edward Tufte described it as what “may well be the best statistical graphic ever drawn.”

But Minard’s Napoleon map is even more striking when compared to two analogues: A modern, more conventional depiction of Napoleon’s campaign and Minard’s own supplemental map of Hannibal’s march across the Alps.

In Jean Claude Quennevat’s Atlas de la Grande Armée, the Russian campaign is depicted with an almost identical geographic scale but without any of the narrative quality. While such a map is routine in military histories, it lacks the thematic quality necessary to define it as a visual text – no relationships or arguments are proposed, no hypotheses tested. The percipient is left with no appreciation of the loss of human life or of the impact of weather and geography on the army’s retreat. Only the mundane details of movement and siege are overlaid upon the map. Compared to Minard’s depiction of this same campaign, Quennevat’s graphic is an empty chart.

However, by comparison to the Napoleon map’s companion, Figurative map of the successive losses in men of the army that Hannibal drove through Spain into Italy by crossing Gaul, the French disaster is more vividly described and Minard’s graphic methodology justified.

In his Hannibal map, the diminishing-width visualization method is used again, this time to depict the attrition of Hannibal’s 92,000-man force as it passed through Spain, Gaul, and Italy. Whereas the Napoleon map sought to demonstrate the enormous cost of lives as a result of the Russian winter, here the percipient can easily witness the cost in lives as Hannibal’s force is reduced from 46,000 to 26,000 over the course of its 14-day transmission of the Alps. But the Hannibal map’s argument, by itself, is a weaker one. Based on the extant works of Polybius and Larauza’s Histoire critique du passages des Alpes par Annibal, its argument is less dramatic and relies on its sources with less analysis. For instance, Minard makes no “opinion on the point where Hannibal crossed the Alps … adopt[ing] that from Larauza without claiming to justify it.” But when viewed together with the Napoleon map – as the Hannibal map was originally printed – and by juxtaposing the underappreciated French disaster with the famous Carthaginian one, the Hannibal map reinforces the dramatic losses of the French Army.

In both of Minard’s visual texts, the percipient benefits from his graphic philosophy: that “the dominating principle which had characterized his graphic tables and figurative maps was the immediate appreciation by the eyes of the proportions of the numerical results.” These techniques – specifically the use of colored bands to proportionally represent the population of a migrant force over time and distance – are a uniquely French thematic innovation and have been rarely imitated since Minard’s successful use of them in his Napoleon and Hannibal maps. Perhaps this lack of imitation is a result of the technique’s inherent geographic inaccuracy – though geographic precision was not Minard’s principal objective. The oversimplified geographic presentation of eastern Russia is also problematic. So few geographic details are present that many percipients unfamiliar with the region might lack clear understanding. The Hannibal map, by comparison, does an excellent job orienting the percipient both in terms of geography and compass direction.

This is not a repetition of the cliché, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” but instead a reminder that sometimes a thousand words are too many and, too often, unnecessary. fb

Cloudjammer In Logo Lounge 2

View Cloudjammer's View Kennesaw State University's Center for Hispanic Study's Cloudjammer Studio, a Roswell-based full-service interactive communications firm, recently had two of its trademark/logo designs included in the book Logo Lounge 2: 2,000 International Identities by Leading Designers, by Bill Gardner and Catharine Fishel, published by Rockport Publishers.

The included designs were those of Cloudjammer Studio, itself, and Kennesaw State University's Center for Hispanic Studies.

Logo Lounge 2: 2,000 International Identities by Leading Designers profiles several noteworthy identity projects by leading designers for a variety of clients in industries ranging from airlines, networks, dot-coms, banks, and fashion. The book also takes a look at several lesser-known boutique projects in which the designer's name is larger than the client's. The first portion of the book profiles ten top designers and spotlights their biggest, newest campaigns. A handful of their smaller projects are also featured, including some that have never before been published, online or in print. The second half of the book contains almost 2,000 logos organized by client type and design theme – this section includes designs by Cloudjammer Studio.

The book is an extension of, a resource for logo and identity designers on the web. At, designers can find thousands of logos for study and inspiration including designs from leading agencies as well as from talented up-and-comers. Over a dozen Cloudjammer Studio designs are included in this database.

The authors include Catharine Fishel of Catharine & Sons, a full-service editorial company that specializes in working with designers and related industries. She frequently writes for Step-by-Step Graphics, PRINT, ID magazine, DesignNet, and other trade publications. She is the author of Designing for Children, Minimal Graphic, and Paper Graphics. Catharine lives in Morton, Illinois.
Bill Gardner is president of Gardner Design and has produced work for Learjet, Thermos, Nissan, Pepsi, Pizza Hut, Coleman Outdoor, Excel, Cargill Corporation, and the 2004 Athens Olympics, His work has been featured in many national and international design exhibitions, including Communication Arts, PRINT, Graphis, and the Museum of Modern Art. fb