> NOTES from Reasons To … conference Brighton, 2016

In Sept 2016 I attended the Reasons To ... conference in Brighton, UK. Read more about the conference here During the 3 days I jotted notes, ideas and references into a large Moleskine. Worried my notes may make less sense over time, In've transcribed them below. Enjoy. Key person to find / follow etc.  book/ article wikipedia link  something to search  random notes  my thoughts / questions  Image / photo reference  website link  music / band  Action Read more [...]

First month in Brighton

  It's been a month since I moved to Brighton from Birmingham. I know the city well, having gone to the University of Sussex back in the mid-90s. However, I've never had a 'proper' job here, so I was keen to jump into the creative / freelance world as soon as possible. Co-working space Joining the Skiff was a great decision. It's know for being one of the cooler and more social co-working spaces (and also one of the more expensive) but it's been well worth it. I pay £99 Read more [...]

Studio Diary: 20 Apr 2016 – new ideas and girlpunks music

 20 April 2016 06:00am My desk Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham Listening to: Aphex Twin - On Spotify - Discover weekly Playlist Whip It Soundtrack   Quick update today - half day in the office finishing off a project then heading home (for a change of scenery) to work on some admit bits and pieces.   Arts research Final day of work on this mapping project, which has turned into a bit of a report layout job. This has led me to consider offering layout as an additional Read more [...]

Studio Diary: 19 Apr 2016 – Levellers, text-wrangling and hi-res images

 19 April 2016 10:45am My desk Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham Levellers, Levelling the Land Amorphous Androgynous     I'm working on a couple of fairly straightforward infographic projects today. I prefer to have several projects on the go at a time - it means I always have something to work on, even if some are with clients for review.   Arts report I'm creating 5 A4 graphics to be inserted into a Word report. These 5 pages are made up of stylised maps (of a town, Read more [...]

Infographics training at the Press Association

I'm back at the Press Association delivering an infographics one-day session in May. If your organisation is looking to improve your infographics then this is the course for you. I've received excellent feedback, and with only 6 attendees, there's plenty of opportunity to ask questions about your organisations specific needs. The course combines hands-on training, discussion and group work.   Find out more about the course, and book your place, here Read more [...]

Why I’m loving …. Momentum app

I was tipped off about the Momentum app thanks to the weekly email from Tim Ferris. It's works of a very basic principle - guilt. Install and when you open a new tab in Chrome (presumably to waste time noodling around on Facebook) a full page picture appears asking for your name, email and "What is your main focus for today?". Complete these simple requests and each time you open a new tab you will see a full screen version of this.   Nice huh? it's a different background Read more [...]

Thank you to …

I know as Brits we don't celebrate Thanksgiving, but it seems as good an opportunity as any to send out some THANKS of my own. I've been running my own business for several years now (after a career change brought on by redundancy from my job in commercial radio) and I still have to pinch myself today when I think about all i have achieved.  Yes, I work hard, yes I've been savvy, but I could not have achieved what I have without the support and kindness of the people I've met along the way. Read more [...]

Hitting walls with a project? Going in circles? Try the Stuck Wheel

There are times in projects when you get completely stuck. You may find yourself going in circles, with a million reasons why you can't continue. These could be the fault of the client, overload of tasks, or a general bad feeling about how it's all progressing. For example you're: waiting for more information from someone else not enjoying the project struggling to understand the clients needs overwhelmed by too many tasks Every way you turn there is another reason NOT to progress, Read more [...]

Need a Tableau dashboard? Here’s the information I need

This post discussed my use of Tableau Software. For more information on Tableau visit the official website I've always used Tableau to quickly get to grips with a new data set and play with different chart types until I come across something effective. I've also created several 'personal' projects using this tool. More recently, I've been talking to several clients about creating Tableau dashboards or interactive infographics for them. These are the questions I ask myself / them at the Read more [...]

My Week – 5-9 May 2014 / big screens, walls and audiences

 Caroline Beavon is a freelance information and infographics designer - get in touch for more details It's been another one of those funny short bank Holiday weeks - but here's a quick summary of what I've been working on in the infographics design world, and training! SCIENCE CAPITAL On Tuesday night I spoke at the Science Capital "Doing Business With Data" event at Millennium Point in Birmingham. The focus of my talk was Presenting Your Big Data, where I was keen to stress Read more [...]

Appearing soon at …

I've had a flurry of invitations to speak in public recently and, as one of my New Years Resolutions was to say 'yes' more, I've agreed to all of them. Over the next 2 months I'll be appearing at the following events - ticket details below, and if you're already going, do say hi! Read more [...]

Bits and Pieces: design-related podcasts

I’m a big fan of podcasts.I’m only sad that I don’t have more time to listen to them (for example, I can’t listen whilst I’m working, just when I’m at home, travelling or driving). I use the Pocket Casts app on my iPhone, which is a very smart, easy to use app and for the past 6 months I’ve been listening to a lot of design-related podcasts – here are my favourites (in no particular order!)

Quick Links:

Adventures in Design (website)(iTunes) Format: 3 presenters with chat, occasional Read more [...]

5 Things I Discovered at Cheltenham Design Festival

Recently I visited the Cheltenham Design Festival as part of my ongoing education into art and design. The structure of the day meant attendees had to choose between a selection of great workshops and presentations and I found the day incredibly interesting and inspiring. Here are the top ideas I heard/learnt today: 1. Infographics Are Not Dead Which is just as well! I was starting to get a little nervous. Not only has the infographics world been inundated with tacky, cheap and low-value Read more [...]

UPDATE – courses, quickies and connections

I'm constantly pleased to see the number of organisations thinking about visual communication. Over the last 6 months I've been busy with a series of "Influential Analysis" training courses for Understanding Modern Government, where I have been (hopefully) inspiring people to rethink how they communicate information both internally and externally. Organisations attending the public courses, or booking in-house sessions, include various NHS trusts, Lincolnshire County Council and even Read more [...]

Information Designer for Hire: what to expect

 Caroline Beavon is a freelance information and infographics designer - get in touch for more details Whilst organisations may have had experience working with graphics or branding designers in the past, the process to develop an infographic is very different. Ask any graphics designer who's been asked to convert a 20 page report into an image, and chances are they'll tell you that designing an infographic requires a whole new set of skills. I think of myself as a designer-meets-journalist-meets-number Read more [...]

Work in Progress: The Warriors plot-map

Intro If you follow me on Instagram  you may have seen a picture I posted recently. To most people it would have looked like a random arrangement of squiggles, lines and terrible sketches. In fact it was a draft sketch of the plot of  The Warriors, a film that came out in 1979 (trailer) The plot is set in a slightly-futuristic New York, where gangs in theatrical-costume uniforms roam the streets defending their turf. After being called to an all-gang powwow in the Bronx, the Warriors, Read more [...]

Infographics? Infovisuals? Stop and think

Visual communication is nothing new. Man has been daubing on walls and scratching into rock for centuries. Whether it's “5 Ways to Catch and Skin a Deer” or “The River Styx: Everything You Need to Know”, visual representations of information have been the simplest way to pass information from one person to another. Nowadays, the data explosion has meant there is not only more information to be conveyed, but an increased demand for access and understanding. We want price checks, reviews Read more [...]
5 key elements of a freelance career

5 key elements of a freelance career

I was recently invited to speak to BA students at BCU about enterprise - and specifically, how I managed to forge a freelance career for myself. Having retrained (I used to be a commercial radio journalist) I think there are 5 key areas I focused on to make it PEOPLE People have to be the main focus of your freelancer career - you work alone so you have to generate all your work yourself. Social media is a brilliant tool for finding new contacts and maintaining those relationships. I keep Read more [...]
The Kernel Returns [updated]

The Kernel Returns [updated]

UPDATE Well, blow me down with a feather ...  new look The Kernel is  definitely worth a revisit. I was always put off by the overly-snarky comments (see below) and it appears I wasn't the only one. The  site has managed to shift from vicious bile to playful teasing  - and it works. It's definitely back in my RSS feed - I just hope the many tech power-players they took pot shots at in the past are willing to let bygone be bygones. In terms of content, they are taking full advantage Read more [...]
10 Ways I Stay Productive

10 Ways I Stay Productive

As a freelancer it's very easy to fall into bad habits - working from home, lots of different projects and being my own boss means long days of low productivity, and no clear division between work time and free time. Since I left my "proper" job in 2009 I've been trying a host of ways to get things done - these are the things I've learnt work for me. 1. Find Your Work Hours It's taken me a while but I've found I am super productive early in the morning - irrespective of how tired I am. I had Read more [...]
10 Rules for Using Icons on Infographics

10 Rules for Using Icons on Infographics

  Icons, pictograms, smileys, dingbats - call them what you like - visual language is a fascinating area of design. Yes, varieties of visual language has been used for years, with varying degrees of success, and it's likely that icons will one day be relegated to the "naf bin". For now, thought, there are a range of icons out there that can really spice up your website, infographic or presentation But use with care - here are my 10 tips: Don't use them for the sake of it Use Read more [...]