Sunday, November 24, 2013

Minimalist Graphic Design vs. Scientist & Innovators

There are a surprising number of graphic designers and typographers who have riffed on the themes of scientists and the history of science, and there are a large variety of minimalist images for your favorite scientists, mathematicians and their work.

Consider Amorphia Apparel's collections Monsters of Grok, "rock band style t-shirts to celebrate the world's great thinkers" and Hirsute History, "the giants of history, illustrated by their hair", both of which are replete with scientists. I like their captions too, especially for the subset of Badass Women of Science released for Ada Lovelace Day.

Emmy Noether
In the style of Depeche Mode
Mathemetician Emmy Noether was so hardcore I can't even wrap my feeble brain around her accomplishments in the field of abstract algebra, theoretical physics, field theory, ring theory and so on. So I'll have to rely on the good word of Albert Einstein who called her "the most significant and creative female mathematician of all time." She's even got her own theorem, yo, "Noether's Theorem" which explains the relationship between symmetries and conservation laws.

Emilie du Chatelet
In the style of Death Cab For Cutie
Emilie du Chatelet knew a thing or two about a thing or two. During the Age of Enlightenment she was standing toe to toe with her male counterparts in the realms of physics and math. She put forth a new understanding on the nature of light, and predicted the existence of infrared radiation, helped prove that kinetic energy was indistinct from momentum (suck it, Isaac Newton), and invented the idea of financial derivatives. In the words of her boy-toy Voltaire, she was "a great man whose only fault was being a woman" uhhhhhhh, thanks?

In the style of Husker Du
Philosopher, Astronomer, and History's first well documented woman in the field of mathematics, Hypatia of Alexandria was kicking ass in the age of togas and sandals. (Reportedly) murdered by a Christian mob, she has alternately been cast as "a most beautiful, most vertuous, most learned, and every way accomplish'd Lady" by fans and a "a most Impudent School-Mistress of Alexandria" by haters.  

Ada Lovelace, Mathemetician and Programmer, Hirsute History
Tycho Brahe, Astronomer, Hirsute History

Or, consider these minimalist math posters by graphic designer Hydrogene.

Pythagoras by Hydrogene - the image neatly summarizes the theory we all recall from high school: the square of the hypotenus of a right angled triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides.
Gauss by Hydrogene - the image shows a Gaussian distribution of course

Euler by Hydrogene - the image illustrates Euler's formula

Minimal Posters - Six Women Who Changed Science. And The World. Marie Curie's image illustrates an (old-fashioned) image of Radium, the radioactive element she first isolated, Rachel Carson's image illustrates a ban on DDT based on her pioneering environmental science, Sally Ride is of course shown as an astronaut, pioneering computer programmer and developer of the first compiler of a computer language, Grace Hopper, is also attributed with coining the term 'debugging' based on an actual moth removed from a computer, biophysicist Rosalind Franklin's x-ray crystallography was what allowed Watson and  Crick to deduce DNA's double helix structure, and Jane Goodall is illustrated by a great ape for her revolutionary primate studies
(Source: hydrogeneportfolio)
Kapil Bhagat has cleverly used typography alone to illustrate  scientists and their most fundamental contributions.

Kapil Bhagat's Newton succinctly references his Law of Universal Gravitation and alludes to the (probably apocryphal) story of the falling apple as inspiration

Kapil Bhagat's Einstein incorporates his most famous equation by literally replacing E (for energy) with mc2 (for mass times the square of the speed of light)

Kapil Bhagat's Copernicus shows his heliocentric model of our solar system with C as orbit, yellow o as sun and the little blue dot on the i as Earth.

Kapil Bhagat's pioneering chemist Lavoisier is illustrated with 'oi' as one of his glass vessels

Selman Hoşgör, Wilhelm Rontgen, who discovered x-rays

Selman Hoşgör's Emile Berliner, who invented the gramaphone

Selman Hoşgör's Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone

Bruce Seaton, of Seatonworks has a series of minimalist scientists in two colours.

Bruce Seaton, of Seatonworks, Louis Pasteur

Bruce Seaton, of Seatonworks, Oppenheimer

Bruce Seaton, of Seatonworks, Marie Curie 

I love these Saints of Science by Steven P Hughes which hint at their astronomical work.

Steven P Hughes Stephen Hawking (whose halo looks like a blackhole)

Steven P Hughes, Neil Degrasse Tyson (whose shadows look like outer space).

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