Highlights From New York Times‘ Science Graphics Editor Jonathan Corum’s Keynote Address At Tapestry Conference

A breakdown of Tapestry Conference attendees, compiled by Ellie Fields.

NASHVILLE — A group of 100 journalists, academics, software developers, business leaders, designers, non-profits and government representatives are gathered at a hotel in Tennessee this morning to talk about weaving stories and data in the first-ever Tapestry Conference.

Jonathan Corum, graphics editor at the New York Times, opened the conference with a keynote about how he finds stories in data. More about Jonathan:

Jonathan Corum is the science graphics editor at The New York Times. His print graphics have won 15 awards from the Society for News Design and 8 medals from the international Malofiej competition. In 2009 the Times graphics desk received a National Design Award for communication design.

He talked about narrative, exploration, editing, audience and more. Here are the best tweets from his keynote address (after the jump).

Some of the key takeaways:

  • Focus on the story, not technique. (source)
  • Design for other people, not yourself. You know the story already and you’re trying to explain to people who don’t. When Corum designs a graphic, he has three types of readers in mind: a high school science student, a commuter and his grandmother. Graphics have to make sense for all three.
  • Respect the reader. Help them through the story. Allow for multiple entry points. (source)
  • Visualization is not explanation. You have to include annotation and other storytelling mechanisms to guide your audience through the information.

The conference is sponsored by IRE and Tableau Software.