Jen Christiansen is the author of Building Science Graphics: An Illustrated Guide to Communicating Science through Diagrams and Visualizations (CRC Press) and senior graphics editor at Scientific American, where she art directs and produces illustrated explanatory diagrams and data visualizations.

Episode Notes

Jen | Web | Book | Book site

Scientific American


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Welcome back to the PolicyViz podcast. I am your host, Jon Schwabish. On this week’s episode of the show, I am so excited to be joined by Jen Christiansen from Scientific American. Jen has a fantastic new book Building Science Graphics that will help anyone who’s working with data, and particularly scientists, do a better job, presenting their information, creating graphics, telling stories with their data and with their science. And what’s really, I think, fabulous about this book is she kind of walks you through the process of creating better visualizations. So it’s not sort of your basic DataViz 101 type book, but gets you into the process of creating more in-depth and better graphics; I mean, really, at the end of the day, that’s really what this book is about. So it’s a really interesting book, Jen and I have a great conversation, and so, here’s this week’s episode of the PolicyViz podcast with Jen Christiansen, author of the new book, Building Science Graphics. 

Jon Schwabish: Hi, Jen, so good to see you. 

Jen Christiansen: Hello. Thanks for having me back. 

JS: It’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other, right, since the pandemic?

JC: Yes. 

JS: Well, it’s great to see you. Congrats on this new book, Building Science Graphics, very exciting. How long did this take you to pull together? 

JC: Oh gosh, let’s see, the first email from Alberto Cairo, my editor, one of my coeditors on the piece was February two years ago. So that’s when he reached out to see if I’d ever thought about writing a book, and so, that kind of kicked off the proposal process. Well, a lot of the content had been pulled together from various talks I’ve given over time, and blog posts and things, so I wasn’t completely starting from scratch. I kind of had a general idea of a few major themes I wanted to discuss. 

JS: Right. But as I’m sure, like, I’ve had that too where I’m like, oh, I’ve got this all written down, it’s all in my head, I just got to get it into book form, like, yeah, no problem. But that’s where the rubber hits the road, and I want to talk to you about this a little bit in a bit, but, like, the design of the book is quite unique as well; and I want to talk about the layout, how you actually went through the whole process of building it. But before we get there, I want to just ask like a general, this is like a meta-Jen Christiansen question, which is like, what do you find special about science graphics. 

JC: Well, first of all, I think science graphics – I think this is important to state upfront – science graphics are beholden to the same best practices and design principles as graphics that communicate nonscientific information. So I don’t think they’re exempt from a lot of, you know, the design best practices, but I think it’s fair to say that they may deal with some challenges more routinely than graphics about other subject matter, things like communicating complexity, visualizing uncertainty, and combating misinformation. I mean, like, those themes occur across all different kinds of graphics, but I think it happens a lot in the science realm. But I think they’re most unique in that the content they convey is rooted in a process that a lot of people aren’t familiar with. So this idea of bodies of, kind of, scientific knowledge is built like one step at a time, and it’s the self-correcting enterprise that kind of happen slowly. So conclusions that are rooted in evidence that are shown in a graphic might be true at one moment in time, but the interpretations might shift a little bit as additional evidence is collected. So you kind of need to figure out how to provide the context that your audience needs, and help them understand where this kind of fits in the larger research arc. 

JS: Right. I mean, I also would suspect, and I do want to talk about this as well, for the scientist, I mean, there’s the reader side of understanding the sort of the content, but it’s also on the scientist side, right, of thinking about how to communicate to a broader audience. When they’re working with you, and maybe we should talk about this, but when they’re working with you at Scientific American, it’s not like they’re using all the jargon that they would use in the academic version. 

JC: Well, I think that’s one of the reasons I wanted to write this book is because scientists are charged with developing graphics a lot, journal articles, poster presentations, like, imagery is a really common language in the form of communication that’s used in the science world for scientists to communicate with each other, and, eventually, to broader audiences, whether it’s for the scientists directly or through other designers, yet, there’s not a lot of training for scientists to learn how to do that. And so, I think that it was just kind of important to get a lot of just baseline information out there for folks who might be a little bit new to the topic. 

JS: Was that your main motivation, and I want to dive into some of the more specific pieces of the book, but there’s like whole chunks of, like, the whole third part of the book, for example, is kind of like a roadmap on how to build scientific graphics for someone who does not have like a degree in design, like, was that your motivation was to help scientists just do a better job? 

JC: That was one of the motivations and probably the primary motivation, because I feel like designers who are already involved in developing graphics might find certain chapters of this book a little bit familiar, but I think there’s whole sections within it that would help different kind of target audiences. But I think the folks who are going to get something out of it from page one to 300 and something, how many pages are in here, are scientists. 

JS: Right. Yeah. Maybe it could help folks if you could talk a little bit about your process of working with scientists at Scientific American, like, I feel like that process maybe folks don’t realize, because you do a lot of stuff in-house and also work with a lot of freelancers in helping scientists build different types of things, so maybe you could just talk a little bit about that process, just sort of, I’m just thinking about like a scientist who’s listening this, like, oh, I would love to have my new paper on blah, blah, blah in Scientific American, like, how do I get to the point where I could work with Jen and get something great in the magazine? 

JC: Well, that’s kind of a split question, because part of that is based on how we get manuscripts into the magazine to kind of determine whether or not it’s a story that we want to print. And so, that goes through, honestly, a text first kind of approach, and it gets, you know, so but once we accept manuscripts, then it comes to the point of reading them and seeing what graphics might have been included, and what kinds of visuals or ideas the author might have, but that’s also where the internal team, kind of, you know, me and my colleague, Amanda Montañez who works on news graphics, we kind of read through these manuscripts and try to figure out when a graphic would be useful to convey some of the information in the story. 

So we’re kind of going through this process, and that’s what I tried to outline in the book, at a few different levels is like to get across this idea that there are several steps that you take; and just because you’re a professional designer, doesn’t mean you just like jump in and create this amazing visual, or a visual that looks good. It’s this process of determining whether or not a graphic could be useful, because they take a lot of resources, both time and money sometimes – what’s the goal of that graphic, and what are the benchmarks that you need to have in order for the whole team to come together and kind of evaluate if that graphic is successful at different stages along the way. 

So in the book, I describe how I do that in a magazine setting with three primary steps where everybody’s providing feedback, that’s like a concept sketch, tight sketch final art. But there’s a flowchart and decision tree, a couple of them in this book that actually just sort of walk folks through one step at a time, just this idea of what question needs to be answered right now in order for you to take the next step towards then building a graphic. And I find things like that useful for myself as well, because sometimes, even if you’re doing these all of the time, you just sit down and you can’t get past that first step. And you to procrastinate, and you just need to get started on the project, and so, something like a decision tree, it’s like, okay, I just need to answer this question. And then, suddenly, you’re answering the next question. And then, suddenly, you’re problem-solving, and you’re getting it done. So I think it’s just kind of a useful tool for novices and professionals alike. 

JS: I’m curious, when you make that, you know, get through that whole process, the manuscript is accepted, and there’s going to be a graphic, do you find that most of your work is creating a new graphic, or is it mostly taking what’s already in the academic paper and modifying it to make it more suitable for this broader audience? 

JC: I think it’s about half and half. I love doing makeover graphics, because when you see that, like, a scientist that’s problem solved it, and they figured out an interesting way to convey the information in visual form, whether it’s a data visualization or explanatory diagram, that’s really exciting because you’re like, okay, they have the metaphor, or, they have this really unique way of looking at the information and they know the information better than I do. So, like, let’s roll with that, and now, let’s start to unpack it and make it more accessible to more people. Sometimes that means like, you know, making it aesthetically pleasing, but also just doing things like getting rid of jargon and in both, like, labels and in image form, like, and just start to make it more accessible. 

So I love doing those, but other times, it’s like this opportunity to create something new, it’s like, okay, I can’t find a way that somebody else has successfully, like, created a graphic about this topic that feels like it would be useful in this context. So then, it’s just like really kind of walking through those steps and trying to figure out what is the goal of this graphic, and, as a metaphor useful to help explain this, what kind of graphic is it going to be, is it something that’s comparing and contrasting, is it showing change over time. So just kind of walking through and trying to figure out a good solution for that. And one of my favorite parts about that is working with other professional designers, because I’m kind of a project manager of sorts, so I’m working as a liaison between freelancers and scientists, and my text editing colleagues, so that becomes a pretty collaborative experience. 

JS: Yeah. So on this process, and then, we’ll get into some specific parts, so on this process, what is it like working with a scientist creating an entirely new graphic, maybe it’s on the process of the experiment, it’s on the process of the science itself, what does that process look like, because, I’m guessing that there’s – I’m guessing here – but I’m guessing there’s a pretty large amount of education that you were doing with the scientists to say, this is why we want to have this totally new diagram about your work. And I’m curious about how they respond and how they work in that process with you. 

JC: Well, it’s interesting, because although scientists are very often the author of the text itself, and so, they’re featured prominently as this is their work, the magazine does have full control over the imagery that goes with it, because we’re the ones that are then investing in the money and time to make those elements happen, and it needs to happen quickly. So there’s a lot of efficient, just sort of here’s what we think the graphics plan should be, and so, that’s being communicated either through me or through my text editing colleague. And so, it’s sort of here’s what we think would be a good idea for our audience. We’re constantly saying, we understand that these ways of showing it might be great for your peers, we’re dealing with another audience that we know pretty well, or we know better than perhaps you do; and so, this is what we think will be useful for our audience on our formats. And then, the conversation shifts a little bit towards, is this accurate, are we describing things correctly, if we’re not, can you help us understand why. So it kind of shifts the conversation from what do they think is the thing that we should be illustrating to this is where we’re thinking we should go, can you help us do that to the best of our ability. 

JS: Right, I got you. Okay, so let’s shift gears a little bit, and talk about some specific parts of the book because I, for those who are listening to the show, what I – the way these work is I usually send the guests a list of questions. And what I had to do Jen for the list I send you is like, I really had to shorten it, because I had about 13 bullet points, and I had to just like – because there’s just so much great stuff in here. So I kind of picked out the things that I think may be the most helpful to people who are working in data, may not be designers, and are sort of scientists that I think for me at least were kind of the most useful part to think about design. So the first thing I want to talk about was grids, because you have an entire chapter devoted to grids, and this would sort of overlap with some work I’ve been doing in dashboard design, where I see so many people just like focusing on grids, and I wanted to ask you, what is so special about grids, what should people think about working in grids. And I have a kind of a follow-up question to all of that, which is, when I look at a lot of the graphics in the book, and in Scientific American, it kind of feels like it doesn’t work in a grid, it feels more like organic and flowing, but then, when I look at how you draw off the grid, I’m like, oh yeah, it does fit into this really nice grid structure. And so, I’m curious how you play with grids a little bit to kind of not feel kind of so rectangular and make it feel more integrated in kind of way if that makes sense. So that’s a big question to say tell us everything we need to know about designing in grids. 

JC: I don’t know if I can say everything you need to know, there are entire books written on this topic. 

JS: Right. 

JC: I would like to start by saying that, so for folks who are unfamiliar with grids, they’re literally the same thing as those ruled loose leaf paper pages that you learned to write on as a kid. So they’re a guiding system of vertical and horizontal lines. A graph paper is another kind of design grid. More useful ones for design purposes, I think, are generally larger, like, if you think in terms of the guides that shape newspaper columns or modular website designs. So I think they’re a really useful starting point because they force you to immediately start making conscious decisions. So immediately you’re thinking, oh, should the titling caption of my graphics span one column or two, does the imagery fit into kind of modules that are side by side or on top of each other. And so, they kind of – they’re an efficient way to impose order and kind of this conscious level of visual hierarchy, you’re suddenly forced to kind of move objects around within this kind of set space. Some designers do issue them altogether, and I think you kind of picked up on this, I do love breaking the grid as much as I love starting with one. 

So breaking the grid just means that you’re including elements that don’t align perfectly with those guidelines, but you’re making a conscious choice to do so for a particular reason. So, for me, I like to sometimes highlight a key annotation by putting it in a circle that kind of pops out of the edge of that column a little bit or something, and that draws attention. It sort of implies that this information is pretty critical. In general, I think just starting with a grid takes the edge off of being faced with a blank page, and they force you to think about things logically, and that helps give readers a sense of the different subsections within your graphic or page. 

Now, I think they’re most important when it comes to things like aligning text and labels. I think imagery can start to kind of pop out of that, and that might have been what you were picking up with, with that kind of more organic feel of some pages – when you look at them, you don’t think, well, this just looks like a grid. So some elements can expand beyond that. But if you have your captions and your labels and your annotations aligned and very orderly, it kind of helps the reader see that hierarchy a little bit more clearly, I think. 

JS: Right. So it’s really interesting the way you say, you know, you’ve got this bubble or circle as a good simple example, and it just kind of pop – breaks, like, the edge of that grid just a little bit. I mean, you see it, but I kind of feel it, when I look at some of the graphics in your book, I can really feel that that’s the thing that’s kind of different from everything else on the page, because, you know, the text is left aligned, and the title is right here. But there’s this thing in the middle, just feels a little bit different for some reason, and that’s where my eye just goes naturally. 

JC: Yeah, I think it’s really useful for annotations that really call out, this is the important part, or, to help people follow, like, okay, there’s three bits that are popping out of this grid, those three things are probably related somehow. 

JS: Yeah. So the other part of the book that I found really interesting was on posters, academic posters, and I’ve had a few people on the show, Mike Morrison, and Zen Faulkes, who spend a lot of time thinking about academic posters, but it was really interesting to see it in here, because it’s such a kind of niche area for scientists, and they have this, like, full reference book in front of them that they can use, and they can use it in their own work, even without, like, having something published in Scientific American, which I just love – I can just imagine scientists just picking this up, reading that, and just having that section, like, you’re marked and ready to roll. I guess, my question is pretty broad, but I just wonder about how you think about academic posters, whether you talk to scientists that you work with about their work and posters, and what is your kind of main view of making better posters for an academic conference? 

JC: Sure. So for your listeners that aren’t scientists, and you kind of helped explain this a bit, but it’s really common for science conferences to have poster sessions. So it’s like basically just this hotel ballroom filled with room dividers that have large paper posters affixed to them with pins. They’re like four to five foot printouts often, and during a session, a scientist generally stands by their poster and kind of talks through people through it about their research, and they use their poster as a visual aid. So it’s very science fairesque. Attendees are milling through the space. 

JS: Yeah. 

JC: So it fascinates me that there’s such a common occurrence at science conferences, but I think it’s safe to say that scientists aren’t being trained to thoughtfully design them. I think they’re often given templates, but not necessarily any training or discussion of how to really make the best use of them. They often hold way too much text, the font size isn’t legible, and they’re totally lacking in breathing space, or a clear indication of kind of the flow of information. So in my book, I encourage scientists to approach a full poster as if they’re designing one huge graphic because that’s pretty much what it is. I mean, you might have a little more text than a graphic technically would, but maybe it shouldn’t. And I know there’s a lot of folks who are exploring different ways of doing posters, and some say you shouldn’t have any text at all, you should just have a QR code or others are these interactive screens that are amazing. But I’m thinking, like, what are people actually doing right now. I mean, I feel like a lot of like with your work on Excel and PowerPoint, it’s like, these are the tools, or this is the product that people are using right now. We can be aspirational about really rethinking the how that happens at all. But in this moment in time, these printed posters are what most people are using. 

JS: Still what we are doing, yeah. 

JC: Yeah. So I think just people need to, like, start with the grid, use negative space instead of box frames, think about what your main takeaways are, how you can use color and scale and position to bring attention to those takeaways. But most importantly, I think, just remember that all of that needs to be done at a scale that can be read and skimmed from, like, several feet away in a room with, like, dubious lighting, and there’s lots of chatter and activity going on. So like there’s a lot going on, it shouldn’t be your science paper just kind of reformatted for a wall. 

JS: Yeah, dubious lighting is definitely, I’m going to hold on to that for sure. So I want to talk about process again, because, like I said, that’s like a good chunk of the book. Okay, so when it comes to posters, so here’s my question – so a scientist comes to this section on the book, they’re looking through some of the amazing graphics in here – and I’m going to show one here for the video folks; for those who are listening, it’s a graphic here, the title is a Churning Burning Star, and it’s got all these illustrations of the inside of a planet or a star with these illustrations on the side, and its motion and this and that. And so, Jen, my question to you is, a scientist goes through this book, they are excited about what they can do, but they come and they see something like this, and they say, but I don’t know how to draw this illustration or find this photograph, like, so what is your recommendation to those folks who have the science, they are excited about the process, but they don’t actually have those particular design skills? Maybe they buy into the whole grid and everything you’ve already mentioned, but they don’t know how to get to this stage of it. 

JC: Right. So that illustration that you described is from science, I believe it was drawn by Chris Bickel, who is a professional illustrator, and it’s for, I think, the front section of science, so it’s kind of in their journalistic, you know, for a broad audience part of the magazine. So it’s gorgeous, but not everything needs to be rendered to that [inaudible 00:22:55]. So I just really think that folks who maybe don’t have those rendering skills right now, it’s just you really think about objects and how they’re placed on a page and how somebody moves through a space. One of the reasons graphics like that are so gorgeous is because you need to entice a reader to join in, and to investigate it. A lot of scientists [inaudible 00:23:18] done for other scientists who already want to read that paper, so you already have your audience. So now your goal is to help them understand things in a better way. So some of the goals are slightly different, depending on your audience. 

That said, there are tools that help – that can be used to help things like PhyloPic, it’s an online resource of thousands of animal drawings that are for very specific species, they’re little silhouettes; and they’re, I believe, under a Creative Commons license. So there’s things that you can use, things like clipart that’s done by other people who know that it needs to be accurate. And then, there’s also just, well, you can learn to draw if you’d like, you know, there’s different books and resources that can help you along that path. Or you can hire collaborators, and, like, you might think I don’t have the budget to hire somebody to do this, but if you problem-solve out what you think how you think the information might best be presented, and then, involve a collaborator doing different parts of that whole, that might bring your prices down a little bit. 

So I think folks, when they see these gorgeous three dimensional drawings or things that are award winning pieces, it’s like, just remember, well, that’s for one purpose, but you don’t need to have those skills to kind of have successful graphics for other purposes. 

JS: Yeah, I think that’s such a great point that, yeah, the goal is different when you’re doing an academic poster, and the audience is different. And yeah, I think that’s just like a great point that people shouldn’t feel down, that they’re not an award winning designer and really get information out there. Okay, so I’ve mentioned this a few times already, but the last part of the book is on the creative process, and I wonder if you could just talk a little bit about, you’ve already talked a little bit about it, but maybe talked a little bit more about how you see scientists building out their own process to create more effective visuals, be it for a poster or their papers or a slide presentation, or whatever it might be, what does that process look like for them? 

JC: Well, I think it starts by determining whether a graphic would be useful, figuring out what the goal of the graphic should be, where is it going to live, who is its audience, kind of, walking through those questions does help kind of define your edges and kind of help focus your thought, like, you might be envisioning this grand piece, but if it needs to be visible on a mobile phone, that grand vision isn’t going to work. So it’s just kind of creating your edges by answering a series of questions about where is it going to be, what does it need to show, and who is the audience for it. So kind of walking through those things, and then, starting to do concept sketches like doodles, just really rough exploratory doodles as you’re doing the research to kind of shift your mind from thinking in terms of words into images, and how can image retell that story in a way that might be more efficient than words. And then, as you start to kind of hone in on something that feels like it’s starting to work, then develop a more kind of fully realized concept sketch and get feedback from others, and then, just kind of narrow things down and get them more and more close to final through that process. 

JS: I think the message that I’m picking up here from you is to not see something that’s in Scientific American or Science or National Geographic, as a scientist, and feel like that’s your goal. And instead, to think about what you have in front of you, your skill set, and go a little bit more slowly, just concentrate on your goals for your particular audience. And you don’t, you know, it’s almost like perfection is the enemy of the good in this case. 

JC: Yeah, and I also think that when we’re developing graphics for places like Scientific American and National Geographic, it’s also the thought process that we’re putting into the first stages are very similar to what I think anybody should be doing. And I like to tell people that you need to think about getting the bones organized properly, before flushing it out, and so, if you just stop at that bones’ stage, that’s still really informative. Flushing it out might be the, like, taking it over the top in terms of aesthetics and beauty and really kind of a professional veneer. But if you can get the information organized in a useful and kind of clear way, that’s like 90% of the job in many ways. If you don’t get that right, then no matter how beautifully rendered it is, it’s not going to be useful to people. 

JS: Yeah, this is what I love about the book is it does have a little bit of sort of like your best practices, there’s a section – a really nice section on color, and there’s a section on grids. But the focus of the work is not sort of the standard, like, a 101 kind of book, it’s taking us to the next level, which I think is kind of this new evolution or a next phase of DataViz, data communication books on this design, on these layouts, on the structure, on this process, which I think just opens doors for people, especially to think more creatively that you don’t have to be skilled in everything to be able to make beautiful looking projects and products. 

JC: Great. That’s great to hear, because I did want it to be very inviting and useful to a wide range of people. And so, yeah, I love your takeaway on that, thanks. 

JS: The last part I want to talk about was the actual production of the book, because there is, among all the other amazing things in this book, the thing that caught my eye when I just, like, first opened it is you don’t have figure numbers, it’s not like see image 2.1, it doesn’t even say see the figure below or see the figure on the next page, you have these little pointers directly from the text to the image or to the graphic or to the caption. And so I want to ask you, what was your thought process behind approaching it that way, and then, what was your production process like, because I think for anyone who’s tried to publish a book, or just a journal article for that matter, like, working with a lot of production companies is not a very easy process, so I’m curious about how you conceptualized it, and then, actually put it into practice. 

JC: Yeah, so I knew if I was 1.2 ever going to write a book, I wanted to design it too, and that didn’t feel like too big of a leap because I’ve been working in magazine and textbook design for a long time, so I knew a lot of – I knew I had the InDesign skills to make that happen. And I was also really inspired by Ellen Lupton, who’s an author and designer who designs her own books and her book collaborations; and has talked about it, if you look up, she has some great YouTube videos, lectures that were really inspiring. But I wanted to design it not because I thought I’d be creating this award winning book design, because I’m not a professional book designer, there are people like Stefanie Posavec who are, who take it to the next level. 

JS: Yeah, right. 

JC: But I wanted to approach the book like a large graphic, and so, for that to happen, I knew that the text and the visual elements needed to evolve together. And part of that is like I didn’t want the reader to have to pause and search for things. So when I wasn’t able to kind of put a graphic right in the text where I talk about it, I simply, as you described, used the line to connect the period of the sentence that related to that image to the image itself. And so, then that line is like a bookmark, so when the reader is done looking at the image, they just follow it right back to where they left off. 

So there’s not this disconnect and kind of popping around, and I’m just helping their eye go where I intended it to go next, much in the same way I would do within just a graphic itself. So in order to make that work, I wrote rough drafts in Google documents, but then I moved things over really early on into InDesign page layouts. So I actually created the design and figured out the typography of the book and everything before I had written much more than the introduction. And so, then I was writing and editing to fit, so that the images would fall on the same spread as the text that referenced them. So in that way, it kind of became like, I have this page and this page has a graphic, and there’s this much text, and what do I need to cut, there’s a lot of back and forth. And one of the reasons I wanted to prioritize that is because I got really weary of reading about design principles and perception science research results in documents that didn’t walk the talk, like, so many books, yeah, they include discussion of things like Gestalt principles of proximity, like, really kind of these foundational ideas, and then, they don’t enact those ideas in the design of the book. And I thought why are we telling people this is important, and then, we’re not showing them that it’s important. 

I should say this kind of goes back to challenges in working with larger production groups. It’s amazing working with a publisher and with the great team of editors, but there are some things you can’t control then. And so, I feel like I’m being a little bit of a hypocrite in one piece about this, so I addressed the topic of accessibility in the book. But my decision to focus on creating a print design that reflected the design principles that I write about meant that I removed some flexibility in how that content appears in eBook form. And that’s because I was going from like a Bespoke print design into an automated eBook workflow. And, ideally, I could have designed the eBook separately myself as well and included responsive versions of graphics when possible. But that wasn’t an option. And so, I’m sad that I wasn’t able to walk the talk as much in the electronic version for accessibility reasons. So that was kind of the part that I was most sad about, yeah. 

JS: Well, like you said, it’s an evolution, so maybe this book sets the stage to say, how do we get from here to an eBook technology that actually works in that way, because I think the book itself takes us another step forward, right, because it does integrate everything together – how can we build that in the digital technology to make that work for people who have vision or physical impairments to work in the digital world? So I can imagine why you said you’re not going to create the eBook on your own. That sounds like a pretty amazing, incredible amount of work, but I just love the overall design and how you’ve, like you said, everything is just kind of integrated together. And the cover was designed by Alli Torban. 

JC: Yes, she designed the illustration on the cover, which I was very excited about, it was so great working with her. I love working with other designers to see what their process is like, and hers is really like thoughtful, a series of questions about who the audience was and the tone and everything. So it was a real treat, it was kind of a treat to myself to go ahead and commission some cover art for that yeah.

JS: Yeah, that’s great. Well, the book is great. Thank you so much for coming on the show. Good luck with shopping this around in all this time. I’m sure you’re going to have to take boxes of them to every science conference now around the country. So good luck, but congrats again. It’s great. And thanks for coming on the show. 

JC: Thanks for chatting. It was a lot of fun. 

Thanks for tuning in to this week’s episode of the show. I hope you enjoyed that conversation. I hope you will check out Jen’s book and I hope you will learn a lot about communicating science information. If you would like to support the show, please rate and review it on your favorite podcast provider. You can find me on YouTube at, and, of course, on Twitter. So until next time, this has been the PolicyViz podcast. Thanks so much for listening. 

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