Somehow the cockroach graphic James once showed us haunted me for nearly a month. People would marvel at the drawing at the first sight, but then comes the question, so what? Showing the numerous homes of cockroaches is both useless and disgusting. We can imagine how much time the artist spent on collecting info and drawing the cockroach housing map. Unfortunately that was a mere waste of time.
So before we open the Illustrator, there’re a few questions that should go first. Why am I drawing this? Is it useful and worth all the efforts of drawing? Is a graphic really speaks louder than an article or a photo? If I originally plan to draw a chart, hold on and think, maybe a diagram looks better?
Page 86 of the WSJ Guide talks about bad icons. Some icons look visually interesting, but they never make good symbols for pictograms. Why? Because they’re distracting.
I personally don’t like complicated graphics that are either overloaded with information, or contain excessive decorations. Why bother all the drawing when a simple icon does the job well?