Re-coloring Illustrator graphics based on JSON data files

When working on choropleth maps or charts in Illustrator, sometimes the (final) data is not yet available by the time you’re designing the graphic.

The typical work-around is to re-import the updated part of the graphic and align it with the rest of the artwork. But this is tedious work, especially if you’re dealing with multiple maps.

To address this problem I wrote an Illustrator script that can re-color the artwork based on a JSON file. This blog post will walk you through how to use the script.

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When It’s Ok to Use Word Clouds

It’s ok to use word clouds if your goal is to encourage reading of a large set of otherwise unrelated words that are connected to one or two interesting values (and word count in a text doesn’t qualify as interesting).

This I tweeted yesterday and now I feel that if I encourage the (dangerous) use of word clouds, I have to explain this exception in a little more detail. Why is it sometimes ok to use a widely rejected visualization method, and most times not?

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