How Books Are Made: Funnel Inc.

Curator: Laetitia Wolff
date: October 21, 2011
Categories: Corporate Communications Design, Environmental Graphic Design, Information Design, Typographic Design
Tags: graphic novel, infographics, maps
“How Books Are Made at Webcrafters, Inc.” See the full infographic here. (designers: Linden and Lori Wilson, Funnel Inc.)

Information design that makes the complex clear is the motto of Wisconsin-based Funnel, a duo studio specializing in cool infographics, which borrow from graphic novels.

“We tackle the convoluted, thorny, problematic stuff because we love bringing order to chaos,” say Linden and Lori Wilson, founders of Funnel, Inc. 

“How Books Are Made at Webcrafters, Inc.” is a great example of that. Webcrafters, a Wisconsin-based printer that manufactures textbooks, was having problems with their potential customers understanding their estimates and project proposals. As a remedy, Funnel created a diagram that shows every step of the book making process, from start to finish, so that customers can appreciate the complexity of the process and thus better rationalize the cost. 


What makes this infographic successful? The answer may lie in map making.


According to a PIIM typology (Parsons Institute of Information Mapping), which I came across while developing a book proposal on 21st-century maps (I’m a map lover), to remain legible maps should combine four different kinds of imagery: pictorial, quantitative, relational and symbolic. The same rules apply to infographics. 


Funnel’s work is fascinating in that it harmoniously includes all those ingredients while remaining profoundly narrative, three-dimensional and almost anecdotal. It’s as if one was physically meandering through the printer’s plant like in a graphic novel. Funnel never falls into the seductive abstractions of data visualization, which can sometimes looks like a computer-generated Jackson Pollock.


“How Books Are Made at Webcrafters, Inc.” See the full infographic here. (designers: Linden and Lori Wilson, Funnel Inc.)


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