Firesigns, glyphs and blog maggots

“Mark-making is where design and writing hold hands” *

Yvonne Lam on usefulness/comprehension of making vs. reading large diagrams. The act of drawing the diagram is where the understanding happens, not while reading it back. Related to where Dave Snowden claims that any model that can’t be quickly drawn on a napkin is not very useful. Maybe multiple smaller diagrams work better than one big one. I would think so, especially when multiple zoom levels and/or perspectives are involved. Also, the drawing process has a linear progress, starting from an empty canvas, gradually building up the model, so that understanding can follow along. A finished diagram does not tell that part of the story, especially if in the layout there is no clear and obvious way in.

@ruthmalan adds important considerations. If the value is in the doing while, it becomes essential to consider who is there when it happens. Otherwise the diagram might be just another tree in the forest that nobody heard fall over.

So again, it comes down to the process of drawing the diagram. Repeatedly, with different audiences as needed.


Oh, this beautiful little thread about an even smaller little psalter (containing the Book of Psalms often with bonus tracks) from around 1280. There’s mentions of “puzzle” initials with “frogspawn” penwork and I need to learn more about the terminology around this. This glossary helps and this is a lovely explanation of how different parts of the text on the page relate, but I’m specifically looking for the anatomy descriptors for illuminated initials.

Related find: Peregrinations: Journal of Medieval Art and Architecture


Starting a newsletter is the best thing you can do for your design system. Newsletters as human-readable release notes plus context and empathy?


Reading too much about writing instead of writing but: