Some professors have a book. While I would like to write a book soon, I have this story to share. Graphicacy is a design firm that I co-founded in 2012 with Nathaniel Pearlman and Jeff Osborn, my friends. Graphicacy is like a living book for me, with characters and narrative arcs, and big ideas that I can take away and share, learned from experience. — Josh
The text below is adapted from the draft of a 2017 communications package by Graphicacy, written by Jeff Osborn and Joshua Korenblat.
We're visual guides and digital storytellers
Graphicacy is a design studio that's creative and analytic. We guide mission-driven organizations. Our goal: to make information accessible, vivid, and shareable for a wide variety of audiences.
Our team is passionate about partnering with clients to advocate for evidence-rich communication, ensuring scientific and journalistic integrity. In our advocacy work, we support humanism and progressive values.
Visualize a better world
Through our work, the Graphicacy team develops creative content for a purpose, developing impactful and measurable visual experiences.
We focus on producing interactive applications, data visualization and information graphics, motion graphic videos, data analysis, and Drupal-based web design and development.
Our team specializes in working with clients to tell stories about complex data-rich subjects that we're passionate about, including achievement gaps, immigration, and climate change.
We help clients create journeys that are worth taking
Our team believes that we must partner with our clients from an in-depth discovery process to a crafted product. With clients, we discover and develop concept sketches and prototypes. Together, we navigate the journey from data to information, and from discovery to a crafted product.
Joshua Korenblat, Art Director-At-Large
"Working closely with the core team in Washington, DC, I'm part of the Graphicacy team in New York. Since its founding in 2012, I've been an Art Director at Graphicacy, working with clients and helping to make Timeplots posters.
I believe that like writers, graphic designers can communicate at the interchange of complex ideas and stories." — Josh
In the beginning, Graphicacy was about bringing together diverse viewpoints for a common cause: visualizing complex ideas for organizations we care about.
Our owner, Nathaniel Pearlman, is the son of a Shakespeare professor and a Math teacher. He grew up with poetry and numbers, and he saw how numbers could take form when he took a class with Edward Tufte at Yale University as an undergraduate political science student.
When Nathaniel met Josh and Jeff, alumni of the National Geographic Magazine Art Department, Nathaniel decided to leave his roots in political campaign software and startup a creative analytic design ﬁrm with his two friends on the design side.
Our first major client project
2013: Our Future Together makes a report about immigration in the U.S. more accessible through an explainer video and interactives that allow the reader to personalize the experience.
Our first UX design project: Stanford University
"My timeline..." — Josh
Phase 1: Discovery
Graphicacy guides you through a visually facilitated process where we surface key client and end-user needs, then map them to possible solutions. This often unfolds as one or more whiteboarding sessions where we can work closely together in an iterative way, one-to-one.
This is a quick way to challenge assumptions and work through concepts early in the process. Then, we can proceed with more confidence in designing and developing the most effective tool for the client and their audience. At the same time, this phase minimizes the possibility of costly course corrections later in the schedule.
Phase 2: Concepts → Blueprints
Starting from the end-user needs and most promising conceptual directions brought to light in the discovery process, Graphicacy works through (1 or 2) rounds of concept/design work that will yield a wireframe (content and visual design blueprint) for the final development phase. The focus is on strategically translating user needs and desired outcomes into correspondingly effective visual language and interactive functionality.
Phase 3: Prototypes → Crafted Product
With an approved wireframe and the text and visuals in hand, final development begins. Clients have one round of testing and revision with some minimum viable (basic design and sometimes full functional interactivity) version of the interactive mid-process. They have another final round before integration into the overall web environment, where it will be launched and live.