What if you had to explain something very complex, like a rocket, and only use drawings and the 1000 most-used words in the English language? That's the constraint that Randall Munroe made famous a while back when he explained a Saturn V rocket. For example, because the word "rocket" is not in the 1000 words, he called it an "up-goer" and that became the informal name for this kind of communication. You might remember a guest post by Sally James on this blog about the idea. Mr. Munroe, whose... Continue Reading
I love this. Bruce Herwig, a reader of The Art of Explanation, decided to review the book by creating a Common Craft Style video. He even provided "5 lessons I Learned in Making a Common Craft Style Video" in the blog post. Thanks Bruce! Reading in email? Watch the video here. Learn more about Common Craft Cut-outs.
It's true. The Art of Explanation is now available as an audiobook and can be found on Audible.
The Art of Explanation has been out for about 1.5 years now and it's been exciting to see how it has made it's way around the world. The book has now been translated into 6 languages (including 2 versions of Chinese). A Russian version is forthcoming. Top row: Korean, Hungarian, Simplified Chinese Bottom Row: Japanese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese. It's fascinating to see the book in other languages and consider what goes into the design. For example, the western translations in Hungarian... Continue Reading
It's true! The Art of Explanation, has now been published in the Korean language. It was been great working with the Korean publisher and the translator, Kyo, who is our #1 fan in Korea. I asked Kyo to help me understand the title and he provided this: It is now available in Korean Bookstores and online. I'm impressed with the layout and design. As an author, I have no control over these factors, but I was pleasantly surprised. So far we have translation deals in these languages, but we... Continue Reading
Jason Kottke pointed me to a passage from the Kurt Vonnegut novel Bluebeard, where he outlines the three types of specialists that are needed for success in a revolution. Remarkably, one is an explainer. Here’s the passage: Slazinger claims to have learned from history that most people cannot open their minds to new ideas unless a mind-opening teams with a peculiar membership goes to work on them. Otherwise, life will go on exactly as before, no matter how painful, unrealistic, unjust,... Continue Reading
About 6 months ago, my first book was published: The Art of Explanation. Being my first, I didn’t know what to expect from the process, the reviews, the sales, the marketing. Thankfully I found my way through and now have some information on how it’s been received. First, let me start by offering a HUGE thanks to all the people who have purchased the book. You rock. I wish I could thank you more personally. I hope it has helped you think differently about how you communicate. So how IS the... Continue Reading
Sachi and I are heading to Hawaii soon and we're planning to host a little event in Honolulu. As you may know, Sachi is from Hawaii and we thought it would be fun to meet some good folks. Come enjoy a low key gathering with drinks and pupus. Details: When: Thursday, January 17, 5-7pm Where: The Manifest, 32 N Hotel St., Honolulu We've created a public event on Facebook. Please RSVP there if you can. Mahalo!
QR codes often get a bad rap these days. The ugly little boxes appear everywhere and to many, they seem to be a waste of time and space. But the reality of QR codes is like any tool - the value is determined by how it’s used. When used effectively, QR codes bridge online and offline worlds by making it easier to use a mobile phone to visit a webpage, for example. This three-minute video explains QR codes: Email readers can watch the video here. QR Codes in Books - Why? My book The Art of... Continue Reading
Dear Common Craft friends and fans, I’m writing to humbly ask for your help. The Art of Explanation, my new book, recently became fully available in bookstores and online. And now, it’s up to us to get the word out - and I’m hoping you can help. First, I hope you’ll consider buying the book. It’s meant for everyone and especially professionals. If you’ve already purchased and read it, please consider writing a quick review on Amazon or your website. There a number of other ways you can... Continue Reading