Jon White is a web designer andexplanatory cartoonist.
He lives & runs in Seattle.
KPCC Article Views
In this sprawling, multi-year, multi-template project, I designed & coded the new visual, color, typographic, and layout behavior for KPCC's Verticals, Blog Posts, and News Articles — while supporting both Editorial and Underwriting needs.
I'm very fond of one particular episode of The West Wing. I want you to like it too, so I made some drawings and charts and maps and a website to bolster my case. (I've got the whole series on DVD if you want to come over. I'll make snacks.)
By mid-2013, too much of California was on fire, much earlier than it should have been. So we made an automated, embeddable, modular tool track it all. Chris Keller built a pipe into the CalFire data while I designed and coded the front-end. Later that year, we did the same thing for earthquakes.
I'd never cared about macroeconomics. But then Paul Krugman went and released the video of his 2011 Keynes and the Moderns talk at Cambridge, and I was hooked. After slogging my way through General Theory and Skidelsky's book, I uncapped my ink bottle and got to work. Nine-year-olds, I was convinced, would love this stuff.
One of KPCC's best assets has been its prioritization of full-time, world-class photographers. And their work needed its own home. Propelled early-on by Grant Slater's and Mae Ryan's ideas, I designed AudioVision to be a new way of approaching photojournalism on the web.
Hyperbole aside, there is nothing that I love more — not running, not designing, not drawing — more than American history. Reading it, sharing it, teaching it, interpreting it. I spent 2010 putting this to work. The U.S. National Archives has long ran a web feature called "Today's Document," which, in 2010, was far more modest than it is today. Based on these posts, I made comics.
I’ve been drawing all my life. Then I went to school for a joint program in comics and graphic design, but ended up falling in love with the nascent web standards movement, which became the accessibility thing, which became the responsive thing, and somewhere along the way everything blew up, and now here we are.
The web is better, more delight-giving, more elegant, more accessible, and more communicatively helpful than we give it credit. I believe its best days haven’t yet happened.