Martin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / mkweb.bcgsc.ca Martin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / mkweb.bcgsc.ca - contact me Martin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / mkweb.bcgsc.ca on Twitter Martin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / mkweb.bcgsc.ca - Lumondo Photography Martin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / mkweb.bcgsc.ca - Pi Art Martin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / mkweb.bcgsc.ca - Hilbertonians - Creatures on the Hilbert CurveMartin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / mkweb.bcgsc.ca - Pi Day 2020 - Piku
Where am I supposed to go? Where was I supposed to know?Violet Indianaget lost in questionsmore quotes

curves: beautiful



Scientific graphical abstracts — design guidelines


art + design

Math geek? If you like the clean geometric design of the type posters, you may enjoy something even more mathematical. Design that transcends repetition: Art of Pi, Phi and e posters.
Are optotypes your type?
SnellenMK adds lowercase and punctuation to the traditional Snellen design.

Visions of Type

the intertypes

Letters give a type weight. Intertypes give a type cohesion.

The intertypes (my own term) are the spaces between letters. This poster shows all 26 ×26 = 686 intertypes for Helvetica Neue.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca buy artwork
The intertypes of Helvetica Neue. ( BUY ARTWORK )

type peep show—the private curves of letters

Sometimes to understand the whole, we need to look more closely at its parts.

Completely safe for work.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca buy artwork
Bodoni type peep show. ( BUY ARTWORK )
Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca buy artwork
Century type peep show. ( BUY ARTWORK )
Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca buy artwork
Dax type peep show. ( BUY ARTWORK )

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca buy artwork
Franklin Gothic type peep show. ( BUY ARTWORK )
Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca buy artwork
Futura type peep show. ( BUY ARTWORK )
Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca buy artwork
Gill Sans type peep show. ( BUY ARTWORK )

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca buy artwork
Helvetica type peep show. ( BUY ARTWORK )
Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca buy artwork
Minion type peep show. ( BUY ARTWORK )
Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca buy artwork
Platelet type peep show. ( BUY ARTWORK )

I include Emigre's Platelet because it's such a goofy and fun font. One look at the lower case b and you know this isn't a type face that wears a tie.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca buy artwork
Type peep show of nine faces. ( BUY ARTWORK )
Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca buy artwork
Type peep show of nine faces. ( BUY ARTWORK )

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news + thoughts

Music for the Moon: Flunk's 'Down Here / Moon Above'

Sat 29-05-2021

The Sanctuary Project is a Lunar vault of science and art. It includes two fully sequenced human genomes, sequenced and assembled by us at Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre.

The first disc includes a song composed by Flunk for the (eventual) trip to the Moon.

But how do you send sound to space? I describe the inspiration, process and art behind the work.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
The song 'Down Here / Moon Above' from Flunk's new album History of Everything Ever is our song for space. It appears on the Sanctuary genome discs, which aim to send two fully sequenced human genomes to the Moon. (more)

Browse the genome discs.

Happy 2021 `\pi` Day—
A forest of digits

Sun 14-03-2021

Celebrate `\pi` Day (March 14th) and finally see the digits through the forest.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
The 26th tree in the digit forest of `\pi`. Why is there a flower on the ground?. (details)

This year is full of botanical whimsy. A Lindenmayer system forest – deterministic but always changing. Feel free to stop and pick the flowers from the ground.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
The first 46 digits of `\pi` in 8 trees. There are so many more. (details)

And things can get crazy in the forest.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
A forest of the digits of '\pi`, by ecosystem. (details)

Check out art from previous years: 2013 `\pi` Day and 2014 `\pi` Day, 2015 `\pi` Day, 2016 `\pi` Day, 2017 `\pi` Day, 2018 `\pi` Day and 2019 `\pi` Day.

Testing for rare conditions

Sun 30-05-2021

All that glitters is not gold. —W. Shakespeare

The sensitivity and specificity of a test do not necessarily correspond to its error rate. This becomes critically important when testing for a rare condition — a test with 99% sensitivity and specificity has an even chance of being wrong when the condition prevalence is 1%.

We discuss the positive predictive value (PPV) and how practices such as screen can increase it.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Testing for rare conditions. (read)

Altman, N. & Krzywinski, M. (2021) Points of significance: Testing for rare conditions. Nature Methods 18:224–225.

Standardization fallacy

Tue 09-02-2021

We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty! —D. Adams

A popular notion about experiments is that it's good to keep variability in subjects low to limit the influence of confounding factors. This is called standardization.

Unfortunately, although standardization increases power, it can induce unrealistically low variability and lead to results that do not generalize to the population of interest. And, in fact, may be irreproducible.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Standardization fallacy. (read)

Not paying attention to these details and thinking (or hoping) that standardization is always good is the "standardization fallacy". In this column, we look at how standardization can be balanced with heterogenization to avoid this thorny issue.

Voelkl, B., Würbel, H., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2021) Points of significance: Standardization fallacy. Nature Methods 18:5–6.

Graphical Abstract Design Guidelines

Fri 13-11-2020

Clear, concise, legible and compelling.

Making a scientific graphical abstract? Refer to my practical design guidelines and redesign examples to improve organization, design and clarity of your graphical abstracts.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Graphical Abstract Design Guidelines — Clear, concise, legible and compelling.