Graphics and Icons

I love diagrams, charts and clever ways to present complex ideas in easy-to-grasp ways.  Here are some graphs, charts and simple images I have made that are very graphic in style:

The seven RsSeven ‘R’s:  A lovely new interpretation of the three ‘R’s, from 2013 for the Gaia Foundation‘s report on gadgets Short Circuit.


Open-cast footprint:  A clever graphic of the ‘footprint’ of an open-cast mine, from 2012 for the Gaia Foundation‘s report “Opening Pandora’s Box“.  NB:  The toes are the multi-coloured ‘tailings’ pools that contain various dodgy chemicals, and ‘waste products’.

consensus_jan2011_v4.qxdConsensus Decision Making:  A very useful idea expressed in a cute spiral of converging attitudes and social processes for Rhizome Coop in 2012.  Rhizome do all kinds of training and also have a range of great hand-outs and briefings on their website under ‘Resources’ free to use.  They cover:  Facilitation, Organising and facilitating Open Space, Conflict resolution and mediation, Consensus decision-making, Working in groups, Campaigning, nonviolent direct action and consensus on actions.

ETC_GrainProcess_AniPharma_PharmaBiotech_Pesticides_icons_2008Four from a set of 15 icons for the ETC Group‘s 2011 report “Who will control the Green Economy”.  Download the 60-page report as a PDF.


Agri-Quest:  Simple drawing for a book on the corporate take-over of agriculture in Africa from 2011.

barcode_tree_2011Bar-code tree:  graphic for the ETC Group in 2011, used in the Earth Grab book, showing the corporate take-over of agriculture through patents on genetically modified DNA in plants.

shoes_of_empathy_2011Shoes of Empathy:  a graphic for my friend Emily from 2011 to explain the different aspects of empathy – learning to appreciate another person’s perspective.   Empathy is a great quality.  I am often shocked at how little of it seems to be going around.  Can empathy be learned?  I hope so.  I do think it is contagious.


Bincinerate:  A 2008 spoof of the “Keep Britain Tidy” graphic – this time criticising the short-term thinking behind burning waste. There are health risks associated with incineration, including dioxins, carcinogens and other dangerous particulates found in the smoke.  Investment in incineration will also mean less funding for greener alternatives.  In some places, incineration centres are renamed “Energy from Waste” as a cunning PR trick to shake off public scrutiny.  Sadly, this ploy works!  Burning waste is a bad way to deal with our wasteful linear economy.  For more on incineration see the No-Burn website.   Instead we need to learn to re-use our limited resources, and to generate LESS waste in the first place.  See the inspiring “Story of Stuff” series of short films.


Corporate take-over of Organic:  A scary chart for Corporate Watch from 2008 showing just some of the UK “organic” brands that have been swallowed up by multinational agri-food corporations.


Dismantle Globally – Rebuild Locally:  A cheeky doodle from 2007 inspired by the writings and speeches of Derrick Jensen.  The phrase shown here is his new version of the classic environmental ‘slogan’ – “think global, act local”.   The big red “fire-cracker” is a somewhat uncomfortable symbol of ‘urgent action’ – but many, including Derrick, suggest that it’s quite normal and justified to feel the need to ‘do more than sign petitions’ when you see the scale of the corporate-led threat to our planet and its ecosystems.  Derrick and his friends at Deep Green Resistance ask some very important questions, and have added many good ideas to the debate.


Get in Lane:  A simple idea from around 2006 that came from my realisation that the lanes of our motorways are closely mirrored in the class structure of modern society.  Or is it the other way around.   So the rich drive in their sports car in the fast lane, the middle class are cruising in their family cars, then there are coaches and trucks and finally the cyclists and hitch-hikers.


Who’s an Ostrich?  A set of cartoony icons from 2006 playing with the idea of the “Ostrich with its head in the sand” and Climate Denial.  by the way, do ostrich’s actually bury their heads?  Apparently it’s a myth!


Corp-o-laugh:  Graphic from 2006 criticising the idea of “Corporate Responsibility”.  In the UK, “You’re having a laugh” roughly means “You must be joking”.  This graphic was used in a number of places, including in a flyer by the inspiring London-based network Art not Oil, who campaign against corporate sponsorship of the Arts.


Car World:  Very rough drawing from 2002 for Corporate Watch, coloured in years later, that has been used in many places.


Lamb bar-code:  A bar-code made from the shadows of a row of lambs, from 2002 for Corporate Watch.


Bin Air:  Simple spoof from around 1999 of the classic “Keep Britain Tidy” graphic, telling people to bin everything.  Here I have an air-traffic controller asking his plane to park in the bin, as civil aviation is the fasted growing source of greenhouse emissions – the planet simply cannot cope with all this wasteful flying.  Did you know that making one long distance flight will probably double your annual CO2 emissions?  The fabulous Choose Climate interactive website is a great way to see what impact flights have on the climate.


Checkered Mate:  A graphic illustration to a love poem from 1993.

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