Before the ‘How it Works’ Discovery Channel and YouTube explosion, Neil Ardley and David Macaulay’s The Way Things Work book was oftentimes the go-to source for satisfying the natural itch of wondering how things do what they do. The book, which was first released in 1988, provided (and still does) hours of brain-fertilizing goodness for young curious minds through its detailed and entertaining illustrations of everyday machines and technologies.
More recently, Portland, Oregon-based graphic designer Jacob O’Neal has taken the concept up a notch and has created a series of ongoing projects that explain how things work with animated gifs in his series, Animagraffs.
With animated explanations explaining everything from ‘How Speakers Make Sound‘ to ‘How a Handgun Works‘, the highly-communicative method of describing system processes is so great, it should become a new standard for communicating design intent in engineering and design school presentations.
O’Neal, whose expansive graphic design portfolio is heavy on infographics, runs Animagraffs as a one man show, from concept to research to finished deliverable. On his website, he states that he is “obsessed with solid, hiqh-quality research and design presentation.” Yeah, no kidding.