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'Wordless Diagrams': Explaining the Everyday

Apr 9, 2005 (All Things Considered)

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Pouring a beer or changing a diaper may seem like commonplace activities, but when visualized on paper in step-by-step diagrams, they take on unusual lives of their own.

For the past two decades, award-winning illustrator and graphic designer Nigel Holmes has created pictorial explanations of ordinary tasks and concepts. He depicts various activities that people do, from the mundane — changing a tire or repairing pet scratches on furniture — to the offbeat, like performing a facelift or cremating a body.

Holmes presents some of his favorites in a new book called Wordless Diagrams.

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