99% Invisible

The Fresno Drop

January 19, 2016
How the credit card was invented.

In September 1958, Bank of America began an experiment—one that would have far reaching effects on our lives and on the economy. After careful consideration, they decided to conduct this experiment in Fresno, California. The presumption was that no one was paying much attention to Fresno, so if the plan failed, it wouldn’t get a lot of media attention.

Bank of America sent out 60,000 pieces of mail to people in Fresno. Inside was a little plastic object that has become in equal parts emblematic of opportunity, convenience, and debt.

It was a card offering a $500 line of credit. ...

The Feltron Annual Report

July 14, 2011
Self-reported data about nearly every aspect of life combines with graphic design in Nicholas Felton's Annual Reports.

Nicholas Felton is an information designer. Since 2005, he has tabulated thousands upon thousands of tiny measurements in his life and designed stunning graphs and maps and created concise infographics that detail that year’s activities. The results were originally intended for his friends and family, but the “personal annual reports” have found an audience with fellow designers and people that really geek out on seeing lots of data, beautifully presented.