- Note: Not to be confused with Nigel Holmes the UK (classic glamour) nude-photographer. Not to be confused with Nigel Howard Holmes a research scientist specializing in nano-particle coating technology.
Holmes received a MA in illustration from the Royal College of Art in 1966.
From 1966 to 1977 he worked as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer in London, England for newspapers and magazines. From 1978 to 1994 he went to New York working for Time Magazine to design so called "explanation graphics" for the magazine. In that time he also continued other work as freelance designer, lecturer, and authored a book on "Wordless diagrams".
After a sabbatical in 1994 in 1995 he started his own illustration company, working for clients as Apple, Fortune, Nike, The Smithsonian Institution, Sony, United Healthcare, US Airways and Visa. He also continues to create illustrations and graphics for Harper’s, The New York Observer and The New York Times, among others.
Nigel Holmes published several books on various aspects of information design. A selection:
- 1984. Designer's Guide to Creating Charts and Diagrams. Watson-Guptill, NY.
- 1985. Designing Pictorial Symbols. With Rose DeNeve.
- 1991. Pictorial Maps.
- 1991. Designer's Guide to Creating Charts and Diagrams
- 1996. Best in Diagrammatic Graphics.
- 2003. The Complete Guide to Digital Illustration. With Steve Caplin and Adam Banks.
- 2005. Wordless Diagrams. Bloomsbury USA
- 2006. On information design. With Steven Heller.
- 2007. The Enlightened Bracketologist: The Final Four of Everything. With Mark Reiter and Richard Sandomir, and Nigel Holmes.
- 2010. Pinhole and the Expedition to the Jungle. Jorge Pinto Books
- 2012. The Book of Everything: A Visual Guide to Travel and the World. Lonely Planet
- 2014. Instant Expert: A Visual Guide to the Skills You've Always Wanted. Lonely Planet
- Nigel Holmes introduction at www.understandingusa.com. Retrieved 24 June 2008.
- Nigel Holmes on Flick.com. Retrieved 24 June 2008.
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