Nigel Holmes

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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. Not to be confused with Nigel Holmes the UK motorsport Software and Systems Engineer
Nigel Holmes
Born Nigel Holmes
(1942-06-15) June 15, 1942 (age 75)
Swanland, England
Alma mater Royal College of Art
Occupation Graphic designer, Illustrator, and Author
Known for Information Graphics

Nigel Holmes (born 15 June 1942, Swanland, England) is a British/American graphic designer, author, and theorist, who focuses on information graphics and information design.


Graduating from Royal College of Art in London in 1966, Holmes ran his own successful graphic design practice in England.[1] From 1966 to 1977 he worked as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer for clients such as British Broadcasting Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and Island Records. His work appeared in New Scientist, Radio Times, The Observer, Daily Telegraph, and The Times.[2]

In 1977, art director Walter Bernard hired him to work in the map and chart department of Time magazine, where Holmes later became graphics director.[1]

After a sabbatical he started his own company, which has explained things to and for a wide variety of clients, including Apple, Fortune, Nike, The Smithsonian Institution, Sony, United Healthcare, US Airways, and Visa.[3]

In 2011 Stevenson University held a retrospective show of his work titled Picture This - The Explanation Design of Nigel Holmes.[4][5]

In 2016 an exhibition of his work from 1960 to 2015 was shown at the QVIG Conference in Munich, Germany,[6] and also at the VisCom Gallery, Schoonover Center, Ohio University[7]


Partial list.

Books authored by Nigel Holmes[edit]

  • Designer's Guide to Creating Charts and Diagrams (1984 Watson-Guptill)
  • Designing Pictorial Symbols (1985 Watson-Guptill with Rose DeNeve)
  • Pictorial Maps (1991 Watson-Guptill)
  • Best in Diagrammatic Graphics (1993 Rotovision)
  • Wordless Diagrams (2005 Bloomsbury)
  • Pinhole and the Expedition to the Jungle (2010 Jorge Pinto Books)
  • The Book of Everything: A Visual Guide to Travel and the World (2012 Lonely Planet)
  • Instant Expert: A Visual Guide to the Skills You've Always Wanted (2014 Lonely Planet)

Books with graphics by Nigel Holmes[edit]

About Nigel Holmes[edit]

  • On Information Design (2006 Jorge Pinto Books by Steven Heller)

Lectures and teaching[edit]

Partial list


  1. ^ a b Heller, Steven (2006). "Introduction". On Information Design. Jorge Pinto Books Inc. pp. xii. ISBN 9780977472406. 
  2. ^ "Bio Nigel Holmes". Nigel Holmes. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  3. ^ "Visual Communication Quarterly". Visual Communication Quarterly. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  4. ^ "Past Exhibitions Stevenson University". Stevenson University. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  5. ^ McCauley, Mary (2011-05-13). "Charts and graphs become art at Stevenson University". Baltimore: The Baltimore Sun. 
  6. ^ "Exhibition QVED 2016". QVED. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  7. ^ "Communication Week". Ohio University. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  8. ^ Sandberg, Kirsten (2010). "Easy on the Eyes". Harvard Business Review Guide to Persuasive Presentations. Harvard Business Press. p. 15. 
  9. ^ Dickenson Quinn, Sara (2004-01-23). "The Story Behind the Society for News Design". Poynter Institute. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  10. ^ Kaiser, Johanna (2010-04-05). "John Monahan, 55, former newspaper graphic designer". Retrieved 12 March 2015. 

External links[edit]