XPLANE (company)

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XPLANE is a design company that creates illustrations for corporate clients. The company aims to distill complex processes into easy-to-grasp illustrations, using visualization techniques which it calls Pictonics. XPLANE was founded in 1993 in St. Louis, Missouri by David Gray as a visual arts company creating graphics for magazines such as Business 2.0 (in particular that magazine's "XPLANATiONS"). It soon expanded into illustrating corporate presentations, business plans, and whitepapers; training; and interactive design.[1][2][3][4]

In 2000, the company was awarded the St. Louis Business Journal Best Places To Work award for People Development. At the time of the award, the company had a policy of flexible working hours and of allowing employees two weeks at full pay every year for workshops, seminars, and training. Other employee perquisites included discussion groups during the day, night classes taught by employees to other and to prospective employees, a weekly party on the company building's roof every Friday after hours, and a massage once per month.[2] The company's headquarters are now located in Portland, Oregon.[5]

On its website, the company hosts two web logs, the xBlog (information on design topics) and the bBlog (business applications of graphic design), and case studies that include graphical user interfaces, statistical maps, and discussions of Internet protocols and brand strategy. The weblogs are run by Knowledge Manager Bill Keaggy, a digital designer who spends between 10 minutes and 2 hours per day on them.[6][7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hope Hamashige (2000-08-10). "Illustrations draw investors". CNN Money (Cable News Network). 
  2. ^ a b Carla Dodd (2000-05-06). "Xplane". St. Louis Business Journal (American City Business Journals, Inc.). 
  3. ^ "Xplane company profile". St. Louis Business Journal (American City Business Journals, Inc.). 2006. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Visualising Value". Customer Create. OMC Consulting Limited. April 2005. 
  5. ^ About us. XPLANE. Retrieved November 26, 2007.
  6. ^ Ken Coupland (December 2000). "In Review: XPLANE". Metropolis Magazine. 
  7. ^ Leslie Walker (2001-05-17). "A Day-by-Day In the Life". The Washington Post. 
  8. ^ Chad Garrison (2003-03-07). "What's in a blog: Graphics firm Xplane uses blogs as marketing tools". St. Louis Business Journal (American City Business Journals, Inc.). 

Further reading[edit]

  • Stacey King (2001-07-01). Magazine Design That Works: Secrets for Successful Magazine Design. Rockport Publishers. pp. 148–149. ISBN 1-56496-758-1.  — a discussion of Business 2.0's brand, illustrating some of the "little ant people" (as they were termed by the magazine's art director, Laura Morris), that characterized XPLANE's "XPLANATiONS", that came to be an integral part of that brand
  • Ilise Benun (2001). Self Promotion Online: Marketing Your Creative Services Using Web Sites, E-Mail and Digital. North Light Books. p. 62. ISBN 158180069X.  — a report of XPLANE's "xblog" electronic mail marketing campaign run by Bill Keaggy
  • Juan C. Dürsteler (2002-05-06). "Visual Narrative". Inf@Vis!.  — a report of XPLANE that includes several example XPLANATiONS
  • Kellee Sikes (Winter 2001). "Cross the Learning Desert in a Ferrari". LiNE Zine.  — Sikes interviews David Gray.

External links[edit]