Christoph Niemann: Visual Reduction

Illustrator and graphic designer, Christoph Niemann on why his greatest achievement is that he hasn’t gone insane – yet’s latest podcast is an interview with illustrator and graphic designer, Christoph Niemann. He talks about the presentation of data, why clients have made him work better and how he’s most relieved that, as yet, he still hasn’t gone insane…

Niemann’s illustrations have appeared on the covers of The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine and American Illustration. He’s a self-confessed lover of charts and graphics and, in the Gestalten film, observes that “this way of presenting data has become a mainstream thing.”

His aim in his work, he says, is to use a visual language that lots of people can understand – it’s “all about the audience. [It’s] not about fulfilling your own creativity, although that’s a part of it, [it’s] about the reader understanding what you do.”

In the film, Niemann also discusses how clients can get a bad reputation for killing ideas but that, conversely, “when you have a good client, they can make you so much more of a better designer.”

Despite the recent success of his Abstract City blog for The New York Times, Niemann claims that “my greatest accomplishment, professionally, is that I haven’t gone insane doing what I do all day.” He currently lives and works in Berlin, having spent 11 years in New York.

More of his work is featured in the new Gestalten book, Data Flow 2 (£45) and you can see a selection of his illustration and graphic design at his website,

More films are here.


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