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Engineering News

It’s time for you to discover your mission.

By Brian Boyer | August 10, 2015 I didn’t always have a mission. For the first seven years of my career, I worked in the software industry. The work was interesting, and I had a craft, for sure, but not a mission. All that changed when I quit my job to become a journalist. Our mission at NPR Visuals is to make people care. Everything we do: The things we make, our design process, and how we measure…

Do You Need More Warehouse Space? Think Packaging!

Packaging Matters: Do You Need More Warehouse Space? Think Packaging! Pages Do You Need More Warehouse Space? Think Packaging! I was recently reading an article on how to optimize your warehouse without increasing space.  It got me thinking that most people see a warehouse space as a constraint, having limited options.  The warehouse optimization options in this article I read were to broken down into 3 basic features;1) Inventory/sales information; know what you have (take inventory), know what you need…

4 Trusted Ways to Improve Your Packaging

Is your boss looking to cut costs? Or are you in charge of some packaging changes? You’ve probably touched more than 20 packaged items today without even knowing it. What you should notice is packaging optimization. Optimizing your packaging can drastically improve your business. If your business ships anything at all packaging optimization is worth looking into, and here is why: #1 Change Your Packaging Design Your package is the first thing your customer sees. It needs to be attractive…

How to apply for an internship at NPR Visuals

We want to see your best work. Here’s how. (In case you missed it, applications are currently open for our fall internships.) Cover letters All candidates must submit a cover letter. Your cover letter should be a statement of purpose. We’re interested in what you’re passionate about and why you’re passionate about it. (Most cover letters tell us that you are hardworking, passionate and talented, etc. And that you love NPR. We don’t need you to tell us that.) Tell…

What’s new in our first release version of the dailygraphics rig?

Our dailygraphics rig has been around for more than a year and in that time we’ve used it to make hundreds of responsive rectangles of good internet, but we’ve never made it easy for others to use. The rig is heavily customized for our needs and includes our organization-specific styles and templates. Despite this, a handful of hardy news organizations have made efforts to adopt it. In order to better facilitate this, today we are releasing our first fixed “version”…

Work with us this fall!

Hey! Are you a student? Do you design? Develop? Love the web? …or… Do you make pictures? Want to learn to be a great photo editor? If so, we’d very much like to hear from you. You’ll spend the fall working on the visuals team here at NPR’s headquarters in Washington, DC. We’re a small group of photographers, videographers, photo editors, developers and designers in the NPR newsroom who work on visual stuff for npr.org. Our work varies widely, check…

Packaging Airline Passengers for Safety

I would like to start off with a shout out to 17-year-old Raymond Wang of Vancouver for winning the top prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the Gordon E. Moore Award plus $75,000.  Normally, I would just read the accomplishments of the youth science fair with passing interest, but this year, I fervently hope that Wang’s winning entry will be adopted and implemented soon. Wang won the top prize by redesigning the airflow of passenger aircraft…

Stickers or Lasers? The Change in Tracking Produce

Recently, I reread a story discussing a technology in which lasers are used to mark produce with the goal of eliminating those little labels on everything from apples to zucchini.  As with most disruptive technologies, there are often unforeseen hurdles; consumer acceptance, immature technology, integration into business processes, etc. The laser marking technology was getting a lot of press a few years ago and it was projected to replace the produce stickers; aka Price Look-Up code (PLU) labels.   The…

We’re hiring a designer! | NPR Visuals

By Brian Boyer | June 26, 2015 Love to design and code? Want to use your skills to make the world a better place? We’re a crew of visual journalists (developers, designers, photojournalists…lots of things) in the newsroom at NPR headquarters in sunny Washington, DC. We make charts and maps, we make and edit pictures and video, we help reporters with data, and we create all sorts of web-native visual stories. (And yeah, sometimes it’s kind of weird…

What’s New with Dimensional Weight?

by Rich Lindgren, CPPChainalytics We are about half way into 2015 and the new Dimensional Weight pricing model issued by UPS and FedEx earlier this year. Fortunately, many shippers and 3PLs have been able to avoid the price increases taking immediate effect thanks to negotiation or multi-year contracts that haven’t yet expired.  (If dimension weight charge is news to you, check back on this previous blog entry.) Rumblings and rumors from the packaging and supply chain industries suggest that the carriers are…