Part 2 on “How to accentuate the figures of a scientific paper”:
What needs work?
After getting an overview of all figures of the publication, I use pen and paper to highlight all things that are odd and need to be addressed – missing labels and legends, inconsistent color-schemes and layouts, incomplete axes and visual clutter (more: see work by Edward Tufte).
As an example, I have done this for each individual figure (Part 3) and explain my observations in the accompanying text! Send me a message if you notice more, I will follow up :).
I then group my work according to the type of change (layout, font, color-scheme, etc) – this helps to increase consistency and horizontal logic and reduces the overall work-time as it prevents you from having to go back and forth multiple times.
Next, I start re-drawing the figure and play around with several solutions – and this I do strictly with pen and paper only! Two stages of this are shown below.
And only once I decided on all changes I implement them using a graphics program.