Why graphics are building blocks — De Amicis

Marius Popescu
2 min readJan 20, 2021

Part of the Tiny Graphics project published by Marius Popescu for De Amicis.

Did you know that Lego, the toy bricks company, has started by building real wood houses?

Following quite a rollercoaster (fire, great depression, other fire and so on) they went on to specialize in smaller and reusable pieces, then began making toys.

What is this having to do with tiny graphics, you might ask?

Tiny graphics are building blocks for your product, your marketing and other public documentation. Every time you need to explain data, a graphic is the easiest way.

Due to their continuous improvement, only 18 defects are found in 1 million of Lego pieces

Like building blocks, graphics have quite a few things in common with the Lego ones:

  • Reusable in different contexts
  • Can fit into a bigger puzzle
  • Evolving with your understanding

Once you create a graphic for your dashboard or an article, you can use it elsewhere. A timeline for your product development can be part of a brochure, of an infographic, or part of your technical documentation.

Your timeline can be also used to build a bigger picture graphic showing your reach into different markets or for new types of customers. Explaining the same information can be quite a puzzle otherwise.

And finally, your timeline can evolve at each step of building your product. Adding features for your product means your timeline will also gain a parallel dimension showing the impact of this feature. Adding another product can be visualized the same way.

Of course, you do not HAVE to reuse your charts. The important point though is that their value for your business goes up exponentially this way. Exposing your different data visualizations will also help you in new ways. Lite engaging discussions with newer or bigger types of clients. Or getting a better understanding of your customers’ context.

You can buy some Lego sets to build a castle and a ship, but later go wild and build a Star Wars battleship with the same bricks. Likewise, you will build newer and better visualizations, and you will use them in many ways, as you develop your product and your business.

It all starts with one brick.

Your turn now

Did you already try to reuse your graphics in another context?

Send your questions and ideas via the Tiny Graphics mailing list.


The waiting list to receive the Tiny Graphics book for free is closing soon, January 31st. The book intends to help you create your first graphics and find inspiration for new visualizations with practical steps.

Originally published at https://de-amicis.com on January 20, 2021.



Marius Popescu

Healthcare applications & integrated components: growth charts http://growthxp.com, family history http://pedigreexp.com and medical decision support systems