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Expressive design environments enable visualization designers not only to specify chart types and visual mappings, but also to customize individual graphical marks, as they would in a vector graphics drawing tool. Prior work has mainly investigated how to support the expressive design of a wide range of charts generated from tabular data: bar charts, scatterplots, maps, etc.
We focus here on an expressive design environment for node-link diagrams generated from multivariate graph data. Such data structures raise specific challenges and opportunities in terms of visual design and interactive authoring. We discuss those specificities and describe the user-centered design process that led to Graphies, a prototype environment for expressive node-link diagram authoring. We then report on a study in which participants successfully reproduced several expressive designs, and created their own designs as well.