STUFF TO LOOK AT*
"Stuff to look at?" Well, my observation is that a lot of people who do graphic design and data visualization seem to fall into the trap of using terms and buzz words like "graphical narrator" and "visual storyteller." "Storyteller" is definitely very big these days, and I'm not sure how I feel about that.
Yet, I came to storytelling honestly. Having a background and Bachelor's Degree in theatre, with training and experience in directing, playwriting, and producing, I tend to think of all art and design in terms of premise, motion, arc, and narrative.
I began studying graphic design when pursuing a Master's Degree in Media Studies (evidently, I was still trying to figure out what type of expression really got into people's heads), leading to projects designing for musical and theatrical artists, including logos, images for merchandise, advertisements, and digital album covers.
Subsequently, I would earn a certificate in Data Visualization, and would begin to apply my design skills to expressions of information, using the immediacy and emotional impact of the image to distill and convey what might otherwise be esoteric or tedious.
So if you scroll down, you'll see some stuff to look at… And maybe learn from.
Visual Narratives with Data:
IPG Digital Marketing
This was an exercise in developing of an “External Facing” corporate document to be used in presentation form. The audience was to be Marketers and Public Relations executives interested in market research on demographic data in different regions of the world. The data focused on Germany, China, Brazil, India and the United States.
The data centered around market research on technology usage, specifically online commerce. The visualization is aimed providing data driven to marketers and stakeholders directing resources to targeting audiences worldwide.
The slides were created in Adobe Illustrator, with some elements constructed in Photoshop, then exported to PowerPoint.
Design and Branding:
This project was a multifaceted, multiplatform branding/design campaign for an independent recording act. Working within the Electronic Dance Music genre (EDM), and choosing a name that had both aural and cosmic connotations, the artist asked for a logo with several different iterations to be used for various purposes.
The aim was to create something that would be equally evocative both with text and without, having pictographic elements that would make specific reference to the name of the project. The primary logo, including the project name written in a custom designed font, is able to be used across different platforms, but was primarily intended to be used for album cover art and internet banners. From there, I created several variations, both with and without text, for use in other areas including social media avatars and merchandise.
In the end, in addition to the iterations of the logo, I delivered avatars and banners specifically constructed for Moonsine's Soundcloud and Facebook pages, ensuring that they were appropriately scaled and effective for both web and mobile viewing. Also, I provided a number of different ideas and options for t-shirts and cover art for Moonsine's debut digital single.
Challenging the Classic Rock Canon
Sticking with one of my favorite subjects, music, this visualization is an exploration of changes in popular music criticism and the established canon of classic albums. The premise here is how cultural artifacts come into and fall out of fashion, not because of the characteristics and integrity of the artifact itself, but how it resonates within the contemporary climate.
The data set is taken from three different "Greatest Album" lists published by Rolling Stone magazine (and its digital version) over a span of several decades. The visualization highlights albums that appeared in the top 25 of all of three of the lists, showing how their movements up and down the charts.
Visually inspired by an Alluvial diagram, this flow chart makes use of color to coincide with an upward or downward motion, and saturation to illustrate degree of change, with greater intensity of color drawing attention to greater changes. The color scheme itself holds to the palate established by the magazine itself. This piece was created completely in Adobe Illustrator.
This diagram insinuates a story, but does not seek to beat its audience over the head with it. The viewers will be prodded to ask themselves about the reasons for these reappraisals.
Ideally, the viewer should come away with the realization that there has been reordering of the canon tantamount to a small, but significant shake-up in the orthodoxy of rock criticism, and a reevaluation of what makes a work of art culturally important.
Interactive Visualizations in Tableau
These slides are from a Tableau visualization / presentation based around a data set presenting the results of a series of clinical drug trials, specifically focusing on chemotherapy and other cancer drugs. The goal of the presentation was to illustrate the extent of cancer drug research within overall clinal drug trials, the efficacy of the drugs tested, and in what cities and facilities are cancer drug trials given precedence. Utilizing many of Tableau's interactive features to filter and contextualize the data, the intended audience would be medical professionals and those seeking treatment.
An insight gleaned from this presentation was the fact that while the most testing in the entire trial was for a cancer drug (Revlimid), the over-all trend had cancer treatments as less than one-third of this particular survey. Similarly, most trail facilities focused more on drugs for other conditions. While there were a number of much smaller facilities specializing on in cancer treatment, testing in New Orleans, showed both a greater volume of testing and focus on cancer treatments than other similarly large sites in the country.
Click the video below for a demonstration of the interactive features of these slides.
Reimagined and reengineered, as opposed to...
...the data as originally presented.
This visualization was aimed at a corporate audience, looking to identify and illustrate employee skills desired during mergers and acquisitions.
The information was provided in a rudimentary infographic created in Excel. I was tasked with taking it apart and re-engineering it. Along with untangling it, and stripping away the noise, it was imperative to draw greater attention to the patterns and hierarchies that were only suggested by a studied reading of the provided chart.
The first challenge was to show the patterns of employees with connected skills. Specific aptitudes and proficiencies were organized under different umbrellas of broader skill sets. The next step was to show the stages of a business merger and indicate those skills predominantly needed at each stage of the process.
The time-line is illustrated both linearly and cyclically. The stages of the process are illustrated in terms of cycles, allowing the viewer to see where certain skills are needed in each stage, with the need for each appearing and reappearing at different point in the overall process. One can see at a glance, the most necessary skills, and where in the process they are most needed.
This graphic was designed to be viewed in presentations, or in printed documents or placards.
Like what you see? Do you think I can be of use in an upcoming project or maybe you just want lavish me with praise?
Shoot me a message!
P.S. If you want to know more about my writing, including theatrical works, essays, and music criticism, please check out my "other" site here.