Our Developer, Hadrien Jouet, has recently joined forces with artist Stefanie Posavec in a creative collaboration centred on creating beautiful digitally-mastered data visualisations.
Getting your head around large volumes of information can be tasking, this is where data visualisation and infographics can step in and facilitate the process. As the name suggests 'data visualisation' is the visual representation of information. The most basic example of this would be a simple pie chart. The idea behind it is to make heavy data more attractive and use shapes, size, colour, and position to allow the viewer to quickly grasp the concept behind the data without having to dig down into the detail. While it often aims to make data interpretation more simplistic, data visualisation is also somewhat of an art form and can be extremely intricate.
Sophisticated data visualisation combines functionality with aesthetics, with the end goal of effectively communicating information. These graphics explain the intricacy and story behind the data provided.
Stefanie Posavec is a freelance graphic designer specialising in information design, artistic data visualisation and book cover design. Her recent work includes book cover artwork for Jack Kerouac's 'The Sea is my Brother: The Lost Novel' amongst other Penguin publications, and designs for the 'data visual index' for Stephen Fry's new 'MyFry' app.
Having worked on producing manual long multiplication data visualisations Stefanie wished to experiment with digital innovation to automate the generation process. On the matter she said;
"I am fascinated with long multiplication and other types of handmade calculations, so I wanted to create a project that unlocked the hidden beauty in the cascading lines of digits in this method of multiplying numbers.
"After designating a specific coloured shape for each digit, I began to search for a variety of interesting patterns that occur from multiplying 11 by various strings of numbers."
"I've said it before, but I am still amazed at how much Hadrien has helped me out on this project! I come from a graphic design background where I am more adept at planning out things for ink and paper than I am for screen. I'm not used to working with developers; I still think they are practicing a type of alchemy or magic whenever they can find a way to automate an idea that I would most likely work out using mental calculations and lots of free time with a pencil, paper and graphic design program. However, I think this is the way forward for visual design: collaboration between the digital and tangible world seem to produce the most interesting projects, and working with digital experts is something that I would love to do more of."
Hadrien has taken Stefanie's concept and created a digitalised version of the 11 multiplication series data visualisations, whereby each digit is represented by a different image (or more specifically as a circle with a radius of the value plus one). This tool allows anyone to generate art based on multiplication, applying as many values as they wish to create a vast variety of visually appealing results. These data visualisations can then be scaled accordingly to further enhance the application of this tool and the descriptive elegance of the piece. Take a look here!
Hadrien Jouet added;
"After one of his Cross Creative meetings, Neil told the developers at After Digital about this artist he had met who wanted to 'automate' some of her work, more specifically, data visualisation work. I looked at Stefanie Posavec's website and her work, and to say I found it amazing would be an understatement. I've always seen development as a form of art, and so the opportunity was there to show this to the rest of the world through Stefanie's project ('11x series'). I proceeded to piece together a rough prototype of Stefanie's idea in my spare time and presented it to her, and so the collaboration started!
"Whilst the purpose of the tool itself is mostly to be visually appealing and versatile, it shows just how far data visualisation could be taken. Data visualisation is a very powerful way to convey large amounts of raw data to just about anybody, regardless of their background, and turn that data into meaningful and graphically supported information that is pleasant and easy to assimilate. With a designer's touch, who knows what strikes the eye, and a developer who can provide the logic to turn data into information, we end up with virtually limitless possibilities to enrich any seemingly boring data and make it talk to the viewer on a much deeper level than an old spreadsheet or a report.
"Working with such a great artist as Stefanie has been an honour ; it has been extremely rewarding in a lot of ways. I hope more and more people understand that data visualisation goes far beyond simply presenting data in a nice fashion, it uses art and logic to grab your attention and transcend information."
The possibilities for data visualisation are infinite, with digital innovation pushing the boundaries of this unique art form. If you are interested in exploring the boundaries of data visualisation and enhancing the descriptive and aesthetic capabilities of your data, please do not hesitate to contact us.