This week we learned about composition, and were tasked with creating a design for a personal business card. I do data analysis full-time, but I’ve been moving toward data visualization at ITP. I knew from our typography exercise that I wanted to use Raleway for the font. As an initial step, I printed out my name and information in a few different point sizes and weights. I hoped to get the process of analysis and visualization across, and to showcase a few different projects, but showing just one was plenty of work. There are many components of a good data visualization that don’t work well on a static and small business card, so I abstracted the elements to tell a story.
The final version:
In earlier sketches, I developed the “disorganized data” to “organized data” visualization, but I wanted it to relate to something real, meaningful, or something I’d at least worked on before. I explored the idea of using data from a map of NYC recycling I made last semester, or a project I had done on women’s representation in government. I moved away from the women-in-government idea after I didn’t find a good way to summarize the data (for now). There are 96 countries that have more women in their respective parliaments than the U.S. does!
My final idea was the connect the data on the front of the card to the community districts in NYC that I had mapped for the recycling project. The bars organize the community districts by borough. It seemed like too much to include words and numbers on the back, so instead I abstracted the outline from the base map, and included a link so curious people could check out the entire thing. The colors of the boroughs on the front correspond to the outline of the colors of the boroughs on the back. I used a diagonal line to take advantage of what we learned in class about composition: that the eye moves from the top left and the weakest portion is the bottom right. I extended the line to the back, hoping to convey that this is the logical 3rd portion, and that all the parts are related. Printing, folding, and securing the front and back with surface mount was another challenging part that resulted in some imperfect cards.
Some good feedback I’ve gotten since showing the final product around is to add a QR code to the back that links to the map, or to outline each of the community districts in the borough color. They seem like good ideas to explore in a future version!