Tag Archives: design

Visualizing the Protest: The Design Element of Occupy Wall Street

25 Oct

Shepard Fairey OWS Invitation

Three things I love: infographics, online communities, and politics.

So when I came across an article in Mashable about groups of programmers who had come together to design online tools for the Occupy Wall Street movement, I was intrigued. Developing a unified set of visual ideas for a political cause represents how offline community building leveraging online capabilities to spread ideas and generate organic conversation.

Here are a few designers I’ve found:

  • OccupyDesign is an online database of infographics that synthesize main points being advocated by Occupy Wall Street protestors. According to their website: “We aim to provide a universal visual toolset for the Occupy movement which crosses language barriers and brings a strong visual identity to the movement.”  In “building a visual language for the 99 percent,” OccupyDesign does not intend to “brand” or “design” the movement, but provide a repository of universal designs that express common concerns so that they can be used–and understood–anywhere.
  • In helping the movement articulate its ideas, AllOurIdeas asks users to cast votes for one of two goals. By allowing users to contribute ideas, AllOurIdeas is effectively crowdsourcing the democratic process, “enabling #OWS to collect and prioritize ideas in an open, efficient, and accountable way.” Users can view the results of individual votes, as well as in word clouds.

  • OccupyGeorge is a DIY project that circulates dollar bills stamped with fact-based infographics showing America’s wealth disparity. Because money is what this protest all about, anyway (…right?) So why not circulate the message on the medium? It’s a brilliant concept. The website is gorgeous and user-friendly, including links to sources for their information. The infographics can be downloaded so protestors can print at home (using their own dollar bills, of course).
Occupy George
What do you think about designers creating visual language for a political movement? Are there other designers out there who I should know about? I’m fascinated by all of this.

Film and TV Time Travel

16 Feb

This is just cool.

David McCandless, a British “data journalist and information designer,” wrote The Visual Miscellaneum: A Colorful Guide to the World’s Most Consequential Trivia, which was recently published in the US. Here is an amazing chart that details the history of time travel in film and television. I found out about this from the Good blog, which led me to McCandless’ amazing website, which details the intricate process he took to create this chart (click here for the full size image). Informationisbeautiful.net may be my new obsession. Visualizing and beautifully depicting a broad range of social data — from Beatles songs to successful online dating photos — blows my mind as a methodological process. I wish that I had artistic ability, because I would love to follow McCandless’ model in using such charts to aggregate social data in an accessible, easy-to-use format. I want to buy the book too. It will be a great coffee table conversation piece.

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