A series of experiments exploring how The Guardian newspapers could be visualised in order to artistically show the content overview and patterns of a newspaper in more engaging and attractive ways.
Over the course of 2007 and 2008, Dave Bowker has been conducting a series of experiments in the many ways of representing news and data. Some of these include experiments in subject areas such as reduction, visualisation, ranking and sorting, representation, abstract, graphic storytelling, infographics, motion typography, body language studies, and filtering of data, to name just a few.
Monday — February 18, 2008
Monday’s visualisation kicked off the week of experiments, and shows the content of the newspaper with a stacked bar chart making up the background of the piece. Each section of the paper was analysed for it’s number of articles and their word counts, and presented in a nutritional information style label breaking the figures down.
Tuesday — February 19, 2008
Tuesday’s visualisation tried to amplify the contents of the paper by embellishing certain words within the headline to create a more visual connection to the story.
Wednesday — February 20, 2008
Wednesday’s visualisation used colour coded concentric circles to show what categories of news were most popular, with the least popular positioned in the center and then gradually expanding outwards to the most popular. Articles were analysed for their word count, and then plotted within their category and on spokes around the circle corresponding to the page number they were printed on. Word counts were noted within each bubble.
Thursday — February 21, 2008
Thursday’s visualisation used a network graph split into four sections with headlines, authors, page numbers and categories being plotted around the edge of the circle. Interconnecting lines drew a complete story by tying together the article with who wrote it in what category and where it appeared in the paper.
Approaching the graphic from its different sections allows you to follow the connecting strands to see maybe all of the articles in a category, or perhaps all of the articles written by an author and even what were all of the stories on the front-page.
Friday — February 22, 2008
Friday’s visualisation attempts to remove all formatting from the paper and present a piece in plain text highlighting the sheer amount of information that goes into producing a paper such as The Guardian on a daily basis. Notable aspects such as articles, authors and categories were highlighted to emphasise the point.
Saturday — February 23, 2008
Saturday’s visualisation shows how the categories are spread out across the paper, creating a colour coded grid from top left to bottom right in ascending page order. The piece also uses connecting lines between authors who have written more than one article.
The idea to get these posters out to the readers of The Guardian involved printing them in the centerfold of the newspaper and shipping an A5 envelope with the paper so the reader may fold up the paper and place in the envelope for their collection.
This project was part of my final year piece for BA (Hons) in Multimedia Design at the University of Huddersfield, 2004–2008. The collection has been exhibited at the Adobe Design Achievement Awards 2008, the Select Media Festival 7 and more, as well as having pieces published in some of the most praised (Data Flow, Visualising Complexity) reference books on the topic.