One Week Of The Guardian

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.

One Week of The Guardian - Monday by Dave Bowker

A visualisation showing the ‘nutritional’ content of the paper

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.

One Week of The Guardian - Tuesday by Dave Bowker

Illustrating the headlines with its subject matter offers the reader a more visual association to the content.

One Week of The Guardian - Tuesday Detail by Dave Bowker

Using the countries flags to paint the words helps a reader scan more easily for other occurrences.

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.

One Week of The Guardian - Wednesday by Dave Bowker

The coloured rings show which category of news is most written about, with the least written about topics in the center.

One Week of The Guardian - Wednesday Detail by Dave Bowker

You can see in this detail shot, that the article with a word count of ‘436’ appears within the ‘Science’ category a quarter of the way through the paper.

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.

One Week of The Guardian - Thursday by Dave Bowker

A network graph of elements which when connected together make up the details of an article, with the connecting lined weighted by the articles word count.

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.

One Week of The Guardian - Thursday Detail 1 by Dave Bowker

A detail section showing the article titles.

One Week of The Guardian - Thursday Detail 2 by Dave Bowker

A detail section showing the categories.

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.

One Week of The Guardian - Friday by Dave Bowker

A visualisation showing the shear amount of information in a newspaper in a single day.

One Week of The Guardian - Friday Detail by Dave Bowker

Some notable points help to highlight the volume of information within a paper.

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.

One Week of The Guardian - Saturday by Dave Bowker

A typographic overview of the categories in the paper.

One Week of The Guardian - Saturday Detail by Dave Bowker

Connecting lines show any other stories written by the same author.

The Packaging

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.

One Week of The Guardian - Packaging by Dave Bowker

A mockup of how the envelope might look for Thursday’s visualisation. Each envelope would be slightly modified to show a small preview of its contents.

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.

Dave Bowker Signature

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