Data Visualisation Seminar

January 30, 2014 § Leave a comment

Professional Practice 30/01/14

In today’s seminar I explained my two approaches that I have chosen, showed the mind maps for these, some sketches and a first digital experiment. The following concludes what I took away from today’s session:

  • As the first digital experiments I did were pretty basic I need to look into making the data I talk about more complex. This was always intended but now I need to start creating the more interesting designs. These include looking at the collection as a whole; thinking about overall amount of pages read, total cost of books, oldest & newest book, when and where they were published, where they are set etc.
  • There was emphasis on the barcode generation idea; and perhaps having one of the designs in my final piece to be a series of barcodes embedded into a design or as the whole design, which are scannable using the Amazon mobile app – upon scanning the barcode it will take you to the book on the Amazon Website.
  • Researching other people’s libraries might be useful as I can look at how their library makes a possible statement on their personality and see whether this influences the kind of conclusion I want to make about the books I own. Also researching into how libraries catalogue their books and see if any aspects of that are similar to what I am trying to make.
  • By next week, my aims are to have a definite list of categories which I’m going to look at, to do a few more visual experiments but more complex this time around, and to continue with research on book collections and some possible artists to influence me along the way.



Visual Editions

January 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

Professional Practice

Visual Editions are Book Publishers from London. Their main aim is to publish books that are unique and have a different way of telling stories or getting a message across. They call it ‘visual writing’. I love the finished look of these books and the incorporation of retro graphics in what they aim to be contemporary books. Their layout and physicality of each book is presented in a somewhat distinguishable way, which you can see in the photographs of their work.

_MG_7673 07 _MG_7787

First Attempt at Solid Designs

January 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

Professional Practice

Here is my first attempt at creating the composites based on my idea.


Data Visualisation Sketches/Roughs

January 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

Professional Practice

Here I have drawn a few roughs to give myself a brief idea of layout and composition and the types of things I will include in my designs.


Project Considerations

January 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

Design Practice In Context 2 Lecture 29/01/14

If you don’t finance, you will lose money. You need to keep a trace on the market, finance and management of a project. This maintains a healthy relationship with the client.

Do you have the ability to do the job?

You have to make sure the job is within your limits. If it is not, you can commission someone else to do the job – still make a profit and get the job done, but make sure the work goes to the right person. If you don’t deal with specific issues they will come back to haunt you. Explain any concerns with the client as it is interest to help you get round any problems that may arise. Don’t be scared of failure – you can learn a lot from your mistakes. Some people will be able to look at a project and see it through right to the end. Some people will be purely conceptual – have ideas, but not be able to put them into practice. If you are a freelancer you need to know who you can call on to help you get the job done. If the project gets out of your control, that’s when you have to worry.

{Design Phase} {Execution Phase} |DEADLINE| {Implementation Phase}


When talking to industry and people who may want to employ you, you have to show confidence. Stay relaxed, always smile. Look people in the eye – it helps them to give you feedback and understand you more. Basic communication is key. Talking to someone new can be daunting especially if you are relying on them to employ you, so it is important to remain calm and confident. In presentations, look at your audience. Read them. Move things if necessary. Always be open. These factors are important to keep the attention of your audience but also to remain calm.

The Brain That Changes Itself: Memory, Learning & Neuroplasticity

January 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

Design Practice In Context 2 Lecture 29/01/14


Our understanding of cognition is that it physically changes in response to learning. If we understand how the brain works it can help us move forward in our creative endeavours. We are born with an ability to do certain things and that is fixed, immutable and hard wired.

There are areas of the brain that have a specific function, should those areas get damaged then specific areas of the nervous system or sensory elements (ie vision, speech) get damaged as well. Recent discoveries show our brains ‘re-wire’ themselves due to everyday learning experiences.

This new understanding of the plasticity of the brain came from Neuroscientist Paul Bach-y-rita, an American neuroscientist who specialised in neuro-plasticity. He argued that the brain could undergo major re-organisation throughout our lives. This was due to experiments he did on his father who had a stroke and lost the use of his limbs, but through constant repetition of physical and mental exercise was able to get by on his own again.

Data Visualisation from The Guardian

January 28, 2014 § Leave a comment

Professional Practice

In our seminar we were told about a section of The Guardian website dedicated to data visualisation.

Upon browsing through this section of the site, I came across this interesting data visualisation graphic on Charles Dickens novels.


Created to commemorate the Dickens 200th anniversary, the team went against all of their literary instincts and tried to reduce Dickens to numbers. The results were fascinating and revealed that there just might be s secret formula at work in the great man’s work. Published on The Guardian and shared around the world this infographic is a great example of using data to tackle a well-known subject in a fresh and new way.

I also found this interesting series of data graphics on the Man Booker prize which contains some imagery that I think I could take some inspiration from for my project. 


Where Am I?

You are currently viewing the archives for January, 2014 at Tom Davidson.